Item description for Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich by Mark Kriegel...
Outline ReviewBook DescriptionPistol is more than the biography of a ballplayer. It's the stuff of classic novels: the story of a boy transformed by his father's dream--and the cost of that dream. Even as Pete Maravich became Pistol Pete--a basketball icon for baby boomers--all the Maraviches paid a price. Now acclaimed author Mark Kriegel has brilliantly captured the saga of an American family: its rise, its apparent ruin, and, finally, its redemption.
Almost four decades have passed since Maravich entered the national consciousness as basketball's boy wizard. No one had ever played the game like the kid with the floppy socks and shaggy hair. And all these years later, no one else ever has. The idea of Pistol Pete continues to resonate with young people today just as powerfully as it did with their fathers.
In averaging 44.2 points a game at Louisiana State University, he established records that will never be broken. But even more enduring than the numbers was the sense of ecstasy and artistry with which he played. With the ball in his hands, Maravich had a singular power to inspire awe, inflict embarrassment, or even tell a joke.
But he wasn't merely a mesmerizing showman. He was basketball's answer to Elvis, a white Southerner who sold Middle America on a black man's game. Like Elvis, he paid a terrible price, becoming a prisoner of his own fame.
Set largely in the South, Kriegel's Pistol, a tale of obsession and basketball, fathers and sons, merges several archetypal characters. Maravich was a child prodigy, a prodigal son, his father's ransom in a Faustian bargain, and a Great White Hope. But he was also a creature of contradictions: always the outsider but a virtuoso in a team sport, an exuberant showman who wouldn't look you in the eye, a vegetarian boozer, an athlete who lived like a rock star, a suicidal genius saved by Jesus Christ.
A renowned biographer--People magazine called him "a master"--Kriegel renders his subject with a style that is, by turns, heartbreaking, lyrical, and electric.
The narrative begins in 1929, the year a missionary gave Pete's father a basketball. Press Maravich had been a neglected child trapped in a hellish industrial town, but the game enabled him to blossom. It also caused him to confuse basketball with salvation. The intensity of Press's obsession initiates a journey across three generations of Maraviches. Pistol Pete, a ballplayer unlike any other, was a product of his father's vanity and vision. But that dream continues to exact a price on Pete's own sons. Now in their twenties--and fatherless for most of their lives--they have waged their own struggles with the game and its ghosts.
Pistol is an unforgettable biography. By telling one family's history, Kriegel has traced the history of the game and a large slice of the American narrative.
Studio: Free Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.4" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Feb 28, 2007
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0743284976 ISBN13 9780743284974
Availability 0 units.
More About Mark Kriegel
Mark Kriegel is the author of two critically acclaimed bestsellers, "Namath: A Biography" and "Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich". He is a veteran columnist and a commentator for the NFL Network. He lives with his daughter, Holiday, in Santa Monica, California.
Mark Kriegel currently resides in Brooklyn, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich?
Good history of the Game and Great history of the Pistol Mar 31, 2007
I could not put it down! Read it over the course of two nights.
First part reviews Pete's dad, Press Maravich, a good player and great coach in his own right. He's also his son's biggest fan. We learn about how the Game got started during the barnstorming days (Original Celtics and Harlem Globetrotters) and during the segregated era of college and pro hoops. Fascinating history for an afficionado of the Game.
I always knew that Pete was a legend but I starting following the Game just as his career ended. Kriegel lays out Pete's career from junior high--Pete played varsity as an 8th grader--to the pros. I loved it.
Basketball Father and Son Mar 29, 2007
Pistol,the biography of Pistol Pete Maravich,is surely a great account of a story about sport and how Pete and his coaching Dad, Press, lived their lives through basketball. But it is even more clearly a chronical of how fate provided that they live their lives so concurrently and completely through each other. That is where the charm and facination of this story is so completely researched and presented by Mark Kriegel that it should also be a text for Father/Son relationships and family psychology. I think every father and son should read it, because no one was ever more committed to each other than this father and son.
Simply Grand! Mar 28, 2007
Author Mark Kriegel deserves a phalanx of heavenly stars for this book. An astonishing biograhy that not only tells Pete Maravich's true life story but finally the entire story about one man whom many still believe is the greatest mens basketball player of all time. Pete Maravich shines on every page with Mr. Kriegel wisely stepping aside to allow this hero to take center court. I absolutely adored this book and I can't imagine any fan of the College Basketball Tournament currently in play not purchasing this masterpiece ASAP as a perfect compliment to how the game was played then - and implicitly how it is being played now. Bottom-line is that a book like this one - comes around once in a lifetime.
Great Read Mar 24, 2007
Mark Kriegel's newest work, Pistol, is a great book for anyone who's interested in either college or professional basketball, as it gives an in depth look into one of the game's greatest players, Pete Maravich.
I found the book to be a great read, beginning with the life of Pete's father, Press, and ending with changed man that Pete had become in his last days, a born again Christian. The book is very detailed, full of quotes from coaches and players and lost articles on the two men.
Overall, I thought it was one of the best sports biographies I've ever read, perhaps only behind Leigh Montville's biography on Ted Williams.
Fired a Blank Mar 24, 2007
Listen. Maybe it's me, but books written by sports column guys sound like one long sports column. Missing is the thread that, to me, matters most in this life story: the emotional/psychological aspects; do we really need to know what point of what game happened on some day thirty years ago?
I will, however, give this author my admiration for this one thing: finally, people are beginning to connect parenting (good or -in this case -bad) and how the child turns out. The frustrated father saw in Pete not a child but a chance to become the player he always wanted to be. He had his chance. Pete should have had his to become whatever he wanted, not an extension of his father's old dreams. Who knows. If Pete had been raised for Pete's dreams, maybe he'd be alive today.