“THE BEST BOOK ABOUT FOOTBALL I’VE EVER READ”: WONDERFULLY INSCRIBED COPY OF GEORGE PLIMPTON’S PAPER LION
PLIMPTON, George. Paper Lion. New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, (1966). Octavo, original pale blue cloth, dust jacket (likely supplied from another first edition copy). $900.
First edition of this account of professional football, "as it looks to a first-string writer trying out as a last-string quarterback," illustrated with 16 pages of photographs, wonderfully inscribed at length in the year of publication, "For Steve—a great den master, a host non-pareil, a supplier of three-star grass, easy bathrobes, earnest competitions, good company, plenty of 3 star grass, too much (on this occasion at least) to provide a more complex sentiment than 'great copain.' Warm Wishes, George P. 4 Nov 1966." On the half title he has additionally penned a quote: "'Get him a pad. Where are the bazookas? There's a baccanal. Bockanal. That's not paper, that's blitheret! In one or two places.'"
Onetime editor of the Paris Review, George Plimpton, followed up his Out of My League (which reported "his chilling moment in major league baseball"), with this combination of "humor, inside sports-lore, mayhem, and excitement," behind the scenes of American football. Touted as "the best book about football" (W.C. Heinz), Paper Lion tells the story of a professional writer's adventures as a walk-on amateur quarterback for the Detroit Lions, sharing all the hazards of the proverbial rookie in professional sports. "First Edition" stated on copyright page, with Harper code "I-Q" indicating September, 1966 first printing. Dust jacket likely supplied from another copy of the first edition, as the jacket does not show evidence of sunning as the book's cloth does.
Book interior clean, spine and board edges sunned, extremely good. Clean dust jacket with a bit of light edge-wear, near-fine. Exceptionally inscribed.