Paper Lion by George Plimpton
Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



In the mid-'60s, Plimpton joined the Detroit Lions at their preseason camp as a 36-year-old rookie quarterback wannabe, and stuck with the club through an intra-squad game before the paying public a month later. The result is a literary masterpiece about professional football that not only elevated the art of participatory journalism to an art form, but also remains one of the most insightful and hilarious books ever written on the game.
The Detroit Lions agreed to permit Plimpton-wearing Number 0-to join them for four weeks of training camp, and to culminate his apprenticeship by calling a series of plays in an intra-squad game in Pontiac Stadium. No holds are barred in this memorable, on-the-field look at football and how the professionals play it. Naturally, Plimpton didn't make it as a football hero; he barely affords himself a dignified account of his performance on the field, which is just as well. What remains is an enduring classic of professional football as it looks to a first-string writer trying out as a last-string quarterback.

About George Plimpton

See more books from this Author
George Ames Plimpton was born March 18, 1927. He was educated first at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and then spent four years at Harvard majoring in English and editing the Harvard Lampoon, followed by two at King's College, Cambridge. Before he left for Cambridge, he served as a tank driver in Italy for the U.S. Army from 1945 through 1948. After graduation, at about 27 years of age, Plimpton went with his friends to Paris. There they founded the Paris Review in 1953 and published poetry and short story writers and did interviews. In the '50s, Plimpton and staff came to New York, where they kept the Review going for half a century. The Review has published over 150 issues. Plimpton also served as a volunteer for Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential run and was walking in front of him as the candidate was assassinated in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel. Plimpton was known as a "participatory journalist". In order to research his books and articles, he quarterbacked in a pre-season NFL game, pitched to several all-stars (retiring Willie Mays and Richie Ashburn) in an exhibition prior to Baseball's 1959 All-Star game, performed as a trapeze artist for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, and fought boxers Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson. Plimpton was alson known by the nickname the Prince of Cameos for the amount of work he did in films, playing small parts and screenwriting. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002. Within a month of the academy induction, the French made him a Chevalier, the Legion of Honor's highest rank. The Guild, an arts organization based on Long Island, gave him a lifetime achievement award. Plimpton was also a member of PEN; the Pyrotechnics Guild International; the National Football League Alumni Association; and the Mayflower Descendants Society. In 2003, Plimpton decided to write his memoirs, signing a $750,000 deal with Little, Brown and Co. Before he could finish, George Plimpton died, on September 26, 2003 of natural causes at the age of 76.
Published June 1, 1966 by Harper & Row. 362 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Paper Lion

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

What is the famous young editor of The Paris Review, who did the classic Hemingway interview, doing playing quarterback with the pro Detroit Lions?

| Read Full Review of Paper Lion: Confessions of a ...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

OPEN NET By George Plimpton. Illustrated. 288 pp. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. $16.95. FOR his books to succeed, George Plimpton must fail. It would not do for him to actually triumph at what he calls participatory journalism. Everyman cannot become Superman. He must train with professio...

Nov 24 1985 | Read Full Review of Paper Lion: Confessions of a ...

Los Angeles Times

See more reviews from this publication

George Plimpton was most famous for his bestseller "Paper Lion," in which Plimpton trained with and played quarterback (very briefly) for the Detroit Lions.

Jan 30 2013 | Read Full Review of Paper Lion: Confessions of a ...

The Bookbag

You can read more book reviews or buy Paper Lion by George Plimpton at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google play and .

Nov 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Paper Lion: Confessions of a ...

Reader Rating for Paper Lion

An aggregated and normalized score based on 35 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review