Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

The Best of Plimpton

by George Plimpton

“Plimpton, the professional amateur, the dashing public hero, is first and best a writer.” –The New Yorker

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date August 01, 1991
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3503-2
  • Dimensions 5.63" x 8.75"
  • US List Price $15.00

About The Book

Editor, essayist, sportswriter, adventurer – George Plimpton perhaps needs less introduction than any figure of contemporary American letters. Whether quarterbacking with the Detroit Lions, playing percussion with the New York Philharmonic, or on the ice with the Boston Bruins, Plimpton is best known for gamely entering any arena and surviving to write about his experience”with grace, urbanity, and considerable good humor.

But such classics as Paper Lion and Open Net are only the most visible instances in a body of writing as remarkable for its breadth and diversity as it is for its elegance. Plimpton takes us into worlds most people only dream of entering”on a movie set with Warren Beatty (who always greets George with the cryptic line “Is this the man who’s never eaten an olive?”), in Muhammad Ali’s dressing room before his bout with Jerry Quarry, or at Camp David with President Bush pitching horseshoes. Wherever he brings us he is the consummate guide, affable, perceptive, informed. With a keen eye and a knack for the vernacular, he makes the unapproachable approachable, familiar, and human. What he has done for sports figures he has also done for such celebrities as John F. Kennedy, Marianne Moore, and Ernest Hemingway”providing us with rare, intimate glimpses into the lives of some of the major cultural icons of our time.

The Best of Plimpton collects for the first time the work of a distinguished thirty-five-year career. Including profiles, essays, articles, and such classic inventions as “The Amazing Story of Sidd Finch” and “The Snows of Studio 54,” the book is a rich mix from one of America’s most talented and unique literary personalities.

Tags Journalism


“Plimpton, the professional amateur, the dashing public hero, is first and best a writer.” –The New Yorker

The Best of Plimpton shows the author to be a quietly adroit stylist with the lightest touch since E.B. White.” –Newsweek

The Best of Plimpton shows how much fun life can be.” –The Boston Globe

“This is a terrific book . . . pure crystal . . . unblemished perfection.” –The Los Angeles Times

“Beautifully observed and incredibly conceived [George Plimpton’s writing] is the dark side of the moon of Walter Mitty.” –Ernest Hemingway

“[Plimpton] is a craftsman par excellence, a writer at work. The nature of his work has been a lifelong probe into how to have a good time. This volume is a delightful summation of a seriously eclectic career.” –St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“These 35 profiles, essays, articles and speeches remind us that Plimpton has earned his place at the front tables in New York’s best-known watering holes. . . . Throughout, Plimpton’s writing is witty, elegant and enormously entertaining.” –Playboy

“George Plimpton has a wonderful flair for comic descriptive writing. He has the patience to listen carefully to what others tell him; the imagination to visualize and ask interesting questions; and the persistence to cross-reference the best stories he is told, no matter how much time or travel may be involved. Best of all, he never patronizes, and thus has the power to draw intelligence from a stone.” –Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

“Plimpton’s writing is so fascinating, not only for sports fans but for students of human behavior as well. . . . Sincerely inquisitive, a receptive listener, and a fluid funny writer.” –People

“George Plimpton shines in simile–his great device also in characterization, and [he has[ an ear for vernacular . . .” –Marianne Moore

“Plimpton has endless curiosity, unshakeable enthusiasm and nerve, and a deep respect for the world he enters.” –The New York Times