Out of the Pocket

OutofthePocketby Bill Konigsberg

The best adjective I could think of to describe this book is perhaps “earnest.”

The reluctantly outed celebrity quarterback’s story is told with such sincerity and truth that the reader cannot but root for the main character.  Along the way, there is just the right amount of suspense and uncertainty — how everyone might react to the news and accept or disapprove of his sexuality or decision  making — to maintain a high interest level to continue reading.  I read through it quickly because I truly wanted to know what happened next.  The football play-by-play scenes are described with lucidity and are quite exhilarating.  So even this football layman could form clear mental pictures and follow the games with all the thrill a spectator at the games would possess.  That is one of the strengths of this book.

I cannot not quite decide whether Bobby is flesh and blood and completely realized or is a courageous face on the cover of a magazine or national campaign poster, whose story is told to and not quite lived by this reader.  Perhaps he is both — at different times in the telling, depending on whether he is put in the middle of a scenario and reacts, or he is being cool-headedly examined by himself in one of his many his internal monologues.

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