Friday 56 & Book Beginnings: Winning the City Redux

Winning the City Redux by Theodore Weesner Paperback | Kindle

This is it. Today is the day. The first practice of the year after school in the boy's gym. Time to show the speed, do the deed, take the lead! All these weeks and months Dale has been able to think of little else. Since last spring.
- p. 1

For Friday 56:
In Dale's adolescent mind another lyric begins circling the breaking day:
'You get loaded...and I fall to pieces.'
- line 56 in Part One

I got Theodore Weesner's new book up for review but the actual copy isn't with me yet, so I've had to rely on excerpts that were sent to me (and the little cheat on the Friday 56). I've read Weesner's The Car Thief which I found to be a look into a life of quiet desperation and utter aimlessness -- definitely capturing the teenage angst. This new one, on the other hand, is touted as a "coming-of-age tale [that] examines the roiling world of teenage sport."

Not so sure what to expect but I am glad that someone writes for the teenage boy, as there seems to be more than enough young adult writing for the teenage girl!
Synopsis: It’s Detroit, 1961. Fifteen-year-old Dale Wheeler, the son of an unemployed, alcoholic autoworker, has big dreams of leading his team to the City Basketball Championship. But his dream is shattered when Dale—the co-captain and top point guard—is cut from the team to make way for the son of a big money team sponsor.
His life in a tailspin, Dale finds a helping hand in Miss Furbish, the beautiful homeroom teacher whose well-meaning kindness gradually builds into a potentially dangerous passion. And in his lowest times, Dale gets a final shot at his dream: A hardscrabble team of street-ballers that may have what it takes to win the City Championship.

What others have to say
“It’s fascinating to see in which direction Weesner’s quiet, patient, 
almost unnerving talent takes him.” 
Joyce Carol Oates, Professor of Humanities and Creative Writing, Princeton University, Pulitzer Prize Nominee, National Book Award Winner, Author of Black Water, What I Lived For, and Blonde 

“Weesner is definitely a man to watch—and read.”

"A knockout!...Dale [Wheeler's] struggles to win in a world whose odds are stacked against outsiders…lead to a heartbreaking kind of disillusionment and courageous maturity." 
 Dan Wakefield, Boston Globe 

"Winning the City tells of a young athlete 'nearly driven out of mind with all that he knew,'…Theodore Weesner is an extraordinary writer." 
 Richard Yates 

"Winning the City is a fine novel, a crisply written story about 
a young boy's struggle to define himself." 
 James Carroll, Ploughshares

About the Author
Theodore Weesner, born in Flint, Michigan, is aptly described as a “Writers’ Writer” by the larger literary community. His short works have been published in the New Yorker, Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly and Best American Short Stories. His novels, including The True Detective, Winning the City and Harbor Light, have been published to great critical acclaim in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Magazine and The Los Angeles Times to name a few.


Winning the City Redux
by Theodore Weesner Paperback | Kindle


  1. I definitely am wondering what's going on in his mind... adolescent or not.

  2. I'll be watching for this book, especially since I almost always enjoy coming-of-age stories. Mr. Weesner certainly has impressive writing credentials too!
    A RELIABLE WIFE is featured on my blog today.

  3. You are always so kind to take the time to stop by my blog. Your 56 reminds me of a Patsy Cline song with lyrics, "I fall to pieces." Take care and have a wonderful weekend!


© guiltless readingMaira Gall