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American Icon vs. The Rocket That Fell To Earth

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Sneed, May 13, 2009.

  1. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    Just curious as to which of the two Roger Clemens books folks around these parts prefer. I've read Pearlman's "Rocket that Fell to Earth" and liked it fine. I thought the intertwining of Clemens' ascension with his brother's life was pretty impressive.

    I haven't read American Icon yet.

    What do you all think about the two?
  2. I've just read the Pearlman book, but it seems to be a similar situation to when the Bonds books were out. This time, Pearlman rushed his Clemens book out first, so as not to get lost in the shuffle again.

    The Pearlman book played to his strengths - interviewing massive amounts of former teammates and acquaintances, along with digging through a massive amount of first-hand periodical accounts to construct a clean, chronological, readable narrative. For sure the definitive existing portrait of Clemens, the man.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I'll take C) "Luckiest Man." Or D) "Clemente."
  4. Did you notice those weren't options?
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Indeed I did. It was my subtle way of saying there are so many better ways to enlighten oneself than via the hard-cover tabloids. Apologies for my lack of directness.
  6. I knew what you were getting at. Pearlman's book is hardly a "hard-cover tabloid." Might try to read it before you pass judgment.
  7. jeff.pearlman

    jeff.pearlman Member

    You know what's funny? I literally just had this conversation with somebody today—how, because I wrote a biography on Roger Clemens in the midst of his PHD whirlwind, people automatically assume it's a "steroid" or "tabloid" book. I understand the perception, but it stinks, because (from an admittedly capitalistic standpoint) it seems to alienate a lot of potential readers. I might be wrong, but I believe we've hit a saturation point in this country when it comes to the average sports reader and PHD articles/books/essays/etc. People are sick of the whole thing, so even though my goal was to delve into Clemens' background and makeup and figure out what led him to this point, many automatically assume my book is out there to expose the man as a cheat—period.

    Anyhow, I'm not upset. I get it. But it's a bit frustrating.
  8. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Have you had a chance to read American Icon, Jeff, and if so would you recommend it?
  9. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    For a second I thought you were making a funny and asking him if he had read his own book.

    Oh well, I'm an idiot.
  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    C. Neither.
  11. greenlantern

    greenlantern Guest

    This thread title made me think it was about Superman.
  12. I thought the most compelling stuff was the early years - Little League, high school, San Jacinto and Texas. After that, I'm sure it was more difficult to dig up new info. Have you ever read the David Maraniss book on Bill Clinton, "First in His Class"? Obviously Clemens isn't quite the significant figure as the president was at the time, but it seems there's some influence there in terms of reconstructing someone's early years. Or maybe all good biography has that in common.

    I've always been torn between wanting to profile the living and the dead. The dead give you a clean ending, a finished story. The living still have people out there who remember them as kids.
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