PIN ACTION Gets Great Write-Up in Creative Loafing

I recently dusted off my bowling shoes and began practicing again for the first time in years. If you’ve read the preface of my new book, PIN ACTION, you know I squandered my childhood in the bowling alleys of Brooklyn, bowling at least a hundred games a week during summers and almost as much when school was in, whenever my parents capitulated to my begging. But it’s been a long time since I was that 14-year-old kid shooting 300 in youth leagues with nothing to worry about but bowling and trying to get through Dark World on Super Mario 3. Despite a couple 200 games in practice, generally, I must admit, time has not been kind to my neglected bowling game.

That became obvious when I hit the lanes with Creative Loafing writer, David Z. Morris, with whom I went bowling in Tampa recently to shoot a couple games and chat about my new book over beers. Turns out, the guy is a phenomenally talented writer, and put together an hilarious and memorable piece about me, my diminished bowling skills, and, most of all, my book, PIN ACTION. The article appeared in Creative Loafing–Tampa Bay’s excellent “Books Issue,” which came out on Dec. 17. That issue features a solid review of the new biography of my favorite playwright, Tennessee Williams, among other great stories about good books that came out this year.

You can check out Morris’s story about PIN ACTION here.

But, really, check out the whole issue. It is must-read stuff for book lovers. You can find it here.

Tampa Bay Times Publishes Rave Review of PIN ACTION!

PIN ACTION has attracted a number of very impressive reviews from high places such as Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal. But to get a rave review from your hometown newspaper, and one for which you have immense respect, well, that takes the cake. Check out this great, fabulously well-written review of PIN ACTION by Colette Bancroft, Book Editor for the Tampa Bay Times. It is great fun to read, as Colette takes us back to her own childhood memories of bowling as “a little baby boomer back in the 1950s,” while exploring the PIN ACTION’s account of that bygone world.

You can read the review here: http://www.tampabay.com/features/books/review-pin-action-a-nostalgic-look-at-shady-side-of-bowling/2208768

 

Amazon.com Names PIN ACTION a “Best Book of the Month”!

BBOMThere is so much news surrounding my new book, PIN ACTION, that I hardly know where to begin. Perhaps the most exciting news, beyond the fact that it was officially released on November 4 and is now available everywhere books and ebooks are sold, is the news that Amazon.com has named PIN ACTION a “Best Book of the Month” for November in the nonfiction category.

Soon thereafter, another terrific review came in, this time from Book Riot, and it’s a very fun read. I can pretty much guarantee you will laugh out loud, which is perfect, because that’s what PIN ACTION is all about–having a great time while you take a journey back to a bygone world. You can check out Book Riot’s awesome review here.

Additionally, the folks at Biographile were kind enough to ask me to write a little something for their website about the kind of gritty, gangster-and-gambler-ridden world PIN ACTION explores. They loved the piece, and it subsequently was picked up by Digg, one of the biggest news aggregators on the web. You can check out the story here.

PIN ACTION currently is available at the following online destinations, and now in all brick-and-mortar stores as well:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Powell’s

Indie Bound

Gianmarc
traklwright@aol.com
Follow Gianmarc on Twitter

 

PIN ACTION Scores a Great Review from Library Journal!

“This well-researched account is for those who remember the glory days of bowling. Others will be fascinated by the gritty side of the sport, which few knew existed.” 

                                                                                                                      – Library Journal

It has been thrilling beyond description to see the great reviews of PIN ACTION pour in from so many outlets. The latest is from Library Journal, which you can check out online here.

PIN ACTION currently is available for pre-order at the following online destinations:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Powell’s

Indie Bound

Gianmarc
traklwright@aol.com
Follow Gianmarc on Twitter

PIN ACTION Gets Another Great Review, This Time from Kirkus Reviews!

“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:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Powell’s

Indie Bound

Gianmarc
traklwright@aol.com
Follow Gianmarc on Twitter