Publishers Weekly Review

I absolutely, positively promise any/all readers that I will not turn this blog into a personal love-fest. I loathe writers who brag; who think they’re God’s gifts to the literary world and who believe that what we do is—of all things—important.

That said, I got my first real review today for “Boys Will Be Boys,” and I’m psyched. From a writer’s standpoint, it’s not that reviews provide a sense of self-worth or make you feel extra-special or anything like that. I mean, you either feel good about what you’ve accomplished, or you don’t, and no review (be it The New York Times or the Pennywhistle Press) should impact that sense. However, we’re also human, and kind words are appreciated, just as mean words (and they’ll certainly come in droves) hurt.

So here’s the review, straight outta Compton (well, Publishers Weekly):

“In his latest effort, Pearlman (The Bad Guys Won!) tells the story of how the Dallas Cowboys went from being a league doormat to a Super Bowl-winning machine. It’s the cast of characters that makes this story a page-turner, starting with controlling owner Jerry Jones; all-business coach Jimmy Johnson, who would cut a player without blinking; and star players Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, and Deion Sanders. Pearlman explores the many other people who bought into the philosophy that “If you were going to be a Dallas Cowby…you needed to live the life”–and that meant, in the early 90s, plenty of infidelity, cocaine, nightly trip to gentlemen’s clubs and hangovers at practice. Pearlman interviewed nearly 150 members of the Cowboys organization for the book, but much of the terrific details comes from such tangential folks as journalists, players’ wives and staff at the local Cowboys restaurant. The anecdotes range from uplifting (the heartwarming story of quarterback Troy Aikman granting a wish to a dying boy) to raunchy (defensive end Charles Haley, while playing for the 49ers, often masturbated in the locker room). In the end, Pearlman has produced a narrative that is as entertaining as it is insightful. (Sept).