Friday, July 16, 2021

Best Amazon Reader Reviews for Madness: The Man Who Changed Basketball

Gregg S. Lima

5.0 out of 5 stars A Childhood Memory Revealed & Retold

Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2019

I recently read the latest book by author, Mike DeLucia. Although I am not a basketball fanatic, I was drawn to this story based on a series of conversations that I had with my now deceased father, Phil. He imposed in his children a commitment to hard work & a passion for competitive sports. However, my father, who always had the "gift of gab," was a great story teller although, at times, I questioned the veracity of his words...

This book is more than a basketball story & a great story it is. Hank Luisetti, embodies the Italian American immigrant experience where he tied to his old-world traditions but at the same time, longs to choose his own path in the newly adopted country of his parents. Despite early physical & familial obstacles, Hank triumphs both on the court & in his personal life. True, he revolutionized the game of basketball as we know it today, but more importantly, at least from my perspective, it gave me greater insights into the struggles & passions of a young Italian American youth who learns to overcome self-imposed burdens in his quest to leave his indelible mark in a society that imposes the burden of tradition on him & many others like him.

Mike captured my attention immediately with a handful of Italian phrases that I recall from my youth. He even incorporates the use of "broken English" to great effect to make his depiction of Hank's family all the more real & poignant. The reader is also absorbed in this suspenseful story as the clash between rival East & West Coast basketball teams in the 1930's is revealed & explored. The powerful & dramatic ending does not disappoint.

Thank you, Mike DeLucia, for helping me to reconnect with my dad. After all these years, I've come to learn that many of his "dubious" stories were actually grounded in fact. I'm sure that he was in attendance at the historic game between LIU & Stamford at the Garden. He was probably there with his basketball buddies, including Red Holzman, who later became the head coach of the Knicks in their glory years. I'm also certain that my dad probably concocted some story to get out of the house in order to escape, albeit temporarily, the "tyranny" of his parents.

This book is a wonderful read & a glowing reminder of the struggles that first generation Italian Americans (& perhaps all others) experienced in the first half of the 20th Century. Mike DeLucia has conjured all this & more in a truly inspirational story desperately needed in these troublesome times where the immigration debate rages on...

Alla Gorkova

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!!!

Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2019

Odysseus, Percy Jackson... Hank Luisetti???

I recently purchased a copy of Madness for my son because he’s into sports books. He raved about it, so I picked it up and read it in a few hours. As I read, I began to notice Odyssey references: the Sirens, Hercules, Zeus, Poseidon, and possibly Cyclops (Luisetti spears the basket through the eye of the rim after he shoots the ball over a six foot eight giant). Since basketball pioneer Hank Luisetti has an affinity to travel and he is directly called a hero in the text, there is no doubt that the author turned him into Odysseus in the 1930s, his adventures occurring on college basketball courts in the USA. Pretty cool! I absolutely loved this book!


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