類別:/文學.
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The Throwback Special: A Novel
經典回顧:22個中年男子的球賽人生
版本: 精裝224頁  2016 年 3 月 14 日  W. W. Norton & Company出版
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內容介紹

如果每個人的生命中都有一個關鍵時刻,發生過,接下來的人生也從此改觀。
如果這個關鍵時刻就像一場經典球賽,球賽後,有人就此離開風光的體壇。
如果這個經典球賽可以從頭來過,角色扮演的球員將如何重現這場關鍵球賽。
人生關鍵時刻無法重來,經典球賽可以,重來的球賽人生將是怎樣的光景?

 

作者克里斯‧巴徹爾德(Chirs Bachelder)被美國小說家薩姆‧里普西特(Sam Lipsyte)譽為「美國小說界強而有利的敘述者」("a real force in American fiction"),巴徹爾德帶來他精彩的原創小說:《經典回顧》(The Throwback Special),此書對美國男性的心理作了細膩的描述。

 

故事以1985年著名的體育事件作為開端,此事件被美國體育連播網ESPN球迷票選為「國家美式足球聯盟史上最令人震撼的時刻之一」。在1985年11月的週一足球夜比賽中,華盛頓紅皮隊負責進攻核心的四分衛主將 - 喬‧希斯曼(Joe Theismann)被紐約巨人隊的中後衛 - 勞倫斯·泰勒( Lawrence Taylor)攻擊而摔斷腿,希斯曼因此終結了他在美式足球四分衛的職業生涯,此事件更被紅皮隊稱為「經典回顧」。


《經典回顧》透過上述事件做為背景,描述22位平凡的男人們在每年秋天都會聚集在一起,各自選擇要扮演的球員角色,重演這個令人震撼的體育事件。故事情節集中在重現當年賽事的前後一個週末,每個球員在賽前徹夜準備。隨故事進展,透過作者細膩的敘事手法,讀者得以窺見球員的內心世界,發現他們內心暗藏的希望、恐懼…。讀者跟隨這群男人的一舉一動,如同回到當年球賽現場一樣,這群男人真實地將自己投入到球員的角色中,把這場球賽當作是足球生涯的最後一戰。作者巴徹爾德維持著他一貫的個人風格「如顯微鏡般細膩的幽默感和悲劇性的歷史描述」,《經典回顧》充滿了有趣的事件和對人性、婚姻和中年男子內心世界完美的觀察描述。

 

本書有電子書稿備索。

作者介紹

克里斯‧巴徹爾德(Chris Bachelder)是美國作家,同時他也是電子書的先驅者。近期他更協助美國非營利機構McSweeney's出版刊物Quarterly Concern和The Believer。出生於美國明尼蘇達州的明尼阿波里斯市,巴徹爾德維吉尼亞州的克里斯琴堡長大。他畢業於維吉尼亞理工學院暨州立大學的文學系和佛羅里達大學的美術學院。巴徹爾德的教學經驗非常豐富,他曾在科羅拉多學院擔任助教,教授小說寫作和文學課程,以及在新墨西哥州立大學和北卡羅來納州立學校擔任客座教授,並是馬薩諸塞大學阿默斯特分校的藝術研究所課程 Poets & Writers的教授群之一。他目前於辛辛納提大學擔任副教授。


巴徹爾德的電子書 Lessons in Virtual Tour Photography,是非營利機構McSweeney's出版的第一本關於生涯規畫的電子書。直到2004年為止,已有超過4.5萬人下載了這部小說。

書評

 Kirkus *Starred Review* 
In this comic dissection of male bonding, a group of men gathers for their yearly celebration and re-enactment of a notorious play in professional football. In their 17th annual gathering, 22 men arrive at a 2 ½-star hotel on U.S. Interstate 95 for a weekend of rituals tied to the five seconds in 1985 when Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants sacked Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann and fractured the tibia and fibula of his right leg, ending his career. Bachelder (Abbot Awaits, 2011, etc.) looks at the strange, inane, and obvious things American males deem holy—as well as the many small pains they tend to share without “sharing.” Among the weekend’s big moments are the lottery assigning each man’s role as a real-life athlete from the 1985 game, the viewing of video of the sack, and the re-enactment itself. Bachelder seems able to riff wryly on almost anything. One conversation concerns those whose wives have asked them to sit while urinating. Another details a man’s attraction to the women pictured in illustrated children’s books. Yet another drifts “inevitably toward vasectomy and time share.” Eight delightful pages begin: “It would be difficult to overstate the men’s enthusiasm for continental breakfast.” As a group, the middle-aged men produce “waves of masculine sound, the toneless song of regret and exclamation.” They often talk in a “complex alloy of sincerity and derision.” One on one, they may speak quietly of their children and marriages and wonder when “daily life [would] cease to consist of a series of small threats.” Bachelder’s take on manhood is sharply observed and sympathetic and funny enough to win over even those readers who abhor football and its fans.

Booklist Review
This is a book about men. Is it ever! Twenty-two men gather annually to reenact the grotesque football injury (comminuted fractures to two leg bones) suffered when Washington quarterback Joe Theismann was crushingly tackled by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in a Monday Night Football game in 1985, remembered years later by millions of football fans. Published to coincide with the event’s thirtieth anniversary, the novel takes off from this seemingly unpromising setup to deliver a frequently very funny satire about men in our times, from the ridiculous (the convoluted lottery by which these guys choose their positions for each year’s reenactment) to the pathetic (a litany of what the reenactors have occasionally come home to find their daughters and wives doing), but, overall, it’s a surprisingly enjoyable and even poignant read. If the trick play resulting in the injury went terribly wrong, Bachelder’s unlikely approach is deftly right. This novel may appeal mainly to fanatical football fans who are also readers of literary fiction—a restricted market, to be sure—but it merits a far larger and more diverse audience.