Fantasy Life: The Hilarious, Obsessive, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports

Matthew Berry. Riverhead, $27.95 (360p) ISBN 978-1-59448-625-8
Mixing autobiography with reportage on friends and field-famous players, ESPN personality Berry delves into the psychology and, more to the point, the comedy of fantasy sports. From mustache-growing pacts to Twitter accounts devoted exclusively to intra-league trash talk, Berry introduces some of the most creative fantasy traditions known to breed league-spirit. His tone—laid-back, witty—suits the beery, good-time atmosphere of fantasy sports. A one-time sitcom scribe, Berry knows how to frame a scene so its full, maybe even shocking, humorous glory shines through (See the one about the repo man, the owner of the would-be-repossessed car, and the cop who all put aside their differences to convene on the wisdom of a draft pick). Similarly, his comic timing comes into play in observations on the non-fantasy ramifications of fantasy team construction. Without abandoning his comedic baseline, Berry successfully journeys into philosophy—that of team play, that of living—and practical advice for leaguers concerning, for instance, how to not be That Guy. Though some sections are targeted solely towards fantasy fans ("20 Most Soul-Crushing Ways to Lose"), readers don't need a commissioner's knowledge to enjoy this insider's peek into the often astounding and always fun realm of fantasy sports. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/24/2013
Release date: 07/16/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4690-2736-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4690-2737-1
Paperback - 372 pages - 978-1-59463-271-6
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