North Dallas Forty

Thoughts   North Dallas Forty by Peter Gent, A Signet Book NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY Times Mirror 1974, 294 pages (given up on page 105.)

I was going to count this book for both the What’s in a Name 3 Challenge* and the Read-the-Book-See-the-Movie Challenge, but I’m throwing it on the DNF** pile.     I have no idea how this paperback came to be in my possession.

This is what the back of the book says:

Eight days in the life of a pro-football player.  Eight days of savagery, pain, drugs, drinking, laughter, raunchy sex, and haunting love between a man and a woman you come to care about deeply.  Eight days that take you into the heart of a man, a team, a sport, a game, and the raw power and violence that is America itself.  The author, Peter Gent, former offensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, has emerged as an astonishing writing talent.

I never read the blurbs when I start a book.    Perhaps I should.    As I typed that quote above, it was the first time I had read it.     And except for the part about caring deeply, it is accurate.   And the laughter;  no chuckles at all from me.   Oh, and I don’t know if I would go so far as to call Gent an astonishing talent.

I made it a third of the way through when I started to wonder if anything was going to happen.   The plot never seemed to take off and suggest it was going anywhere at all.    We just followed poor Phil Elliot around Dallas from his professional football practice sessions to his affair with a woman engaged to one of the owner’s of the team to more parties where he drank a lot and smoked a bunch of pot.  Lots of pain, lots of drugs, not much else.

I must have missed that ‘conflict’;  the one required for a story to be a story so I could care about it getting resolved one way or the other.

I was reading in the best conditions, too – no demands on my time (on vacation), sitting by the pool, enjoying a cool and refreshing beverage.   Then I realized ‘This guy is an asshole.”    I doubt I’ll ever watch the movie.

ONE to NONE slices of pie.   “I didn’t like it.

*  Looking through the books stacked around the house, I have these to offer for a PLACE replacement for the What’s in a Name 3 Challenge:    Daphne DuMaurier’s Jamaica Inn, Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, Cape Cod by William Martin, Hard City by Clark Howard, Laura Moriarty’s The Center of Everything.   But then I realized that the title of the book I’m currently getting into, The Samurai’s Garden, is a PLACE and will slide into the spot beautifully. Up in the Air might work, too.   It’s a place, right?

** DNF = Did Not Finish


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

6 thoughts on “North Dallas Forty

    1. ha! I just had a thought… This book must be what they call ‘dicklit’!?
      I used to not give up on books but when you have more and more staring at you from the shelves vying for attention, it gets easier to say ‘SKIP! on to the next please!’

    1. I did have high hopes. At least it is comforting that Friday Night Lights (in house!) will be tremendously BETTER when I try my next football-read.

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