Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer – Warren St. John
Reviewed by Jack Roberts Equipment World Senior Editor
Listening Time: 5 hours on 4 CDs
Publisher: Random House
First off, a caveat: I am a third generation University of Alabama alumni and definitely biased when it comes to matters pertaining to the Crimson Tide football team. So it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed Warren St. John’s look at the heart of sports fan madness portrayed in Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer. And I think that any college football fan would as well. (The book’s title, by the way, refers to a popular cheer used by ‘Bama fans during football games: “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, give ’em hell, Alabama!”)
Author Warren St. John didn’t attend the University of Alabama, but he grew up in Birmingham under the spell of legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Living and working in New York City, he began to ponder the hold that Alabama football retained on his psyche and decided to follow the team for a year. He hoped to gain insights into the mentality and culture that turns normally quiet, polite members of society into raving lunatics over an event (a football game) they have no direct control over and bitter enemies with people they have no real conflict with (opposing fans).
If you’re looking for obsessive-compulsive fan behavior, you can’t do worse than the legions of Alabama fans that follow “their” team. Million-dollar recreational vehicles, ad hoc road communities, beleaguered radio hosts, hustling ticket brokers, ranging beer bashes, pep rallies, near riots, sky boxes and student sections are just a few of the events, locations and characters St. John finds himself entwined with as he carries out his quest. The result is a super read – a delightfully funny book that perhaps tells the reader more about Alabama football culture than about sports-obsessed fans as whole. But any college football fan will enjoy this book and see a little bit of himself reflected back from the pages on more than one occasion.
The Old West Collection – Jimmy Gray and Jan Gray
Reviewed by Vicky Stowers
Wife of owner-operator
Listening Time: 9 hours
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Plot: This book is a collection of stories about the wild West. It is like a bunch of people sitting around the campfire in the Old West telling stories about their life. It’s about the gold rush, Indians, cattle ranches and cattle drives, Jesse James, Billy the Kid and other outlaws. It tells about bank robberies and train hold-ups. It’s about the Texas Rangers, Wild Bill Hickock and Doc Holliday. It tells about the gold rush and the boomtowns. It’s also about Belle Starr, Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane. It’s an all-inclusive story about the Old West.
What was your favorite moment/scene in the book? I liked the parts about the gold rush and how the people practically went crazy in their quest for gold.
Which character was your favorite? Why? Too many to list. I liked the parts about the women of the West.
Did the book have a message or a theme that stood out to you? The book shows how life was in the Old West.
What did you like about the book? Dislike? I liked the realistic details. I felt as if I was sitting around the campfire with these people as they told their tales.
Would you recommend?: I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Old West. It’s very realistic and authentic.
Narrator’s style: Donnie Blanz did a wonderful job. I liked him very much.
How would you grade the book? A
In the Moon of Red Ponies – by James Lee Burke
Johnny American Horse is a young activist for land preservation and the rights of Native Americans. He is charged with the murder of two mysterious men, who recently tried to kill Johnny, or at least scare him off his political causes. Ex-Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland discovers a web of intrigue surrounding the case and its leading figures: Johnny’s girlfriend, Amber Finley, who seems as reckless as she is defiant; Darrel McComb, a Missoula police detective who is obsessed with Amber; and Seth Masterson, an enigmatic government agent, who makes Billy Bob wonder why Washington is so concerned with an obscure murder case on the fringes of the Bitterroot Mountains.
As the dead bodies multiply, Billy Bob is drawn closer to the truth behind Johnny American Horse’s arrest – and discovers a greater danger to himself and to his whole family.
6 hours on five CDs
Simon & Schuster Audio
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