Soccer Zones: Writings Out of American Soccer Edited by Anne Woodworth Soccer Prose, Inc., 119 pages, $11.95 Co-owner of Hall of Fame Sports Books When it comes to stimng passionate emotions, few events rival athletic competitions. Just try to convince a maize-and-blue tailgater on a crisp November Saturdaythat the forthcoming gridiron clash is notthe most important event in the universe that week. Watch as said fan squirms and squeals for four quarters and then, three-plus hours later, leaves in either heartbreak or euphoria Football, baseball, and basketball are distinctly American pastimes. Yet when it comes to passionate feelings among global sports fans, these major sports are sidelined by the rest of the worid's favorite pastime: soccer. While televisión producer Ken Bums renders our entire nation's history and cuttu ral identity on a backdrop of baseball, everyone else plays an equally "passionate" game on a different playing field with a 32paneled, checkered ball. Will America ever join them? Anne H. Woodworth, of Birmingham, Michigan, has gathered astirring ensemble of prose, poetry, and essays titled "Soccer Zones Writings Out of American Soccer." Woodworth is the mother of American soccer star Alexi Lalas, who drew attention during this year's World Cup for his distinctive red hair and goatee, as well as his stellar play. The book is a self-pubSshed anthology of contributions by an assortment of writers, coaches, and players who truly love the game. tt's not a history; it does not rehash World Cups past; it won't teil you how to play better. Rather, the book focuses on personal moments and memories of soccer at all levéis ncluding children on the soccer equivalent of sandlots all around the world, men and women, fans and players, experts and novices. The varied pieces explore how soccer strikes a deep and passionate chord the way football, (SEE NEXT PAGE) SOCGEE ZONES WRITINGS OUT OF AMERICAN SOCCER Annc noiig hoi ï n Oorge Vt ccy NEW BOOKS "SOCCER ZONES" (FROM PREVIOU8 PAGE) baseball, and basketball affect mainstream American sports fans. "Soccer in the United States is and itisnVWoodworth writes. "It's catching on, It'll never catch on. ... In a sportsmad city like Detroit, whose collective heart heaves with pride at having professional teams in all four big-time, bigpaying sports, you happen to think that soccer tops every team sport you know of in excitement, subtlety, finesse and- hold on now- beauty. ... This is where the paradox that is soccer In the United States just begins." MYSTERY Half Nelson By Jerome Doolittle Pocket Books, 279 pages, $20 Reviewed by Jamie Agnew Owner of Aunt Agatha's, a mystery and true-crime book store Imet Jerome Doolittle when he carne into my store unannounced. He was a cool guy - cynical, intelligent, slyly subversivo. I cleverly concealed the fací I hadnt read his books (alright I lied), and of course as soon as he left I checked out the bio on his dust jacket- incredible- amongotherthingshe'dbeenaU.S.embassyspokesman in Laos, a cafe proprietor in Vientiane, a speechwrtter for Jimmy Carter, Chief of public affairs for the Federal Aviation Administration, and a wrtting instructor at Harvard. From there I went to his first book "Body Scissors" (1 992), where I met Doolittle's fictional voice, Torn Bethany, a character whose life continúes four books later in this year's hardback "Half Nelson." It's the same Torn Bethany that's made the series so memorable - security consultant Torn Bethany, the "unknown individual," the "master of restraint," PC but not wimpy, an underground invisible man - who in "Half Nelson" is called upon to protect and then avenge the saintly leader of an environmental movement In the timber country of Oregon. In a poMical landscape of deadly friction between a new administration which (for achange) believes in enforcing environmental laws and the unchanging people running the local FBI branch and the Big Business Logging corporation, Bethany soon finds himself fighting the good fight. He's in hisfavorite place, on the right side but outside society, a place where paranoia seems like good common sense, and he "keeps thinking of Dave Berkowitz." When Bethany's around rough justice will be done, dispensed with philosophy, keen observations and wrestling tips. It's the kind of revengeagainst the bad guys that guiltydreams are made of. Sharp, vivid, wise, Doolittle's writing is a brave exploration of the violent limits of Modem Macho, standing tall beside such out-there guys as James Lee Burke, Andrew Vachss and James Elroy. If thatterritory interestsyou don 't wait until you meet Jerome Doolittle before you meet Torn Bethany. Besides, who can resistanovel that begins:"Like any other university, Harvard sucks. What makes it a great university is that it sucks harder than most." NONFICTION Revolution X: A Survival Guide For Our Generation By Rob Nelson & Jon Cowan Penguin Books, 224 pages, $9.95 Reviewed by William Harmer Staff member at Little Professor Book Company With the prospect of having to pay for an unbelievable nationai debt, a future with no health care, fewer jobs, lower living standards, an Al DS crisis, and a tidal wave of crime threatening todrown a neighborhood nearyou, it's no wonder the outlook of the so-called "Generation X" is bleak. "Honestly, I really thought that I would have a job job, a career job, when I graduated from college, but that's not a reality now for most people," says Sandra, a 25-year-old hotel employee. Although this may be the general consensus of many of today's Gen. Xers, Nelson and Cowan believe that it does not necessarily need to be the case. In f act, the basic premise of their book is quite simply that apathy kills. If we do not take an active role n shaping our own destjnies then we are sentenced to suffer from our worst nightmares. "Revolution X" is just what it claims to be: "A Generation XAction Kit." The book is very easy tof ollow for anyone reared on MTV or who has read a Douglas Coupland novel. The authors provide you with lists of advocacy organizations and altematjve media, and information on voter registration. "Revolution X" is your basic "how-to" book. There is something in hereforjustabout anyone from America's "thirteenth" generation. From recycling newspapersto organizinganeighborhoodclean-up, Nelson and Cowan give you a thousand reasons to get involved. The chotee is yours.
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