The Good, the Bad, and the Hungry Sale

Recently Viewed clear list

The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson

Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
3 Remote Warehouse Anthologies- Essays
1 Remote Warehouse Anthologies- Essays

More copies of this ISBN

Playing in Time: Essays, Profiles, and Other True Stories


Playing in Time: Essays, Profiles, and Other True Stories Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From jazz fantasy camp to running a movie studio; from a fight between an old guy and a fat guy to a fear of clowns—Carlo Rotella’s Playing in Time delivers good stories full of vivid characters, all told with the unique voice and humor that have garnered Rotella many devoted readers in the New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, and Washington Post Magazine, among others. The two dozen essays in Playing in Time, some of which have never before been published, revolve around the themes and obsessions that have characterized Rotella’s writing from the start: boxing, music, writers, and cities. What holds them together is Rotella’s unique focus on people, craft, and what floats outside the mainstream. “Playing in time” refers to how people make beauty and meaning while working within the constraints and limits forced on them by life, and in his writing Rotella transforms the craft and beauty he so admires in others into an art of his own.

Rotella is best known for his writings on boxing, and his essays here do not disappoint. It’s a topic that he turns to for its colorful characters, compelling settings, and formidable life lessons both in and out of the ring. He gives us tales of an older boxer who keeps unretiring and a welterweight who is “about as rich and famous as a 147-pound fighter can get these days,” and a hilarious rumination on why Muhammad Ali’s phrase “I am the greatest” began appearing (in the mouth of Epeus) in translations of The Iliad around 1987. His essays on blues, crime and science fiction writers, and urban spaces are equally and deftly engaging, combining an artist’s eye for detail with a scholar’s sense of research, whether taking us to visit detective writer George Pelecanos or to dance with the proprietress of the Baby Doll Polka Club next to Midway Airport in Chicago.

Rotella’s essays are always smart, frequently funny, and consistently surprising. This collection will be welcomed by his many fans and will bring his inimitable style and approach to an even wider audience.

About the Author

Carlo Rotella is the author of Good with Their Hands: Boxers, Bluesmen, and Other Characters from the Rust Belt; October Cities: The Redevelopment of Urban Literature; and Cut Time: An Education at the Fights, the last also published by the University of Chicago Press. He writes regularly for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Magazine, and Boston Globe, and he is a commentator for WGBH FM in Boston.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Lefty Dizz Version


    The Genre Artist

    The Year of the Blues

    The Professor of Micropopularity

    The Saberist

    A Man of Deep Conviction

    A History of Violence


    Boxing Stories

    Mirror, Mirror

    The Prospect

    The Biggest Entertainer in Entertainment

    Shannon vs. the Russians

    After the Gloves Came Off

    The Greatest

    Champion at Twilight

    Bedtime Story



    The Elements of Providence

    Someone Elses Chicago

    The Dogs of South Shore

    Into South Shore


    Un Clown Biologique

    The Two Jameses

    Three Landscapes, with Gamblers

    The Mouse Sled

    A Game

    Playing in Time


Product Details

Rotella, Carlo
University of Chicago Press
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
1 halftone
9 x 6 in

Other books you might like

  1. Swallowing the Sea: On Writing &... Used Trade Paper $9.00

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Culture
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Boxing » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports Writing

Playing in Time: Essays, Profiles, and Other True Stories New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$27.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226729091 Reviews:
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at