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Ultimate Glory: Frisbee, Obsession, and My Wild Youth Paperback – Illustrated, June 6, 2017

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] lively and honest coming-of-age story. . . . An exploration of the questing desires of the young heart, Ultimate Glory should be recommended reading for every college student. A 20-something, unsure whether to listen to the yearnings of the soul, might find answers in Gessner’s chase of a flying plastic disc." ---The Washington Post

"A moving memoir [that] celebrates the human ‘ability to get obsessed’—in this case, with Frisbee." ---The Wall Street Journal

“The history of Ultimate Frisbee had not yet been written by one who was there, there for the ugly, early, drunken days when men first turned to themselves and one another and asked whether a modified form of football could be played using flying discs, and answered, ‘Yes!,’ or didn't answer, just started playing it, running and drinking and diving. Gessner has come for the game that made him great. Read it.” —John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of
Pulphead

“An important contribution to the history of Ultimate—not a 'hippie-dippie' activity but an exciting sport requiring tremendous athleticism worthy of respect.” —
Booklist

“Gessner’s enthusiasm is unmistakable, and there’s much to commend the story as a case in point of how a kid, once finding his or her métier, can make of a pastime a life-transforming experience.” —
Kirkus Reviews

“Gessner reflects with honesty and humor on his dedication to the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. . . [He] remains entertainingly unrepentant about a decade spent in the throes of a game that itself was evolving beyond its carefree image. Gessner nicely captures the persistent pursuit of greatness in the face of doubt and failure.” —
Publishers Weekly

“In 
Ultimate Glory, Gessner flings out not only a requiem and a eulogy to a golden era of beginnings that has since passed, but also offers up a trumpet blast in celebration of a game that has somehow remained, against all odds and despite the tendency of almost everything else, uncorrupted by its success and untainted by its mainstream adoption while continuing to offer up a fierce and shining testament to the spirits of those, like Gessner, who gave the better parts of their youth over to its glory.”Kevin Fedarko, author ofThe Emerald Mile

“Ultimate Glory
is a book of wild youth, of derring-do . . . it lifts us up into glory’s heights. Gessner is a compelling guide to the scenes of ancient battles, knows where all the blood has been spilled, knows a thing or two about greatness and how it fades, but in that, too, there is glory, and this is a book to lift us up into glory’s heights. Funny, fraught, deep, fascinating, so much more than you thought: finally the game of Ultimate has its Jim Bouton, its George Plimpton, its Bill Bradley.” —Bill Roorbach, author ofLife Among Giants

“In Ultimate Glory, David Gessner lets loose a barbaric yawp, akin to Whitman’s in Song of Myself: 'I was the man, I suffered, I was there.' Read it for all the hucks and layouts, for the epic battles between Hostages and Rude Boys, and for its fascinating history of the sport. But even more, read it to hear one of America's most gifted writers sing an unabashed love song to the glory of being alive.” —Patrick Phillips, author of Blood at the Root

“Even if I watched him play, I wouldn't be able to tell you if David Gessner is any good at Ultimate Frisbee. But the man can write, and this homage to his oddball sport is rich with life's joys, sorrows and universal truths.” —Dan Shaughnessy,
New York Times-bestselling co-author of Francona

Praise for David Gessner and
All the Wild that Remains:

“Gessner [has a] wacky sense of humor and rigorous mind. . . . [He] proves to be an amiable guide, an aging, beer-loving jock. . . . But Gessner also digs deep.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“[An] artful combination of nature writing, biography, literary criticism, and cultural history . . . Like the best works of Stegner and Abbey, Gessner’s book sands away the varnish of legend that casts the West in the unlikely role of American Eden.” —The Christian Science Monitor

About the Author

David Gessner is the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestseller All the Wild That Remains. He has taught environmental writing as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard and is currently chair of the creative writing department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he founded the award-winning literary journal Ecotone. He lives in Wilmington.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Riverhead Books; Illustrated edition (June 6, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 073521056X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0735210561
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 49 ratings

About the author

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David Gessner is the author of eleven books that blend a love of nature, humor, memoir, and environmentalism, including Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness and the New York Times-bestselling All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West. Gessner currently serves as Chair of the Creative Writing Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine, Ecotone. His prizes include a Pushcart Prize, the John Burroughs Award for Best Nature Essay, the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing, and the Reed Award for Best Book on the Southern Environment. In 2017 he hosted the National Geographic Explorer show, "The Call of the Wild." He is married to the novelist Nina de Gramont.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
49 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 6, 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Ultimate players!
By GMcG on January 6, 2022
This book is about so much more than the sport of Ultimate. It's a coming of age and self awareness story, as well as a first-person account of the early days of a growing sport. If you were there, this will bring it all back to you. If you weren't, you will feel like you were.
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