Item description for Nobody Roots for Goliath by Phil Hutcheon...
Nobody Roots for Goliath is a comic novel about Marvin Walker, a seven foot six inch, nearly illiterate basketball prodigy and Wade, the depressed, neurotic English Professor who befriends him. Can the unlikely bond between these two transcend their differences of age, race and economic expectation? Complications abound as the worlds of academia and athletics collide in this irreverent novel of contemporary college life.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Feb 15, 2007
Publisher Willowgate Press
ISBN 1930008112 ISBN13 9781930008113
Reviews - What do customers think about Nobody Roots for Goliath?
Goliath and the English Teacher Sep 23, 2007
Made for the movies, Marvin is two feet taller than his teacher Wade who resembles Paul Giamatti's character in "Sideways" . He is woefully ignorant of grammar and writing --everything connected with college life except basketball. The wry, dry humor of Wade's broken marriage and realistic classroom situations, guns and drugs will keep you laughing. I give the book an A for interracial friendship, aptness of memorable epigrams, and credible, zany overlapping dialogue peppered with Hutcheon's excellent ear for street language. He quotes Willie Mays' s :"I want to say to the kids of America that baseball is a wonderful thing, but the main thing is education." This highly readable book is not for sissies; it's for grown-ups who may be moved emotionally. Rated R for language and explicit sexual scenes which are laughable, -Virginia O'Hagan
Outrageous Events in Californian Academia Jul 20, 2007
I recently read this novel and felt compelled to report how enjoyable the experience was. I'm fairly challenged when it comes to sports but having been a college English instructor for most of my adult life, I could empathize with so much of the academic antics. Chapter 8 was my absolute favorite - it captured all the futility of department meetings and the bumptiousness of those who convene them. It's truly a relief to be self-employed so that I'll never have to attend another one - though they can be great fodder for fiction as Hutcheon has so deftly shown.
The novel reminded me a great deal of David Lodge's _Changing Places_, though instead of Philip Swallow as the narrator, there's a version of Morris Zapp in ABD mode. Having never been to California, I can only imagine how diverse and eccentric the population is so I truly appreciate the fact that the author has managed to people his novel with a variety of characters from many social spectra. Though I'm aware that most of these folks are caricatures, they waver nicely between grotesqueness and reality - thus adding a Swiftian element that appeals to one's cynical nature. I also liked the fact that he was able to turn the title on its head and ensure that we were in fact rooting for Goliath.
This is a hilarious piece of work that lampoons contemporary American life and leaves the reader all the wiser for having read it.
Deliciously Naughty Jun 19, 2007
Phil Hutcheon's deliciously naughty Nobody Roots for Goliath is a poignant, erotic, pensive, and hilarious combination of almost unbelievable scenarios tempered with all too relatable interactions. For any who were or are students,Hutcheon's Goliath provides some demoralizing insight into what is really going on in professors heads. For those readers who are professors, I suspect Goliath provides, among other things, a hard-on!
This book is very funny. Mar 17, 2007
Each chapter has epigraphs from literary authors, sports figures, even fictional characters. Example: "Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel could be an oncoming train.--Lou Holtz." There is erudite, sarcastic banter between the main character, Malcolm Wade, ABD, and his brilliant, temporarily slumming academic colleague Angela Hart, Ph.D. A sample: Wade: "If I don't finish by December, I turn back into a pumpkin." Angela: "Don't you mean back into a toad, Wade?" Wade: "Sorry. I'm a little rusty on my transmogrification archetypes."
But the funniest aspect of this book is the string of frustrations facing Wade: They range from his ill-chosen thesis advisor, who is more interested in Sherwood Anderson and almost any other author than in Wade's subject, Hemingway, and his English Dept. boss, who uses dorky, dated slang and even attempts a high five with the "Goliath" of the title, 7-foot, 6-inch basketball prodigy Marvin Walker, thru his students, who write about "escape goats" and taking things "for granite" (not to mention his simply awful wife), to all those who would exploit Marvin Walker's $68 million potential. How Wade deals with these frustrations provides the book's basic satisfactions. Suffice it to say here that Marvin and his "god moth" recognize these would-be exploiters as, "That's one evil bitch," and, "this African American Judass."
A Witty and Profane Comedy of Self-Embalming and Awakening Mar 11, 2007
I liked this book a lot. Phil Hutcheon's Nobody Roots for Goliath is both a satire of academic life and a comedy of a self-embalmed 40-year-old emerging from arrested adolescence into greater self-respect and independence. But don't let that stop you. It is also a very funny book. It made me laugh out loud several times.
The novel has a wry, disaffected wit that skewers, very entertainingly, many of the absurdities of academic life. The protagonist, Malcolm Wade, drudges ambivalently in what he experiences as the lower rungs of college hell--freshman composition. Wade enlists our sympathy because he has a sense of honor about doing a job he often despises and because he has a crap-detector about the intellectual pretensions of his colleagues and the educational sham going on around him. He even sees that he,too, is implicated in the absurdity. That crap-detector and Wade's (and Hutcheon's) love of language create the comic absurdity that makes the novel so much fun. Wade seems, at times, like a middle-aged Holden Caulfield driven by economic necessity to teach at Pencey Prep, where the phoniness still sandpapers his nerve endings at 40 the way it did at 15. Hutcheon endows Wade with an eagle eye for psycho-babble, educational mumbo-jumbo, and the language of aging self-proclaimed "hipsters".
Shy, decent, and un-macho despite his passionate love of sports, Wade is nostalgic for the free-swinging adolescence he never experienced in high-school and college. The comic fantasies and sex romps are both funny and strangely nostalgic--a reliving of adolescent fantasies that didn't come true when Wade thinks they should have. But the really poignant connection in the novel is Wade's relationship with Marvin, a 7" 6' African-American basketball phenom, the college's only hope for athletic glory. Wade evokes in Marvin a desire to learn, and Marvin evokes in Wade a depth of feeling and courage, emotions so deeply buried under cynicism and self-loathing that he has forgotten they exist. The real awakening for Wade is not sexual; it's an awakening of the heart, one that genuinely surprises him. One of the best aspects of the novel is Hutcheon's skillful depiction of Wade's surprise at his growing tenderness and respect for Marvin. The author supplies plenty of plot twists to surprise the reader, as well.