Other Sellers on Amazon
+ FREE Delivery
+ S$8.63 delivery
Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper Paperback – 1 July 2007
|New from||Used from|
Enhance your purchase
- Language : English
- Paperback : 261 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061132985
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061132988
- Customer reviews:
About the Author
Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He quit his first career--as an almost rock star--to become a writer. He has since taught English at Columbia, worked for The New York Times, and published three non-Freakonomics books.
No customer reviews
|5 star (0%)||0%|
|4 star (0%)||0%|
|3 star (0%)||0%|
|2 star (0%)||0%|
|1 star (0%)||0%|
Review this product
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
But it's impossible to get through even a chapter of Confessions of a Hero Worshipper, by Stephen J. Dubner, without stepping back taking a longer look at our own trajectories.
In fact, the book, which details a psychic journey of mythic proportions conducted by shuttle between New York and Pittsburgh, is nothing but a long look back at the childhood of the author, carefree until his father's unexpected death at 57 years of age. Dubner proceeded to do what any 10 year old kid would have done, set about to replace that figure, and he promptly selected a football player, Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who in very unlikely fashion proceeded to fill the gap in a profound way. For a time Dubner signed his school work, "Franco Dubner."
Dubner grew up, went off to college, got a job and pretty much forgot Franco, until a chance sighting of the former football star on a magazine cover ignited a fool's errand, for the author to actually meet his childhood hero and establish a connection.
In the process Dubner is forced to re-examine the loss of his father, look long and hard at how he filled that void and, more importantly, take stock of the remaining sense of loss and sorrow.
In reading the book, I found it impossible not to examine such holes in my past, as well.
I'm currently reading "Turbulent Souls," another book by Dubner, which details the strange spiritual and cultural journey taken by his parents, which led them from a life as Jews in New York City to life as committed Catholics on a farm in rural Upstate New York. That's where they all were when I came to know them during my year in Duanesburg as the 13 year shortstop of the local sandlot baseball team.
However, Dubner doesn't get the Pittsburgh mindset, despite mining the Steelers story for years (as the articles in the P.S. demonstrate). Pittsburghers do not suffer from an inferiority complex as Dubner asserts. Perhaps living in New York has made him equate not being full of oneself with an inferiority complex. Like most Pittsburghers I know, Franco Harris is open, friendly, down-to-earth, hardworking but a little offbeat and not the least bit full of himself. Perhaps we like Franco not only because of the immaculate reception, but also because he is just like us.
Dubner takes one small aspect of American society shared by many people-the worship of a sports hero at a young age-and explores it. He meets Harris as an adult and decides to write a book on him. Only the experience doesn't turn out to be the dream of a lifetime. In many ways, it is more of a nightmare.
The reader feels for both the author and Harris. Franco Harris clearly is an athlete who has moved on with his life, much to his credit. At times, the author seemed to almost stalk him. Yet you feel for the author also. No one should lose the image of a hero at any stage in his or her life.
I would recommend this book for sports lovers of all ages and both genders. If you're not into sports, then this would be a more challenging read. Yet most people have heroes in their youth in many arenas (sports, history, politics), so in that sense, the book's theme is universal.