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Extended Audio Sample Rules for Becoming a Legend: A Novel, by Timothy S. Lane Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Timothy S. Lane Narrator: Bryan Langlit Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A spirited debut of a rising basketball star wrestling with his town’s outsized expectations and his family’s complicated legacy …

Everyone seems to know Jimmy “Kamikaze” Kirkus, the half-white, half-Asian basketball sensation from small-town Oregon. College coaches flood his mailbox with recruiting letters, Sports Illustrated has already profiled him, and everyone in town hangs on his every shot. But nobody can possibly fathom the weight of all this upon Jimmy’s shoulders, or the looming legacy that casts a wide shadow.

Todd “Freight Train” Kirkus seemed destined for the NBA until he impregnated Genny Mori, the tough yet fragile daughter of the only Japanese family in town. Dreams of stardom and riches are traded in for a hasty marriage and parenthood. Then tragedy strikes, and Jimmy and his wisecracking little brother Dex are born into a broken family, one haunted by wasted talent, alcoholism, and death.

Like Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding and Friday Night Lights, Timothy Lane’s debut novel uses sports as a lens to understand family, community, catastrophe, passion, and hope. Populated with complex characters, Rules for Becoming a Legend is deftly written by an author who understands basketball as well as he understands the human condition.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s a purposely shaggy book, gradually dealing in side characters to take part in the storytelling, often using a between-you-and-me tone: “So can we blame the kid?” Sports is not the point, but Lane is awfully good at tweaking every game detail into the kind of epicness that soon becomes lore. There’s tragedy aplenty, and humor, too, but mostly a wistfulness that life can’t remain how it looks beneath stadium lights.”


  • “A slam dunk of a debut. Rules for Becoming a Legend speaks to heartland America with all the authenticity and pathos of great Springsteen song—it’ll hit you like a brick wall.”

    Jonathan Evison, New York Times bestselling author of West of Here

  • Rules for Becoming a Legend is inventive, stylish, and moves straight to the heart. The story of would-be legend Jimmy ‘Kamikaze’ Kirkus is about so much more than high school basketball; it is a book about fathers and sons, expectations and disappointments, fame and infamy. Like Kamikaze Kirkus, Timothy S. Lane drives his superb debut novel straight at the wall, without flinching.”

    Kristopher Jansma, author of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards

  • “With Rules for Becoming a Legend basketball has its Friday Night Lights, Timothy S. Lane has a game-winner, and you get something to read ’til you’ll miss your subway stop. What makes for a squandered life? Can a man turn around who he is like he can turn around a jumpshot? This is a great basketball novel and more than just that. Lane writes about the universal by way of the bouncing, orange particular, and his book’s a triumph.”

    Darin Strauss, author of More Than It Hurts You

  • “Bryan Langlitz’s narration relies on emotion, which is so appropriate for Timothy Lane’s compelling drama about a troubled kid who is trying to find his way on and off the court in the Northwest. Langlitz sets the tone in the opening scene, then spends the rest of the book shaping the plot with a determined, animated narration. The story evokes alternating empathy and laughter as the nonlinear plot bounces to points before and after the incident described in the opening scene. Langlitz’s energetic narration helps listeners keep it all straight. He shines more with tone than with voices—a nutty grandfather is done well—in a story that is equal parts coming-of-age, family dysfunction, and sports.”


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