Sting-Ray Afternoons

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Sting-Ray Afternoons audiobook

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Review #1

Sting-Ray Afternoons audiobook free

Hey, maybe as a kid Steve Rushin saw the writer’s life as one of easeful repose; it’s a common enough misperception, and one that he’s sought to perpetuate, describing his scribbling as a kind of offhand endeavor. Sorry about that: I don’t believe it of his sportswriting, and I sure don’t believe it of Sting-Ray Afternoons. As a journalist once put it: “Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” Sting-Ray is a small, incandescent work of memory, imagination and artistry, and books like this don’t come easily. With what I suspect was far greater effort than he would let on, Rushin has accomplished the memorialist’s task: to find shape and meaning in his own life, and to make it interesting and pertinent to us readers. In lovely, funny, acrobatic prose, he’s told a story that’s deeply American, one in which you’ll find echoes of your own, yet in the end is very much his own.


Review #2

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I read this book like I read the Sears Christmas Wish Book as a child – with hunger and zeal. So many great memories unearthed in this read but with a message as well, revealed with subtlety with the turn of a page. Such a treasure. One of my new all-time favorites. Simply a wonderful story told by a man skilled in his craft.


Review #3

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I am a 74 year-old woman who reared three children in a small Midwestern town in the 70’s. Steve Rushin’s story is his, not mine, but it certainly has elements with which I identified. Beyond that, it is just a great read. It is very unusual for a book to make me laugh out loud but this one did. His writing is as enjoyable as his story. Can you tell I loved this book? I read a lot, and I seldom give any book more than three stars because I find most of the things that I read are ordinary good books. I am giving this book 5 stars and recommending it for anyone from YA on up who likes a good and well written story.


Review #4

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As evocative a book about my childhood as I have ever read. Steve Rushin captures all the sporting, and lots of the cultural, highpoints of growing up a sports crazed kid in the 1970’s and 80s. I wore Tuff Skins and Jeepers and PF Flyers and dreamt of my first pair of low-cut black Cons with red laces from Herb’s Sport Shop. These sneakers were $9.99 and absolutely out of reach for my family, yet my Mother surprised me one day taking me on the bus to get those shoes. I could not have loved her any more then I did at that minute. One Friday afternoon I raced out of school to get to Little League practice only to forget I had ridden my Sting-Ray (gold with a tan seat) to school. I did not remember that until I was lying in my bed. Such a dilemma, if I go out and tell my parents they are apt to take the bike away from me. If I say nothing it may get stolen. I raced out of the house at 6:30 the next morning and the sigh of relief as I turned that school yard corner was epic.

The sports allegiances, the agony of defeat, the favorite players, the moments with my Dad…he captured all of those. I have to add I am extremely proud of the author when he writes about his Mom coming in as the substitute teacher and describes his armpit as “flagrant” eschewing (must have killed him to do so), the more Rushinesque “flagrant, fragrant armpit.”


Review #5

Free audio Sting-Ray Afternoons – in the audio player below

It’s hard to tell if it is because I am reading this in the summertime, which always seems a time of nostalgia for me, or if it’s because it came out at a time in my life when I long for simpler times. But Steve Rushin has created an absolutely charming trip down memory lane for me. His witty descriptions coupled with his mastery of social interactions has left me wanting for many, many more books such as this one. Truly a must-read for any male from any generation.


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