Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.


The Kite Runner (8/10)

by Tony Medley

Although it doesnít put nearly as much emphasis on the vicious brutality of the Taliban in Afghanistan as emphatically as Khaled Hosseiniís bestselling book, it effectively captures the polite ways of the old country and how they are exported by Afghani expatriates to America.

Amir (Zekiria Ebrahimi) is an 11-year-old kite flyer in Afghanistan. Hassan (Ahman Khan Mahmoodzada) is his loyal companion and the one who runs down Amirís kites, the son of Ali (Nabi Tanha), the servant of Amirís father, Baba (Homayoun Ershadi).

 Exceptional performances by Homayoun Ershadi and 12-year-old Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada highlight screenwriter David Benioff and director Marc Forsterís adaptation into an insightful tear-jerking movie about a boy who does a despicable act and his guilty attempt at redemption after he becomes a man.

Iím not sure why screenwriter David Beniof and director Marc Forster minimized the despicability of the Taliban that burst from almost every page of the book when they made the film, but from what appears on the screen you donít get nearly the feel for the brutality of The Taliban and what life was like under them. If you havenít read the book you will be unaware of the way the tone has been changed. But if you are a reader of the book, you will probably come away disappointed, as did I. Make no mistake, the film is entertaining and well done with superb acting. But it was a far cry from making the impact on me that the book did.

Thatís not the only change from the book. There is a fight near the end of the film. This was the climax of the book and it took many, many pages to describe it. If you blink during the film, you might miss it.

That said, Iím a stickler for the concept that a film must stand on its own and shouldnít be judged by comparison with the book or play from which it might be derived, and this one passes this test of independence with flying colors.

Both little boys give admirable performances, but Mahmoodzada does such a remarkable job that he should qualify for a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Similarly, Ershadi stands out as Amirís Baba.

 

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