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Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories [Paperback]

Chris Crutcher
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 24 2002

In six tense, exciting short stories, athletes face up to more than sports in tales of love and death, of bigotry and heroism, of real people doing the best that they can, even when that best is not enough.

These stories feature new voices as well as characters from Chris Crutcher's acclaimed popular novels, including Stotan!, Running Loose, and The Crazy Horse Electric Game. Here are the moments that change lives forever.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

If the stereotype of the "bonehead jock" is ever to be defeated, it will be at Crutcher's hands. In these six short stories, he and his athlete protagonists take on such weighty issues as racism, homophobia, sexism and the teenager's essential task of coming to terms with his parents. At the same time the author makes the world of sports compelling enough to engage even the most sedentary readers. Three of the stories revolve around characters featured in Crutcher's The Crazy Horse Electric Game , including the memorable eccentric known as Telephone Man. Also starring in his own story is Lionel Serbousek, the orphaned artist and swimmer of Stotan! In the book's final tale, Louie Banks (from Running Loose ) is befriended by a young man with AIDS and must cope once again with the untimely death of a loved one. The stories' locales--mostly small towns in Montana and Idaho--are vividly evoked, and make a satisfying change from the well-known big cities and bland suburbs where so many YA novels are set. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 8-12-- A winning collection of stories, one of which has appeared in print before. Some of the characters from Crutcher novels pop up in these stories, often speaking in a colloquial and realistic first-person voice. As the title suggests, athletics are part of the selections; and Crutcher, as usual, is best at accurately portraying the world of high school teammates and coaches--readers can practically smell the sweat. In the first story--a monologue by a fat guy who manages to keep his dignity--the author seamlessly blends humor with more serious elements. Crutcher's fans expect almost operatic flights of emotion, and he more than delivers here. The short story format keeps the action focused and definitely packs a punch. The final entry, a gritty, no-holds-barred account of the fear surrounding AIDS, is especially effective. These Athletic Shorts will speak to YAs, touch them deeply, and introduce them to characters they'll want to know better.
- Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL -
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Feb. 23 2007
In ATHLETIC SHORTS, Chris Crutcher presents original short stories involving characters from his previous novels. In the book's forward, Crutcher explains, "In my travels around the country and in letters from readers, I am constantly asked what happens to certain characters in my books. So once in a while I check in" (pp. ix-x).

Each of these short stories involves a central character from a previous novel, but, while Crutcher may have intended a particular story to be a prequel or an afterward, the stories remain independent. So a person who has not read RUNNING LOOSE will still be able to understand the storyline behind IN THE TIME I GET, in which Louie Banks looks into the eyes of a friend dying of AIDS and realizes the value of time. Additionally, after getting a taste of Crutcher's novels through his short stories, readers may well be inspired to go out and acquire the novels themselves.

Athletics are the uniting theme throughout these stories, but they also give Crutcher a medium to introduce physical, mental, and emotional challenges for his characters. Sports allow a safe setting for conflict and failure, while also providing a site for characters to achieve and excel.

Thumbs Up! Award Winner, 1992

Reviewed by: Mechele R. Dillard
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By A Customer
Title: Athletic Shorts: 6 Short Stories- Telephone Man
Author: Chris Crutcher
Classification: Humor
Summary: A racist story, of a young highschool boy who goes to a nigger school. Jack, more likely known as Telephone Man, is sent to this school, because of trouble in his regular shcool. Telephone Man goes through a great adventure one day and learns of not being so racis.
Comparison: This book is similar to the book Stotan, because of the same author. I feel this story seems to relate to Stotan since both stories have the main Character fighting for what he believes in. Both books have humor in them and a little bit of sadness. In both books, the main characters went through a lot and realized something about themselves.
Personal Reaction: This story to me made me laugh but in in some parts made me sad, just thinking about how the others were treated. Espically from this quote in the story, it really makes me think about how I should treat others, "But while I walked, I got to think a little bit, which is something I don't usually like to do beacuse it makes me feel nervous and I wondered if my dad would mind if I stopped hating niggers for a while." pg 128. This can really make me think twice now about hating someone for their looks or the way the do things differently. The author of this book can make me think about people in a different way and make me act the same way to them as I would want them to act to me. Chris Crutcher can really show how to treat one another and how to fight for what you really want, in his stories. I really enjoy the story Telephone Man in this book, and it was a great story to get a laugh out of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good stories Aug. 2 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
All of the stories in Athletic Shorts were good. But there are two them that I liked the best. Those two are Lion's story and Louie's story. Lion had kept so much of his anger inside of him due to the fact that one of his friends killed his parents in a boating accident. He didn't realize that he almost did the same thing to his friends one time when they all got drunk and went for a drive out on the ice. Louie's story was both heart- warming and emotional. Even though I didn't cry, I was on the verge of tears at some points. He befriends a young man with AIDS, and they become pretty close over the next couple of weeks.Trying to decide whether he should stay friends with Darren is a tough choice that he has to make. It doesn't help that his best friend Carter( who I think Louie really truly loves and cares deeply about as a friend) doesn't like Darren. That makes his choice even harder. Chris Crutcher really makes you feel what all the characters in the different stories are feeling. Whether it be wrestling your father for more than just entertainment, or dancing with the girl of your dreams, Mr. Crutcher really makes you feel you are there witnessing every moment as you are reading the story. That is what I like most about his books. Will there be a continuation of Lion's story anytime? I really like his story the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a keeper!! March 27 2003
Being a high school athlete, this is a cook that I was really able to relate to. Each character in the story shows that he/she is able solve his/her problem through their sports. All of he characters display high morale, which leads them to what they want at the end of their story. an example would be Angus, from the story "A Brief Moment in the Life of Angus Bethune." He believed that no one should be treated as he was, and at thet end of the story, this trait won over his high-school sweetheart. These stories all show good kids goig through their tough teenage years, and the ways that they cope with these tough times. This book was one of the best that I have read. It showed that no matter how bad the situation is, you can always get what you want in the end if try for it hard enough.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Athletic shorts, by Chris Crutcher is a book about 6 short stories that describe athletes triumphs. I loved this book. Its would interest me around every corner. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2003 by A reader from SMS
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
I thought Athletic Shorts was a good book because it was easy to understand since it was about sports. Read more
Published on Oct. 16 2003 by SMS Student
5.0 out of 5 stars Courage shown by the imperfect facing the impossible
Another great book by Chris Crutcher -- this one containing six short stories with troubled or stressed teens facing difficult situations. Read more
Published on April 22 2003 by Frank
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What an eye opener.
These six short stories that I have read in the book, Athletic Shorts,really is an insperation to realize that there really are people in the world that can fit this profile. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What an eye opener.
These six short stories that I have read in the book, Athletic Shorts,really is an insperation to realize that there really are people in the world that can fit this profile. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Vinny review
This was one of my favorite books. I loved it! The way the book was worded kept me on my feet. The way it relates to life in such a manor is great. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars My thoughts on this book.
Well this is a good book, the stories are very well written. Each person in each story has their own personality and own set of problems, and the all try to work them out them... Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2001 by Jake Jeckle
5.0 out of 5 stars Most emmotive book you will ever read
This book is categorized for "young adults," but I would recommend these stories as much to an 18 year old as I would to an 80 year old. Read more
Published on May 7 2000 by Ali
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Screw 'Em!
I love this book! Especially the Angus Bathune story. I've seen the movie, have the soundtrack and now I've finished the book. Can you say obsessed? Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2000
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