corner corner Word Freak : Heartbreak Triumph Genius Obsession World Competitive Scrabble Players

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Word Freak : Heartbreak Triumph Genius Obsession World Competitive Scrabble Players
by Stefan Fatsis | Nonfiction
Registered by brewski of Markham, Ontario Canada on 3/3/2005
Average 6 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Channosaurus): permanent collection


2 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Thursday, March 03, 2005

This book has not been rated.

From Publishers Weekly

It takes a special kind of person to be able to rattle off all the words that start with the letter q but don't require a u or to immediately recognize that the same letters used for the word "troutmania" can also spell "maturation" and "natatorium." These talented individuals are the subject of Fatsis's tell-all on the professional Scrabble realm's inner sanctum. The Wall Street Journal sports reporter (and author of Wild and Outside) began simply as a curious journalist but was soon obsessed, befriending dozens of experts in his passage from "living room player" to the continent's 180th (or so) best player. The book entertainingly and admiringly portrays the irreverent crowd that lives, eats and breathes Scrabble, interspersing mini-profiles with updates on Fatsis's progress and historical facts about the game. Among the cast of characters familiar with words like "eloiners" and "loxodrome" are "G.I." Joel Sherman, who directs the Manhattan Scrabble Club despite his dental problems, asthma attacks and lactose intolerance; Matt Graham, a stand-up comedian who let Scrabble fill the void when he got fired from his gig at Saturday Night Live; and Steve Williams, a Harvard grad with psychiatric problems, also the winner of the 1977 New York City championship. Fatsis gives an in-depth Scrabble history, too from portraying Alfred Butts, the game's meticulous Depression-era inventor, to explaining how Hasbro manages to sell over one million sets a year with minimal advertising. Journalistic, expressive prose helps transform this potentially dry account of some word-obsessed oddballs into a funny, albeit vertical, glimpse at one of America's quirkiest special-interest groups. (July 10)Forecast: Are there 25,000 hardcore Scrabble fans out there? Hard to say, but Houghton Mifflin is counting on it, and in order to reach them, the house is taking an NPR sponsorship (Fatsis is an NPR contributor) and sending the author on a six-city tour. He is booked on the Today Show. 


Journal Entry 2 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, June 21, 2005

This book has not been rated.

I'm putting this one aside for my brother who I think may enjoy reading this. 


Journal Entry 3 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, June 21, 2005

7 out of 10

Well this certainly was an interesting insight into the world of professional Scrabble players. While it was quite interesting and the words used in professional competition were fascinating, I have no desire to follow the path the author followed in becoming a professional :)

I did however enjoy reading this account of the author's journey from a living room player to a professional, although some of the detailed descriptions of study techniques were a bit slow at times. All in all though this was definitely an interesting ready that I could recommmend to others. 


Journal Entry 4 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, July 12, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Headed to California with my brother on July 10, 2005. 


Journal Entry 5 by Channosaurus from Los Angeles, California USA on Friday, January 26, 2007

6 out of 10

While I enjoy the occasional game of Scrabble, these people are crazy. Interesting journey... 


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