Wright Thompson is one of America’s best long-form sportswriters because his stories are never “just” about sports. Thompson explores sports through the lenses of people, politics, regions, culture, and history with a deft eye, keen wit, and profound empathy, and delivers his stories through gorgeous prose. Thompson is a treasure, and while this collection is a must-read for sports fans, non–sports fans will absolutely be able to appreciate and enjoy Thompson’s writing, too.
The instant New York Times bestseller!
From one of America's most beloved sportswriters, a collection of true stories about the dream of greatness and its cost in the world of sports.
"Wright Thompson's stories are so full of rich characters, bad actors, heroes, drama, suffering, courage, conflict, and vivid detail that I sometimes thinks he's working my side of the street - the world of fiction." - John Grisham
There is only one Wright Thompson. He is, as they say, famous if you know who he is: his work includes the most read articles in the history of ESPN (and it's not even close) and has been anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing series ten times, and he counts John Grisham and Richard Ford among his ardent admirers (see back of book). But to say his pieces are about sports, while true as far as it goes, is like saying Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove is a book about a cattle drive. Wright Thompson figures people out. He jimmies the lock to the furnaces inside the people he profiles and does an analysis of the fuel that fires their ambition. Whether it be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Pat Riley or Urban Meyer, he strips the away the self-serving myths and fantasies to reveal his characters in full. There are fascinating common denominators: it may not be the case that every single great performer or coach had a complex relationship with his father, but it can sure seem that way. And there is much marvelous local knowledge: about specific sports, and times and places, and people. Ludicrously entertaining and often powerfully moving, The Cost of These Dreams is an ode to the reporter's art, and a celebration of true greatness and the high price that it exacts.
About the Author
Wright Thompson is a senior writer for ESPN. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his family.
""Thompson has written some of the most important pieces of contemporary sports journalism . . . demonstrating unparalleled insight into the lives of the most compelling figures in sport. . . . This volume elevates reporting and writing that was already operating above the rim.” —The New York Times
"Knockout sportswriting from Wright Thompson . . . Mr. Thompson is an investigator of men’s souls, though his writing is as much about the search for clues as it is about what he finds. . . . None of these pieces are strictly sports stories, but all exemplify the high purpose to which so much sports writing aspires today." —Wall Street Journal
"Wright is a supremely gifted writer who cuts through the mythology with a scalpel.” —The National Book Review
“[Thompson] demonstrates his storytelling talents by probing the personalities of some of the biggest names in sports, both past and present, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Ted Williams, and Bear Bryant.” —Christian Science Monitor
“Mississippi native Wright Thompson is not only the best active sportswriter in America but also one of the best writers, period. This collection compiles his greatest pieces.” —Men’s Journal
“Thompson demonstrates his talent, deftly portraying a diverse cast of athletes and coaches. . . . [He] also brilliantly reprises the riots and other events surrounding James Meredith’s enrollment at Ole Miss in 1962 and the school’s outstanding football team during that tumultuous year.” —Booklist
“Thompson’s abundant strengths as a long-form journalist are evident on nearly every page…. Richly researched and textured writing that reveals the humanity of the author’s subjects.” —Kirkus Reviews