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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

Book 26/100: Headstrong by Patrick Link

HeadstrongHeadstrong by Patrick Link
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read Harder Challenge Item: A Play

This is one of those "books" I never would have listened to if a) I hadn't gotten it free from SYNC and b) it didn't fit one of my challenge items. I mean, it's about sports -- and of all sports, football. So, yeah, not really up my alley (this is from the former cheerleader who used to secretly hope her team would lose so the cheerleading season wouldn't extend into "finals" ...)

But this play is definitely worth a listen, even if you totally tune out the moment you hear the word "sports." What it's really about is the balance our culture needs to strike between a game that is revered and the very real suffering that occurs because of it. Specifically, it's about the danger of long-term brain damage from both major concussions or chronic, minor head trauma that occurs within the sport of football. Although it very clearly DOES have an agenda and ALMOST veers into being didactic at times, what keeps it from being so is the thoughtfulness with which it approaches the subject, allowing its characters to give real voice to the reasons changing the game of football is anathema to some and the lingering shame that comes with permanent injury. Also, the characters seem perfectly "cast" -- I could "see" them in my mind, along with the setting, so vividly even though there were no stage directions; it's basically like listening to a radio show.

Should probably be read or performed in all high schools, freshman year, even if it means ticking a bunch of people off.

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