Shoot Out the Lights

By Bob Spitz


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         If you know nothing about the Knicks' magical 1969-70 season, this would be a good place to start.  The good of the book is that it is one of the more thorough books on this season.  If you look at the section of this website where I list all of the Knicks-related books, you can see I read a lot of books about this team, and this has more details on this team than the others.  Spitz did his research -- interviews, newspaper articles, and books.  However, you get the feeling he was never there.  He fills in a lot of blanks with his own imagination.  He even makes up a rule, claiming the Knicks ran an illegal "zone" offense.  They did run a 1-3-1 zone offense, but zone offenses are not illegal.

        He's also very vulgar.  Quoting vulgarities is one thing.  If an autobiography is vulgar, that's a different thing, but for a storyteller, like Spitz, to use them like he does is totally uncalled for, and takes away from the book.  Like Nelson George, who wrote Elevating the Game, Spitz is a music writer, and after reading those two, I really think that music writers have no business writing sports books.  It does have a cool cover, though, and the story of the Knicks never gets tired, no matter how many different ways you read it.

Insight:  2
History:  1969-1970
Readability:  4

Shoot out the Lights:  The Amazing, Improbable, Exhilarating Saga of the 1969-70 NY Knicks.  Bob Spitz.  Harcourt, Brace, and Co.  1995.    

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