Cover image for Slo-mo! : my untrue story
Slo-mo! : my untrue story
Reilly, Rick.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 1999.
Physical Description:
293 pages ; 25 cm
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A Spinal Tap for sports, this uproarious autobiography of Slo Mo Finsternick, 7'8 shooting guard and NBA sensation, is written by the author of the bestselling Missing Links.

Author Notes

Rick Reilly is the author of the novel Missing Links. His "Life of Reilly" column appears each week in Sports Illustrated. Five out of the last six years, his peers have voted him National Sportswriter of the Year. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Maurice Finsternick, raised by a cave-dwelling cult in Colorado, is seven feet, eight inches tall and keeps banging his head on the stalactites. Forced above ground, he lands on the New Jersey Nets in the NBA, where his lumbering gait earns him the "Slo-Mo" moniker and where his coach is a Zen master named Jackson who spouts epigrams such as "All water must eventually flow to the pool." Reilly is a talented Sports Illustrated reporter whose first foray into humorous sports fiction, the golf novel Missing Links (1996), was an unqualified hoot. This time it's more hit and miss. His slapstick basketball version of Kosinski's Being There, with the virginal innocent lighting the way for the cynical and the jaded, attempts to poke fun at everything NBA from the "as told to" sports bio to greedy agents to greedier shoe companies to coaches who start to believe their own Zen schtick. Some of it works fine, but some of it is too painfully obvious to be funny. This was probably more fun to write than it is to read. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

An indescribable amalgam of Dave Barry, Jim Murray and Lew Grizzard, with the timing of Jay Leno and the wit of Johnny Carson, Reilly (Missing Links) may well be the funniest sportswriter in America. His second novel is an "as told to" biography of 17-year-old Maurice Finsternick, nicknamed Slo Mo, a 7'8" true innocent raised in a weird, cave-dwelling cult in Colorado. Discovered by a crafty Roto-Rooter man who becomes his agent, Slo Mo is tricked into the NBA draft. He gets picked up as a starting rookie for New Jersey, playing under legendary coach Phil Jackson in a world of giant egomaniacal players, their agents, groupies and hangers-on. Slo Mo is the extremely na‹ve outsider, who understands nothing about his teammates' fascination with sex and cash; he's just waiting to be exploited. He has a hilarious malapropism for every occasion, along with a 30-foot, ambidextrous hook shot that could make him the best in the world. In a dead-on parody of the inner workings of big-time basketball, Reilly takes on the athletes themselves, the shoe company vultures, corrupt recruiters, alcohol-dazed sportswriters, sleazy agents and mindless fans. Real-life basketball players make appearancesÄCharles Barkley and Bryant "Big Country" ReevesÄalong with the fictitious Death Dedman, who resembles Dennis Rodman but is much more dangerous. Slo Mo searches diligently for his long-missing father, is tricked into hiring an entourage of Dedman's hoodlum friends (called the "Crips," which Slo Mo mistakes for a family name instead of a gang) and falls in love with Lisa, the acrobatic daughter of the Spinning Stankowskis. Slo Mo eventually loses his na‹vet‚ but never his innocence. There are touches of Being There and The Natural in this pseudo-autobiography that will bring tears of laughter once readers make the leap of faith and adjust to Slo Mo's tenacious, angelic personality. (Oct.) FYI: For five of the last six years, Reilly has been voted Sportswriter of the Year by his peers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Here's a funny tale of a likable, amazingly na‹ve 17-year-old, Mo Finsternick, who is plucked out of high school to play for the NBA because he's 7'8" and has an unfailing three-point shot. Raised in a cave cult, with virtually no exposure to the modern world, Slo Mo is duped by agents and jealous teammates and would have been a mark for a female stalker of professional athletes were he not protected by his inability to understand that a woman approaching him wearing only a slip is interested in him. She ends up falling for Slo Mo, and ultimately she and his old point guard buddy rescue him from the greedheads and help him find his lost family. In his second sports novel, Reilly (Missing Links) has fun depicting Phil Jackson's unique zen-cum-profanity coaching style and other oddities of NBA life. Even your nonsports fans will enjoy this one.ÄMarylaine Block, formerly with St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



JAN. 2, ORLANDO Dear Kind Reader, Well, I can't believe I'm writing a book and this is because I've hardly ever even read a book much less wrote one before, on account of evil surface trappings like books, TVs, and automobiles weren't allowed in the Spelunkarium where I grew up. As you probably know, my name is Maurice Finsternick, although the people at the Spelunkarium always called me "Mo" but the sportswriter gentlemen have given me a nickname which is "Slo-Mo" because they say I have the same speed and agility of the Istanbul Hilton. But it doesn't matter anyway because I'm also tall as a hotel! I'm 7 feet 8 inches tall, and 195 pounds, which is pretty skinny I admit and, in fact, Mr. Charles Barkley, one of my teammates on the team, asked me today if I'll travel with the team or will they just fax me everywhere! I've been big ever since I was little, but I guess it's a good thing because starting tomorrow I join the long line and great tradition of professional basketball's most wonderful franchise, the New Jerseys! It's real great because, like I told the sportswriter gentlemen this morning, even though our record is only 16-13, I really think we have the chemicals on this team to really go somewhere, a comment that they all seemed to like a lot on account of they wrote it down very fast. But at the same time I'm very scared and lonely because I really don't have any family and I don't know anybody on the team and they're not going to let me keep taking trains like I did to here to Orlando and I'm a little nervous to fly and I miss the Spelunkarium and miss my high school teammates who I got to know for only one season before my agent accidentally turned me pro, which I never really wanted to do at all but I guess that's another story. Still, my new teammates on the New Jerseys have been real nice to me. Tonight, for instance, after we were narrowly defeated by the Orlandos, 111-79, Mr. Barkley took me into the hotel bar so that we could talk about the exciting life in the NBA. It's the first bar I've ever been in because I'm only seventeen and because I've hardly been out of the compound most of my life. Unfortunately, women kept interrupting us and rubbing his bald head and giggling, although Mr. Barkley didn't seem mad at these interruptions and, actually, seemed to kinda like it. I kept asking him questions, but finally he said, right into my ear, "Yo, chill, man, get yourself a freak!" And I said, "No, thanks, I don't drink." And just then Mr. Barkley must have got something caught in his throat because he spit out his beverage. JAN. 4, NEWARK Well, I'm just back from my first airplane ride of my life which I liked a lot, except for the well-known policy on all NBA teams that all supplemental rookies, which I'm one of which, have to serve the drinks and the meals onboard and also clean up but that's the rich tradition of the NBA for you. Anyway, I'm all settled in for the season here at my very nice hotel, the Newark Airport Ramada Hotel, which I'm very excited about, as I think it is much better than moving into one of those pandemoniums the other guys live in. I got a collect call tonight from my best little buddy, Microchip, although his real name is Mustafa Unity Smith, and when I say Microchip is little, I don't mean little compared to me, I mean little compared to a collectible action figure. Microchip stands only 5-4 but he is "faster than rent money" as he always says, kidding. Microchip played basketball with me at Most Virgin Lady High School in Boulder, Colorado. And I could not have made it to the New Jerseys without him and, really, I wouldn't have made it and didn't really want to come at all but I had no choice and Microchip said he'd call me every night since he didn't have much to do anyway since he got cut the day I turned pro and he'd always wanted to play on the playgrounds of New York. "You just practicin' till you play Hell's Kitchen, Stumpy," which is what he always calls me, kidding, of course. Microchip doesn't talk like a professor at all, even though both of his parents are professors at the University of Denver, and both of them do not like one bit his playing basketball, which is fine since they don't even know he plays basketball. He told his parents that Most Virgin Lady High School didn't even have a basketball team, much less that it had won four Class 5A titles in the last seven years, and that its specialty was Black Studies and he told them he was living with a man who studied under the great black leader Dick Gregory and taking evening Black Studies classes through the exchange program at the Naropa Institute but really he was only playing basketball every second and sleeping on an old mattress in the basement of our assistant basketball coach, Scooter Chambers. And it was funny that we became such good pals because he was the shortest player on the team, Microchip was, and I was the tallest and also because his skin was the blackest and mine was the whitest and he'd done so much in his life and I'd done so little. And I'm glad to have at least one true friend in the world. Actually, I may have two friends now because today I met Mr. Harley Pearce from the local newspaper although everybody calls him Harley the Stain because his shirt usually has something on it from lunch that day or perhaps the day before, and usually there's also some of it in his teeth, just to the right of the Tootsie Pop stick he's always chewing on. Mr. Stain was here in my room this morning before practice, ordering us up a lot of room service and drinks and asking me a lot of questions, which was nice of him, and he asked me if I minded being so tall and large at 7-8. And I replied that people ask me that a lot and also say funny things to me like, "How's the weather up there, stretch?" and "What time you due back at the lab?" which are very funny except maybe I have heard them a few hundred too many times. I really don't mind, as I say that it is truly stupendous that I turned out to be 7 foot 8 inches tall when you have considered that my mother, Phyllis, was only 5-4 and 102 pounds when she was living with me at the Spelunkarium, which was until she died in the cave-in at the King Soopers grocery store. I guess I should have told Mr. Stain that my dad is very tall, too, except that I don't know his real name. Although I do know that his fake name was Genghis Korn, the 7-foot-tall giant who drives to supermarkets all over America and promotes Krispy Korn imitation-corn frozen food products. Of course, Phyllis told me that "Genghis Korn" is not really even his real name though she didn't know what his real name was. Unfortunately, after their one night together, he went on to another city to display his imitation-corn frozen food products and Phyllis never got an address or anything for him and, besides, I guess they couldn't really have been together because how would he have liked spelunking, which is, of course, cave exploring, as much as she liked it, being as tall as he is. When you are as tall as he and me are, you can't really spelunk very well on account of you're constantly knocking down million-year-old stalactites and stalagmites. Which is really sad because you don't get close to the true God, which is what we believe at the Inner Door Spelunkarium where I lived, but what can you do? Life is no better roses. Excerpted from Slo Mo!: My Untrue Story by Rick Reilly All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.