Monday, January 21, 2013

Adam Mansbach

Adam Mansbach’s books include the number one international bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, the California Book Award– winning novel The End of the Jews, and the cult classic Angry Black White Boy. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, and The Believer, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

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:

"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!"
"No kidding."
"All you've gotta do is look up."
"Holy shit!"
"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)
Visit Adam Mansbach's website.

My Book, The Movie: Rage Is Back.

The Page 69 Test: Rage Is Back.

--Marshal Zeringue