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Oakland, CA

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Something to get from the library. Posted on 02/12/2002.

Stefan Fatsis' Word Freak is the most enjoyable read I've had in a while. A deep look inside the world of competitive Scrabble playing, Fatsis is able to populate his book with a cast of amazingly quirky characters. (And yes, "quirky" is an overused word, but really the most apt adjective in this case.) Fatsis tackles all manner of Scrabble-iana, including the invention of the game, it's meteoric rise in the 50s, and the cognitive psychology of playing. Also, he takes you on his own personal journey, where the lines between 'reporter' and 'player' get blurred to the point that he's pretty much as far gone as the folks he writes about. It's a fun book, at times even thrilling in its accounts of Scrabble tournaments.

4 comments so far. Add a comment.

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This book is outstanding! Peter's right on the money with the author's descent into Scrabble madness . . . I felt like I was watching Apocalypse Now or reading Heart of Darkness. Great fun!
Posted by erik @ 02/13/2002 09:37 AM PST [link to this comment]

if you thought HEARTS OF DARKNESS is a descent into madness, well, just check out BURDEN OF DREAMS, the documentary about the making of FITZCARRALDO. coppola ain't got *nothing* on herzog's brand o' insanity.
Posted by peterme @ 02/13/2002 02:41 PM PST [link to this comment]

Yes, but now you actually have to start playing it competitively like I've been to really get an appreciation for it. Will we see you at a tournament sometime soon?
Posted by Himself @ 02/14/2002 05:53 PM PST [link to this comment]

Good God, no. Now that I see what it takes to compete.
Posted by peterme @ 02/15/2002 09:34 AM PST [link to this comment]

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