Mansbach’s new novel is Rage Is Back.
Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I just took the first vacation I can remember – a week in a remote part of Mexico with my family – and when we got to the hacienda, The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons was sitting on the library shelf, just waiting for me. 700 pages of obsessive, irascible, deeply-committed arguments about the history, the future, and even the what-ifs of professional hoops. Simmons is from Boston, like me, and he grew up reading the same great Boston Globe scribes I did, guys like Bob Ryan, Peter Gammons, and Leigh Montville. Then, Simmons redefined the scope of modern sportswriting, by injecting it with irreverence, frenetic pop culture references, personal anecdotes, and a kind of totalizing worldview that doesn't hold sports up as a metaphor for life so much as posit life a metaphor for sports. The way Simmons argues about basketball is like the way hip-hoppers argue about MCing: he goes fifty pages debating the point-by-point merits of Wilt vs. Russell, we go three hours discussing Rakim vs. KRS-One. Anyway, the book is captivating and often hilarious, and my vacation went something like this:Visit Adam Mansbach's website.
"Oh, my God – Adam, look! A humpback whale just breached! It's gotta be less than a mile offshore!"
"Mmm-hmm." (turns page).
"Wow, another one – this is amazing!"
"All you've gotta do is look up."
"You saw that one? He must have been thirty feet out of the water."
"No, no – I can't believe how low Simmons has Earl Monroe ranked on his 96 Greatest Players Pyramid, is all."(tense silence)
My Book, The Movie: Rage Is Back.
The Page 69 Test: Rage Is Back.