Monday, November 9, 2009

Jef Mallett is good for the Jews

Trizophrenia: Inside the Minds of a Triathlete has been out long enough now that people are actually getting beyond Peter’s foreword. And while I’m glad they’ve enjoyed the foreword, I already knew Peter was terrific. I was a little more nervous about my own stuff. People seem to be liking it, though, which is gratifying news right there. But the even better news is that I somehow ended up with such smart readers and friends, and their feedback is just plain fun to read.

I’m intensely uncomfortable with the whole self-congratulation thing (also, I invariably leave someone out who deserves to be mentioned), but I’ll share some of it with you anyway.

Bill writes, on, “…pure Mallett. It's fantastically funny, brilliant, observant and entertaining, even if it is about triathlons. Plus, it's filled with lots of hilarious cartoons by one of the most talented and meticulous artists in cartooning today. That would be Jef as well. Get it.”

A different Bill has a reading protocol we can all learn from: “… of course, my first read employed the same technique I use to tackle the New Yorker: I look at the cartoons first. Love your illustrations. Now, on to the text.”

From my coach, a truly elite athlete who has the chops and experience to call me out if I got any of it wrong: “WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I just love it.  As I was reading through it, I kept telling myself...."Yup, I've done that"..."Yup, I felt that way too"......and....."Yup, that's exactly what happens!" Your illustrations are classic too.  You bring a whole new, comical, dimension to a sport that so many of us "stone-faced" triathletes take so seriously.  Interesting style, too, with the added footnotes.  Footnotes bring perspective and deeper understanding to the quirky world of triathlon.”

Mollie, on whythissiteisdifferent, maybe leaves some context to be found – and it's findable, right there on her blog – but I like it strictly on its own merits: “Jef Mallett is good for the Jews. Return the favor by reading his new book, “Trizophrenia.”  It’s a mechiah!”

And not to prioritize, but anyone who wants to top Jimmy’s phrasing has their work cut out for them: “Beyond the evangelical and motivational nature, the wide array of references and metaphors are mind-warping and never dry even while I'm learning something I thought I had only fleeting interest in. If it was a sex manual, you'd be drawing Frazz in limos and airplanes from talk show to talk show. At the very least, I hope it makes you a rock star on the triathlon circuit before Chuck Klosterman has you assassinated for shattering his Guinness World Record for footnotes. I am now going back to my comfy place and finishing the book.”

There’s more, lots more. But I’m starting to feel self-conscious, we’ve all got work to do, and I wasn’t bright enough to start a file of all these and have run out of time to go hunting them all down.

I hope you get a chance to read the book, whether you buy a copy or read it over Bill or Jimmy’s shoulder. But don’t get it because I’ve guilted you into it. Read it because it’s good for the Jews.


Reed said...

David Foster Wallace holds the record for footnotes, by a country mile.