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An African Rebound

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It is 1989, and Jim Keating has hit absolute rock bottom. He's lost his wife to cancer, his house to bankruptcy, and his job as a college basketball coach to what many outsiders believed to be a racially insensitive career-ending decision. He has also just about lost his mind, having slipped into a bout of serious depression. Attempting to pick up the pieces and start life It is 1989, and Jim Keating has hit absolute rock bottom. He's lost his wife to cancer, his house to bankruptcy, and his job as a college basketball coach to what many outsiders believed to be a racially insensitive career-ending decision. He has also just about lost his mind, having slipped into a bout of serious depression. Attempting to pick up the pieces and start life over, Jim returns home to Worcester and rents a small apartment.Word gets out that the legendary Jim Keating has returned home, and everyone is eager to see him, despite what they've read in the news. In high school and college, Jim had been a star athlete. After a stint in the Army, he took a job as a college basketball coach. Although the teams and leagues changed over the years, Keating's passion for basketball and commitment to the players he coached never faltered. Recognizing this, an old friend makes Jim an offer designed to help him restart his career.Soon, Jim finds himself in Burundi, Africa, where he is to create a basketball league that will bring two warring tribes--the Hutus and the Tutsis--together peacefully. These tribes have been in a civil war for years, and government officials believe one of the ways to guide them to peace is through sports. In Burundi, Jim has the chance to recommit himself to basketball, rediscover his true self, and bring peace to a nation in turmoil.


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It is 1989, and Jim Keating has hit absolute rock bottom. He's lost his wife to cancer, his house to bankruptcy, and his job as a college basketball coach to what many outsiders believed to be a racially insensitive career-ending decision. He has also just about lost his mind, having slipped into a bout of serious depression. Attempting to pick up the pieces and start life It is 1989, and Jim Keating has hit absolute rock bottom. He's lost his wife to cancer, his house to bankruptcy, and his job as a college basketball coach to what many outsiders believed to be a racially insensitive career-ending decision. He has also just about lost his mind, having slipped into a bout of serious depression. Attempting to pick up the pieces and start life over, Jim returns home to Worcester and rents a small apartment.Word gets out that the legendary Jim Keating has returned home, and everyone is eager to see him, despite what they've read in the news. In high school and college, Jim had been a star athlete. After a stint in the Army, he took a job as a college basketball coach. Although the teams and leagues changed over the years, Keating's passion for basketball and commitment to the players he coached never faltered. Recognizing this, an old friend makes Jim an offer designed to help him restart his career.Soon, Jim finds himself in Burundi, Africa, where he is to create a basketball league that will bring two warring tribes--the Hutus and the Tutsis--together peacefully. These tribes have been in a civil war for years, and government officials believe one of the ways to guide them to peace is through sports. In Burundi, Jim has the chance to recommit himself to basketball, rediscover his true self, and bring peace to a nation in turmoil.

30 review for An African Rebound

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I am no fiction enthusiast, but I really did enjoy this book. It's about a basketball coach who is down on his personal and professional luck, but picks himself up by pursuing his passion. The story involves love, loss and hope, with some built-in suspense. You don't have to be a basketball aficionado to enjoy (and even relate to) the plot; if you are, it's even better! I am no fiction enthusiast, but I really did enjoy this book. It's about a basketball coach who is down on his personal and professional luck, but picks himself up by pursuing his passion. The story involves love, loss and hope, with some built-in suspense. You don't have to be a basketball aficionado to enjoy (and even relate to) the plot; if you are, it's even better!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    A coach's life has reached the bottom. If a situation could go wrong, it has for him. The book is about loss and of course basketball. A coach's life has reached the bottom. If a situation could go wrong, it has for him. The book is about loss and of course basketball.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Mark

    This a a wonderful tour de force text of history, geopolitical and world health issues in africa and a very american type success story. I expected a sports book in the John Feinstein mode but Dan Doyle's "An African Rebound" could be listed in a world literature survey, a sports history seminar and any popular culture seminar devoted to race, gender and issues of equality and love and forgiveness. I am a college professor and Dan Doyle's writing is brilliant and incredibly thought provoking. I This a a wonderful tour de force text of history, geopolitical and world health issues in africa and a very american type success story. I expected a sports book in the John Feinstein mode but Dan Doyle's "An African Rebound" could be listed in a world literature survey, a sports history seminar and any popular culture seminar devoted to race, gender and issues of equality and love and forgiveness. I am a college professor and Dan Doyle's writing is brilliant and incredibly thought provoking. I teach literature, history and film at the university level and know my students would love this book. There is so much to list. A coach [Jim Keating] with a "Willy Loman" type tragedy or a Kurt Vonnegut-type warning about pretension and the masks we wear in a hyper overpolitically-correct time. The text reads much like an Arthur Miller play- from big-time sports "Crucible" to a sort of "Death of a Basketball Salesman," type journey to enlightenment. Truly a page turner. The novel moves from big time college sports to tragedy of Shakespearean levels in a hyper affirmative action culture that, at times, can bring racism and intolerance to a "catch-22" of horrendous proportions. This is what Dan Doyle's main character faces and his hero must travel a path that leads him to Africa and then redemption, awakening and just plain love. This book is a must for anyone interested in international sport, politcs and history, or anyone who loves a wonderful feel good story. Wonderfully written and masterfully conceived. You will not be able to put it down. Get this book now because like Feinstein's "A season on the brink' Dan Doyle's "An African Rebound" is bound to be a classic. Dan Doyle's text is not a glorified “Out of Africa” type post-oolonialist tract of white patriarchy glorified to evince a type of Boer/Anglophile response. This text is more like the African novelist Bessie Head who shows the “real Africa.” Dan Doyle's book shows the horrors of the post-colonialist-DeBeers type horror that still pervades sub-Saharan Africa in his depiction of the mother and son tribal “catch-22” that is at the crux of his novel. The AIDS epidemic, the Rwandan genocide, tribal male abuse of females and the real political situation between the Tutsi and the Hutu in the militaristic junta that pervades this tribal culture, are really the undercurrent of the main characters journey. "An African Rebound" should be required reading for any study off politics, culture, international relations, womens and cultural studies and history of South Africa, much like the non-fiction historical study "Beggar, Your Neighbors" was in the 1970's. Yes it is fiction, but it is fiction that is based in realism. Much like an Oliver Stone film, "An African Rebound" is a new type of neo-historical realism. Whether undergraduate or graduate level, it can be a wonderful and enjoyable teaching tool. This book should also be required reading for basketball coaches at all levels and for basketball players, especially college student-athletes. "An African Rebound" is a vehicle for change, love and forgiveness and global cultural awareness at a very troubled time in the Third World. Also of interest in American Popular Culture will be Dan Doyle's using NBA and college icons of basketball- for example the great Al McGuire, the wunderkinds Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and the numerous tales of Boston [Celtics of Aeurbach, Russell and Cowens] and Worcester [Holy Cross College and Bob Cousy]-to bring today's hyper media driven recruiting and big-time sports business to the forefront. Sport, unlike politics and even academics, still remains the perfect outlet for ant type or real growth in racial and socio-cultural understanding. "An African Rebound" has all of this and more. As a college professor I dog ear all the texts I use to teach and Dan Doyle's text I seem to have dog-eared almost every page. I could teach a whole seminar on his book alone. For an academic that's is the highest praise I can offer. Outstanding!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark Newlen

    Dan Doyle's An African Rebound is an insightful, suspenseful and poignant novel that touches on several layers of human emotion. You will fall in love with the humanness of each of the characters brought to life in this thrilling adventure of international intrigue. You will find yourself cheering for Jim Keating - a desperate and defeated veteran (Everyman) basketball coach - who is given one more chance to find redemption both professional and personal in a distant land. You will be entertaine Dan Doyle's An African Rebound is an insightful, suspenseful and poignant novel that touches on several layers of human emotion. You will fall in love with the humanness of each of the characters brought to life in this thrilling adventure of international intrigue. You will find yourself cheering for Jim Keating - a desperate and defeated veteran (Everyman) basketball coach - who is given one more chance to find redemption both professional and personal in a distant land. You will be entertained and enlightened with Dan's amazing depth of knowledge on a myriad of subjects - Greek philosophy, basketball history and strategy, theology, ethics, race relations, poetry, justice, love, peace and friendship - which are so creatively weaved throughout this compelling story. You will be encouraged as creative and courageous steps through sports and the arts are taken to help solve decades old conflicts in the war torn countries of Burundi and Rwanda. Do yourself a favor! Read this book and treat yourself to an unforgettable journey that will leave you feeling alive and inspired in refreshing new ways. I can't wait for the sequel from this brilliant and gifted story teller. Mark Newlen Sports Ethics Fellow Director, Making of a Champion Sports Camps Teacher and International Camp Director

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeanine

    Intrigued by the promise of an African setting I chose this book. Provides quite a geopolitical and historical education of both Africa and basketball. At times I found it a little too "happily ever after" but that was before the tragedy and forensic storyline occur. Ultimately a tribute to the treasure of sharing passions and cultivating friendships. Intrigued by the promise of an African setting I chose this book. Provides quite a geopolitical and historical education of both Africa and basketball. At times I found it a little too "happily ever after" but that was before the tragedy and forensic storyline occur. Ultimately a tribute to the treasure of sharing passions and cultivating friendships.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yacouba T

    Every now and then you come across a book you have been waiting for. In the context of a powerful story, Dan Doyle showcases the game of basketball, the ebb & flow of work and life, hope, good prevailing over evil at the end of the day. Simply amazing. A must read

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paul K

    I recently read Dan Doyle's latest book, An Africian Rebound, and found it an inspirering effort. The ups and downs of the coaching world is magnified by the international politics that are revealed throughout the book. I recently read Dan Doyle's latest book, An Africian Rebound, and found it an inspirering effort. The ups and downs of the coaching world is magnified by the international politics that are revealed throughout the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    The Dean

    A story of redemption and discovery--a buddy and love story masquerading as a sports story. Beautifully written, well executed -- this is a book that is hard to put down and will leave you craving a sequel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Johana Griffith

    Just finished reading An African Rebound by Dan Doyle and I recommend it highly. Don't worry if you're not a big basketball fan, though it may well convert you. Put it on your summer reading list right now and I promise that you'll be glad you did-Great read!! Just finished reading An African Rebound by Dan Doyle and I recommend it highly. Don't worry if you're not a big basketball fan, though it may well convert you. Put it on your summer reading list right now and I promise that you'll be glad you did-Great read!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth J

    You don't need to know a thing about hoops to fall in love with this story. This book is beautifully written and heartwarming, the kind of story that stays with you all day. Truly a novel that everyone will enjoy... You don't need to know a thing about hoops to fall in love with this story. This book is beautifully written and heartwarming, the kind of story that stays with you all day. Truly a novel that everyone will enjoy...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lee Dushoff

    Inspirational. Educational. A wonderful gift for every teenager in your orbit. Deserves 6 stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dianne E.

    A compelling novel that intertwines love, loss, life, courage and hope. Riveting!! It leaves you yearning for a sequel and a movie! I loved it!!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    John Matin

    I have read many fascinating novels, but reading An African Rebound was special. As a former international Athlete I found great value in the sportsmanship of the novel. Dr.JOHN MATIN

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Bristow

    This book came highly recommended from my boyfriend. It's such a great read! Riveting! This book came highly recommended from my boyfriend. It's such a great read! Riveting!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Skyhorse Publishing

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ray Joachim

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Popeleski-smith

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

  21. 4 out of 5

    Coleman Cornell

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Hippert

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pam Lubelfeld schur

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matt Doyle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jake Erhard

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hussey

  28. 4 out of 5

    Roger L Scales

  29. 5 out of 5

    John Burns

  30. 4 out of 5

    Holly Lyons

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