A profound disappointment for Halberstam fans,
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made (Taschenbuch)
I am a keen admirer of Halberstam, especially his sports books. In fact, I think "Breaks of the Game" is the best book ever written on the NBA. Perhaps that raised my expectations for this book to unreasonable levels. But I don't think so.
Halberstam still has many enjoyable anecdotes to share, and some readers may find them worth the price. But, as others have noted, Jordan would not sit for an interview, and that, for this book, is a killer. Because, in the end, there is nothing in the way of review or analysis that hasn't been presented elsewhere, nor is this effort particularly well written -- it has none of Halberstam's signature insights -- or edited. It feels something of a clip-and-paste job.
Sadly, the most interesting part is Halberstam's author's note, at the end of the book. He discusses his own reluctance to do it -- raising the same issues as reviewers here touch on (he'd done his NBA book; was another Jordan book needed? the need to write it quickly, etc.) -- and then adds that he thought he'd have Jordan's input, even if it were limited to a couple of days of interviews. When Jordan apparently reversed himself, it was presumably too late. The best Halberstam can say is that Jordan never told his close friends not to speak with Halberstam. That's where many of the anecdotes come from.
Just to be straight with readers, the author's note ought to have been put up front, to alert browsers about what they could expect.
And to Dan La Batard of ESPN, who was quoted on the jacket that this is the best book he's ever read about sports, a word of advice: You should read more. Some of Halberstam's OTHER sports book, for starters...