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June 17 , 2009

The Someone You're Not

True Stories of Sports, Celebrity, Politics & Pornography


Bestselling author Mike Sager’s fourth collection, The Someone You’re Not, showcases Sager’s deftly-written journalism at its best and most mature, a riveting marriage of crime reportage and you-are-there literary anthropology.

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The book’s centerpiece examines the rise and fall of football RoboQuarterback Todd Marinovich—a previously unpublished, thirty-plus thousand word “nonvella” version of his ASME-award winning Esquire story, the inspiration for ESPN’s acclaimed documentary. Other true stories include up-close and personal visits with super-celebrity Paris Hilton, South Asian Republican hopeful Gov. Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, Ultimate Fighting Championship impresario Dana White, and coaching phenom Pete Carroll.

Plus: A man who spent twenty-nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit. A Muslim immigrant who worked to save the life of the white supremacist who tried to kill him. The best-dressed man in America. An ugly guy in a town that worships beauty. A farm in the mountains where wounded marine veterans are taking care of their own. And “The Porn Identity,” where a divorced dad takes to the road to find former starlets and to rediscover his mojo.

“Mike Sager writes with uncommon grace and, always, with respect for those who give him their time. His stories cut to the bone of our common humanity.”
– Paul Hendrickson, author, Hemingway's Boat and Sons of Mississippi, on The Someone You’re Not.

"You know those engrossing books that keep you up all night? Don't pick this one up if you have  somewhere to be the next morning."
– E on Scary Monsters and Super Freaks

“Like his journalistic precursors Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson, Sager writes frenetic, off-kilter pop-sociological profiles of Americans in all their vulgarity and vitality. He writes with flair, but only in the service of an omnivorous curiosity. He defies expectations in pieces that lesser writers would play for satire or sensationalism… a Whitmanesque ode to teeming humanity’s mystical unity.”
– The New York Times Book Review on Revenge of the Donut Boys

“I can recognize the truth in these stories—tales about the darkest possible side of wretched humanity.”
– Hunter S. Thompson, author, on Scary Monsters and Super Freaks.

"Sager plays Virgil in the modern American inferno... Compelling and stylish magazine journalism, rich in novelistic detail."
– Kirkus Reviews, on Revenge of the Donut Boys

"Mike Sager is the beat poet of American journalism, that rare reporter who can make literature out of shabby reality. Equal parts reporter, ethnographer, stylist and cultural critic, Sager has for 20 years carried the tradition of Tom Wolfe on his broad shoulders, chronicling the American scene and psyche. Nobody does it sharper, smarter,or with more style."
– Walt Harrington, dean emeritus, College of Media, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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