Throwback Special

  • by Chris Bachelder
  • Narrated by R. C. Bray
  • 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Throwback Special is the story of 22 ordinary guys who gather each fall to reenact what ESPN has called "the most shocking play in NFL history": the November 1985 play in which Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins had his leg horribly broken by Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. (The play was known by the Redskins as "the Throwback Special".) Over the course of a weekend, we follow the men as they choose roles; spend a long night of the soul revealing their secret hopes, fears, and passions as they prepare for the game; and finally enact their strange and yet oh, so American ritual for what may be the last time.
With his trademark "microfine sense of humor and tragic sense of history" (Michael Chabon), Chris Bachelder fills his moving and very funny tale with pitch-perfect observations about manhood, marriage, and middle age.

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What the Critics Say

"What a brilliant book." (Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang)
"A comic meditation about marriage, ritual, friendship, parenthood, aging, and unlikely obsessions. This is a funny, insightful, and surprisingly poignant book." (Julie Schumacher, best-selling author of Dear Committee Members)
"A hilarious literary novel about our least hilarious - and least literary - national pastime. No one who reads it will ever be able to think about football, Joe Theismann, Lawrence Taylor, or indeed the male psyche in quite the same way again." (Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Definitely appeals to me as a middle-aged male.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Very funny in several unexpected ways. Definitely appeals to me as a middle-aged male. I loved how all the men whose heads we got inside were all weak in some way and never told each other certain things about themselves which actually could have brought some of them closer together (e.g., the 3 men who went out to smoke their customary cigarette, even though all 3 had quit, but were embarrassed or ashamed to tell the others).


What other book might you compare Throwback Special to and why?

Not sure. I don't normally listen to sports-themed books and I don't read (or listen to) enough short stories to be familiar with stories where the main characters are all pretty much the same at the end of the story as the beginning. Not sure who to compare the humor to, either. Carl Hiassen, maybe (sans the super-crazy characters).


Which scene was your favorite?

After all the build-up, I really like the depiction of the climactic scene!


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, although I couldn't. I did manage to listen to it all over about 2 days.


Any additional comments?

Very funny. Loved the reader and also the writing. Will probably examine other works by both.

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- David Andrew Levy

Not the least bit interested

The narrator was the best part of this book. I am not a football fan. This book is for guys only. The author tried way too hard to be funny. I was bired to oieces. Didn't care about any part of it. Works have put it down had it not been a book group sekection. Boring.....
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- elo

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-14-2016
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books