First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : Crown Archetype, [2014]
223 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Chronicling a century of highs and lows at Wrigley Field, George Will explores the home of the hapless Chicago Cubs in relation to his upbringing, the growth of Chicago, the history of baseball, and the nature of sports fandom.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 195-213) and index.
9780385349314 (hardback)
0385349319 (hardback)
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Chicago Cubs (Baseball team)
Baseball players
Baseball stadium
Major league baseball teams
Professional sports
Chicago, Illinois - Midwest (U.S.)
Time Period
1914-2014 -- 20th-21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

The movie Anchorman, about a television anchorman who is as vain as he is dense, was a hit when it came out in 2004, largely owing to the inspired clowning of its stars Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. Now Anchorman 2 is hitting the movie houses and with it comes this made-up autobiography of the hottest anchorman in San Diego, "Ron Burgundy," as he will be the first to tell you. (Burgundy boasts that he knew early on that he "had the avocados for anchorman work.") The book captures the quality of Burgundy's thoughts (if indeed he is capable of thought) in hours of recorded conversations with himself. Unfortunately, the broad humor that made the movie work translates less well into print. What we have here is essentially a one-joke book, filled with tasteless, potty humor about real-life celebrities, and inane non sequiturs, including one on how to survive a prison riot and another about hunting jackalopes with Peter Lawford and Bobby Kennedy. The book will make the reader laugh for a few minutes, but the humor is thin, and it wears out quickly. Verdict Lovers of Anchorman may flock to this work, but they'll forget what they read as soon as they've finished.-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

More than just about a ballpark with a powerful mystique, Will's (Men at Work) book on Wrigley Field offers a rich history of the city of Chicago through its hapless baseball team. In celebration of the ballpark's 100th year, Will compiles a random batch of anecdotes and history about the franchise that inhabits this much loved though antiquated structure with its famous ivy-covered walls. ("It is not a good sign for fans when their team's venue is better known for the attractiveness of its flora than for the excellence of the athletes who have played there," Will quips.) Broad-ranging topics include beer and its legendary importance in baseball, the long-standing resistance to installing lights for night games, personality quirks of the father-son owners, chewing gum kings William and P.K. Wrigley, and colorful takes on famed Cub Ernie Banks and (mostly) beloved sportscaster Harry Caray. The reader will learn about numbers--attendance, beer prices, stadium stats, monies paid for the team-and enjoy reflections by the author, who understands firsthand the trials and tribulations of being a Cubs fan. Rooting for the Cubs, he writes, is "a lifelong tutorial in delay gratification." As Will illustrates in his book, there's plenty for Cubs fans to celebrate from the past 100 years, even if a world series isn't one of them. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"George Will on baseball. Perfect."-- Los Angeles Times In A Nice Little Place on the North Side, leading columnist George Will returns to baseball with a deeply personal look at his hapless Chicago Cubs and their often beatified home, Wrigley Field, as it turns one hundred years old. Baseball, Will argues, is full of metaphors for life, religion, and happiness, and Wrigley is considered one of its sacred spaces. But what is its true, hyperbole-free history? Winding beautifully like Wrigley's iconic ivy, Will's meditation on "The Friendly Confines" examines both the unforgettable stories that forged the field's legend and the larger-than-life characters--from Wrigley and Ruth to Veeck, Durocher, and Banks--who brought it glory, heartbreak, and scandal. Drawing upon his trademark knowledge and inimitable sense of humor, Will also explores his childhood connections to the team, the Cubs' future, and what keeps long-suffering fans rooting for the home team after so many years of futility. In the end, A Nice Little Place on the North Side is more than just the history of a ballpark. It is the story of Chicago, of baseball, and of America itself.
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