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The Coach's Son [Paperback]

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Item description for The Coach's Son by Jeffrey Hickey...

Have you ever felt that your presence at a sporting event influenced the result? Are you certain your team could not possibly succeed without you at the game? Do you believe your adherence to a precise routine on game day, whether at the stadium or in your own home, is the key to winning or losing? And if you don't hold to these rituals exactly, do you believe in your heart that your team is doomed? If you are a sports fan, you know about superstitions, curses and hexes. The sporting world is littered with these legends. Some, like the Curse of the Bambino, the Curse of the Billy Goat, or being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, are well known and documented. More recently, there has been a rising swell of evidence supporting the Madden Curse. But there are other stories similar to these that have never been told. This is one of those stories. It is the story of a boy named Mark O'Bern.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   248
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.81 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2007
Publisher   Blooming Twig Books LLC
ISBN  1933918209  
ISBN13  9781933918204  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jeffrey Hickey

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Novelist Jeffrey Hickey is the author of The Coach's Son and Morehead. His works for children, Wages Creek and Bats and Bones, will be re-released in 2014. He is currently writing his next work for adults. These works, along with his new novel Scary, Man, can be found in print, Kindle, and audio books. A family man who deeply loves his wife, twin sons, and late parents, the author is also close with many of his neighbors, and cherishes the memory of every single friend, past and present. He loves where he lives now, and where he used to live. He also appreciates people who buy his work, because that's how he makes his living.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Sports

Reviews - What do customers think about The Coach's Son?

A Winner  Jan 30, 2008
Even at the age of six, Mark O'Bern is aware of the quirkiness of sports fans. His father Chester is a football coach and Mark has already seen plenty of games. He knows that some people think they can control the outcome of a game by the clothes they wear or various routines they go through on game day. Mark discovers that he too can control the outcome of a game by channeling his "energy". But it will take several years before Mark can harness that energy and during those years he will grow in many different ways.

"The Coach's Son" is a multi-layered gem of a novel. It not only covers football and its fans (as well as baseball) but it is also a coming of age story and a look at a complex family with a touch of mysticism throughout the novel. Author Jeffrey Hickey does a terrific job of weaving in real life events with fictional events, especially the football elements, to the extent that you believe that Chester O'Bern was really a coach with the Dallas Cowboys. Anyone who has followed any type of sport, not just football, will nod knowingly at the superstitious rituals various fans have during games. One of the premises of the novel is that Mark really can control the outcome of games and Hickey deftly and sometimes humorously explains how Mark is distracted during Cowboy losses. The time period of the novel is 1963 - 1972 and Hickey does a good job of integrating events of that period of time into the book.

The coming of age and family dynamics in the novel are done as well as the football aspects. Mark is an interesting character, flawed to be sure, but intriguing. At times I thought he seemed older than he should be, especially in his religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) but that may have been by design as he is the product of a father who is not home for long periods of time because of his job and a sickly and overprotective mother. The novel ends when Mark is 15 and a couple of things at the end made me smile, especially the very last paragraph of the book.

"The Coach's Son" is a winner.
Does he or doesn't he have the powers? A lot of time is spent describing "his duty."  Jan 11, 2008
While all books that rise above the level of mind-numbingly boring are unusual, this book is more unusual than others. Mark is the son of a coach in the National Football League and a great deal of ink is spent describing his doing his duty. In this book, that duty is defined as defecating. The cover photo shows a young boy sitting on a toilet reading what appears to be a map.
While the duty may not appear to differentiate Mark from any other child, there is a hint throughout the book that Mark somehow has the power to predict future events as well as influence current events. His ongoing influence is via a series of movements and the touching of pressure points. His family comes to believe that he has these powers, after his father Chester becomes a talent scout for the Dallas Cowboys; he begins consulting Mark regarding decisions. It was Mark that convinced his father to recommend that Dallas draft malcontent running back Duane Thomas.
Other than his powers and difficulty in defecating, Mark is an ordinary boy who does things typical of the gender. He runs away once, back to an old school, he has difficulty in relating to girls, he fights with a boy no one likes and learns to appreciate the other child's problems, he has difficulty with his teachers and he masturbates. After years of frustration, the Dallas Cowboys manage to win the Super Bowl and Mark then goes on to make additional predictions. Although he attends a Catholic school, Mark is a religious unbeliever, so a mythical person named Al Mighty is invoked on a regular basis.
The segment that I thought was the best was when Mark attends the victory party after the Cowboy's win and despite being underage drinks some champagne with his parents. After becoming groggy, he is sent to his room to go to sleep. A teenage girl from the party knocks on his door and he lets her in. They share a marijuana cigarette and engage in a bit of sexual tension but without the consummation. When the girl leaves she asks him if it is OK to tell her friends that they "did it", even though they both remain virgins. In a few pages, Hickey sums up the tentative sex life of adolescents.
This book contains many metaphors regarding the role of major sports in American civilization and the sometimes brutal treatment of the players and coaches. However, it is mostly about an odd boy growing up, he is intelligent, has his own opinions and just may have extraordinary powers.
The Coach's Son  Oct 20, 2006
I rarely read a novel that I can relate to on a number of levels yet, Jeffrey Hickey, has somehow managed to do it. Mr. Hickey juxtaposes the humor of life against life's many contradictions. He accomplishes this comparison with amazing ease and hilarity. I have never laughed harder, or been more captured by the uniquely gifted boy who encompasses this tale. Hickey equipoise's his threads of fact, fiction and football into a tapestry that creates a spiritual joy never before experienced literarily. If you miss the opportunity to read this book you have missed the opportunity for mirth.
Recommended. A Mix of Hilarity and Homage with Broad Appeal.  Oct 15, 2006
A fine, well-polished and amusing read, this tale of an oddly gifted boy and his slightly twisted family is whimsical, mystical
and at times slightly outrageous.
This one-of-a-kind effort has something to challenge and bemuse all sorts of inquiring minds.

Mixing fact with fiction, the author slyly keeps the reader guessing as to just what is true and what is not.
Some passages read as almost pure autobiography only to spin off into fancy on the next page.
Details are sharply drawn and immediate, coaxing the reader deep into a moment or a scene.
These recollections ring with the power of veracity and yet, there is no way it can ALL be true!

Clearly, much of the tale is fiction.
Some of it even borders on the metaphysical.
There are much deeper levels of introspection (and even philosophy) than are found in your common "boy-meets-world" memoir.
A myriad of topics are explored by the young narrator...among them:
faith, fate, class, race, loyalty, love and most importantly, the power of will.

And yet, it is a light-hearted tale, peppered with wisecracks and an overall wry sense of humor.
The writing style is highly personalized and the author delights in numerous inventive word combinations and clever turns of phrase.
There are many hilarious and surprising family and personal moments.
The aforementioned flights of fancy sometimes rocket situations off into the ridiculous and the absurd.
This all works to keep the reader guessing and well-entertained.

I suppose I should also mention that there are quite a few stirring accounts of historic and memorable gridiron contests,
which would only be right in the story of a coach's son.
Indeed, the boy's connection to and influence over these games is the framework upon which much of this book is built.
But it would be a disservice to describe it as merely a recounting of those faded, childhood glory days.
There is much, much more here than meets the eye.

And that is what makes this book truly one-of-a-kind.


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