“Who knew bowling alleys could tell such entertaining stories?” – Kirkus Reviews
One thing I’ve never forgotten since reading Freud’s THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS in grad school is his assertion that typically the life experiences that filter into our dreams are among the least consequential and most forgettable experiences we have. I can’t remember if he offered an explanation of why this is, but I have found it to be true in my case often enough to believe he was on to something.
I find the same sometimes is true of our waking lives–some things we experience instantly stamp themselves on our memories and we never really are able to explain to ourselves why they have lingered with us. For me, one of those experiences was the night I did something I usually never have the tolerance for–I watched the Grammy Awards in its entirety in 1998, only because Bob Dylan was up for Album of the Year for his brilliant TIME OUT OF MIND, this Dylanologist’s favorite Dylan record.
I guess a few things struck me about that show–you know, Soy Bomb. Right. And the killer performance Dylan gave that night, a blistering and brooding rendition of the album’s opening track, “Love Sick,” featuring Dylan on a sizzling electric guitar solo. I’ve come to prefer that version over the studio take, which is rare, because Dylan usually murders his own material live. But here’s the thing that struck me about that night for reasons I’ve never understood–until, I think, now. Speaking for himself and those who had a hand in making that great record, guys like Daniel Lanois, keyboard and organ maestro Augie Meyers of Texas Tornados [sic] fame, and the terribly under-celebrated engineer, Mark Howard–Dylan said “We didn’t know what we had.”
I wondered, how is that possible? How do you not know what you had when what you had is so plainly brilliant? At least, it was plainly brilliant to me. But now I think I know what he meant, because I didn’t know what I had when I put the final period on my upcoming book, PIN ACTION: Small-Time Gangsters, High-Stakes Gambling, and the Teenage Hustler who Became a Bowling Champion. But as great reviews like this latest one from Kirkus Reviews keep coming in, I am starting to think that maybe I do know what I have here, and maybe it’s pretty good.
I think my favorite moment in the Kirkus review is this: “[Manzione] loves the sport, the era and the characters and makes good on the promise that ‘if it is even remotely as much fun for you to read about as it was for me to write about, then the journey will have been well worth the trip for both of us.’
Well, damn. That is pretty much all I needed to hear, because that is all I’ve set out to do here–write a book people have a great time reading. Thank you, Kirkus.
Check out the review here.
PIN ACTION currently is available for pre-order at the following online destinations: