Year of the Dunk: A Modest Defiance of Gravity

Crown. May 2015. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9780804138031. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780804138048. SPORTS
OrangeReviewStarFunny and informative, this book is a real pleasure. Along with the story of his year-long attempt to get his body in enough shape to dunk a basketball, Journalist Price tells us about his battle with testicular cancer and the science behind jumping insects and robots. We also learn a lot about the history of the fitness movement and physical education in the United States. Ultimately, though, the book is a meditation on human limitations. Are all of us born to jump while only some take advantage of this potential? Or are some of us simply physically unable to jump very high, no matter how much we train? One particularly interesting point Price makes is that great and successful athletes simply do not recognize limits to their potential, while simultaneously being possessed of a greater awareness of their bodies than most of us could ever hope to attain. In other words, they're just not like the rest of us.
VERDICT You don't have to be a sports fan or an aspiring athlete to enjoy this profound debut memoir. Let's hope we hear more from Price soon.

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