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KEEPER by Tim Howard
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KEEPER (edition 2015)

by Tim Howard (Author)

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602430,291 (2.8)None
In this inspiring, down-to-earth memoir the revered goalkeeper and American icon  idolized by millions worldwide for his dependability, daring, and humility recounts his rise to stardom at the 2014 World Cup, the psychological and professional challenges he has faced, and the enduring faith that has sustained him. In The Keeper, the man who electrified the world with his amazing performance in Brazil does something he would never do on a soccer field: he drops his guard. As fiercely protective about his privacy as he is guarding the goal on the field, Howard opens up for the first time about how a hyperactive kid from New Jersey with Tourette's syndrome defied the odds to become one of the world's premier goalkeepers. The Keeper recalls his childhood, being raised by a single mother who instilled in him a love of sports and a devout Christian faith that helped him cope when he was diagnosed with Tourette's in the fifth grade. He looks back over his fifteen-year professional career--from becoming the youngest player to win MLS Goalkeeper of the Year to his storied move to the English Premier League with Manchester United and his current team, Liverpool's Everton, to becoming an overnight star after his record-making performance with the United States Men's National Team. He also talks about the things closest to his heart--the importance of family and the Christian beliefs that guide him. Told in his thoughtful and articulate voice, The Keeper is an illuminating look at a remarkable man who is an inspirational role model for all of us. The Keeper is illustrated with two 8-page color photo inserts.… (more)
Member:JNHough
Title:KEEPER
Authors:Tim Howard (Author)
Info:HarperPb (2015), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
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The Keeper: A Life of Saving Goals and Achieving Them by Tim Howard

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The style of the book was very formulaic. Athlete plays huge in big game, gets book deal. Book starts off, and also starts each section with snippet about said big game and then retreats back to take us through athletes childhood and adulthood up to said big game, and then finishes with aftershocks of big game. Now that's not a knock on the book itself, just the genre in general I guess, and this book does nothing to change that.
Overall, the book was good, not great, but I really wasn't expecting great. I didn't know a lot about Tim, and this book did an admirable job filling in the blanks, but I also felt it missed on a few big points. Sometimes the Tourette's stuff felt thrown into the chapter as an afterthought, it probably plays big into Tim's life, but at points it only got a paragraph or two after a description of a big game.
Also, as I've seen complained about by a number of other reviewers, the divorce stuff was handled very strangely. It would have you believe Tim woke up one day and decided marriage wasn't for him, maybe because he was already married to soccer? Another reviewer said he hoped Laura got a better explanation than the readers did, and I couldn't agree more. Also I could lump into this the indifference Tim seemed to show when Kasey Keller called him to tell him Claudio Reyna's son was sick and the ensuing details about that. I hope it came off worse in the book than it did in real life.

Overall, like I said, it was a good not great book. If you go in not expecting much, you won't be let down, maybe even surprised and a little emotional sometimes. Just don't go in expecting a masterpiece. ( )
  MrMet | Apr 28, 2023 |

First, all the complaints. The style is very repetitive. No one who picks this up is expecting Henry James, but the single-sentence paragraphs get old quickly. And the sentences that follow. Most are five or six words. Or two. See? It gets irritating. Again, no one should expect some well-balanced rhetorical display, but the ghostwriter for Pele’s book did a much better job of keeping it readable.

Howard recently revised, in interviews, the passage in which he paints Brad Friedel as a louse, “delibereatly trying to sabotage his own countryman.” In Howard’s telling, Friedel is spiteful and tries to block Howard getting a work permit in England because he, Friedel, had a hard time getting one. Friedel called him out on it and Howard has since said that all subsequent editions of the book will have the passage changed or cut. (If you own the first edition, hold onto it.) This raises all kinds of questions about the veracity of Howard’s other stories—or it would if the other ones were sensational enough. They aren’t. I'm not ashamed to say I wanted more dirt. Who's a stand-up guy? Who's a prima donna? (And didn’t HarperCollins employ a fact-checker?)

The parts in which Howard describes the end of his marriage are cringe-worthy. There are whole sentences in italics, such as, “This could be the end of my marriage, I thought,” and, “No, I do not want to be married. But these sleeping children upstairs are my heartbeat. They are everything.” This is bad stuff from a creative writing course. He also never notes the irony of the book's subtitle when applied to his marriage. In the last third of the book, the reader has to hear about how great his ex-wife’s new husband is and how they all get along so well! All for the kids! Hey! How great is that? It all worked out! Divorce is just a phase and now we're all pals! It reads like he’s pretending that parents’ getting divorced doesn’t affect kids in the worst ways. I wanted him to stop and talk about soccer--who really cares about his ex-wife?

But—every three or four pages there’s a great item that reveals what it’s like to play in the BPL or USNT. There’s a funny scene in which an old woman berates him in a supermarket. The chapter on when the USNT beat Mexico at the Azteca is well done and the last chapter on USA v. Belgium effectively conveys Howard’s sense that the loss was almost beside the point—his fifteen saves still made it feel, if not like a win, then less of a loss. And the parts about his Tourette’s are free from the kind of sentimentality and mawkishness that the subject would be given elsewhere. He doesn’t cry like a victim at all and comes off admirably in this regard, although what he actually did for the kids with Tourette's other than "inspire them" is never detailed.

Back to the complaints. So many of the subjects are treated in a very cursory way. What’s Jürgen Klinsman really like? Howard tells us that Klinsman “wanted to mold us, shape us, push us further than we could imagine.” So does any coach. What makes Klinsman different? What does Howard really think of FIFA and the recent bribery scandals? Howard’s ghostwriter needs a lesson on the telling anecdote. This could have been shaved down into a good long article.

But he’s still our man in the goal. If you can read this in a weekend, it’s fine. If it takes you longer than that. you'll lose your enthusiasm. ( )
  Stubb | Aug 28, 2018 |
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In this inspiring, down-to-earth memoir the revered goalkeeper and American icon  idolized by millions worldwide for his dependability, daring, and humility recounts his rise to stardom at the 2014 World Cup, the psychological and professional challenges he has faced, and the enduring faith that has sustained him. In The Keeper, the man who electrified the world with his amazing performance in Brazil does something he would never do on a soccer field: he drops his guard. As fiercely protective about his privacy as he is guarding the goal on the field, Howard opens up for the first time about how a hyperactive kid from New Jersey with Tourette's syndrome defied the odds to become one of the world's premier goalkeepers. The Keeper recalls his childhood, being raised by a single mother who instilled in him a love of sports and a devout Christian faith that helped him cope when he was diagnosed with Tourette's in the fifth grade. He looks back over his fifteen-year professional career--from becoming the youngest player to win MLS Goalkeeper of the Year to his storied move to the English Premier League with Manchester United and his current team, Liverpool's Everton, to becoming an overnight star after his record-making performance with the United States Men's National Team. He also talks about the things closest to his heart--the importance of family and the Christian beliefs that guide him. Told in his thoughtful and articulate voice, The Keeper is an illuminating look at a remarkable man who is an inspirational role model for all of us. The Keeper is illustrated with two 8-page color photo inserts.

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