I’ve been rereading C. L. R. James’s Beyond A Boundary, and it’s just as good second time around.
It has a couple of good blurbs on the back of my paperback, which I’ll just spit out here for fun:
 “Great claims have been made for Beyond a Boundary since its first appearance in 1963: that it is the greatest sports book ever written; that it brings the outsider a privileged insight into West Indian culture; that it is a severe examination of the colonial condition. All are true.” [Sunday Times] And, my favourite: “A mental landscape triangulated by literature, socialism and cricket represents an ideal we should all aspire to, and this ennobling and beautifully written book should be read by anyone with the slightest interest in any one of the above.” [The Guardian (Matthew Engel? Or someone else?)]
But the question is a straightforward one: are there any other sports books that are remotely as good, interesting and intelligent as this one?(Note to avoid misunderstanding: the question isn’t asked because I think sportswriting tends to be bad, uninteresting and unintelligent. There are lots of good sports books. At least, I think so. The question is, whether there’s anything else quite this good among the ranks of the better ones. And if anyone has any candidates, I’d like to know what they might be. I suppose they’re most likely to turn out to be about baseball or boxing.)