The Pigskin Rabbi by Willard Manus

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In this ribald comic novel, a young rabbi becomes quarterback for the New York Giants and within months all the world (or most of it) seems to be converting to Judaism. Anyone who feels even one shred of affection for the traditions of Judaism, who understands the power of professional sports to mold public opinion-and anyone who loves a good laugh-will be enthralled and delighted by The Pigskin Rabbi.

Ezekiel "Ziggy" Cantor becomes (by a very strange sequence of events) the superstar quarterback of the New York Giants, drilling passes with godlike accuracy, kicking miraculous field goals, playing out of pure love of the game, and catapulting the team toward invincibility. Ziggy's Judaism, formerly a burden in gentile society, now becomes the apparent source of all good. His teammates-convinced of the luck of the Jewish-start eating kosher food during games, prepared by Ziggy's kindly grandmother. They call plays in Yiddish.

Ziggymania hits town. Fans chant lustily in Yiddish. Gucci-made Giants yarmelkehs are all the rage. New York takes Ziggy to its heart-he is a homegrown hero. Even his grandmother becomes a celebrity. Judaism is hip, it's in, and is all-empowering.

An over-the-top farce full of unforgettable characters, an irreverent sports novel with a theological underpinning-The Pigskin Rabbi will have people of all faiths convulsed with laughter.

"A vastly entertaining fable. . . . Anyone who doesn't fall for Manus's spirit and sly jokes has a hard heart indeed."-San Francisco Chronicle

Willard Manus is the author of Mott the Hoople, among other books. His plays have been produced in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Los Angeles, Washington, and New Orleans. He is a member of the American Theater Critics Association, and writes on blues and jazz for several magazines. He lives in Los Angeles.

"How does a rabbi convert the entire U.S. to Judaism? The answer, of course, is by becoming a football hero. A wild tale . . . Hilarious . . . Manus has a wonderful sense of humor."-Publishers Weekly


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About Willard Manus

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Manus is a member of of the American Theatre Critics Association, and writes on Jazz and blues for serval magazine
Published March 17, 2011 by Breakaway Books. 304 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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How does a rabbi convert the entire U.S. to Judaism? The answer, of course, is by becoming a football hero, in this wild tale by Manus (Mott the Hoople). In the hilarious first chapter, Ziggy Cantor,

May 31 1999 | Read Full Review of The Pigskin Rabbi

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