Not enough baseball for me, too much glossing of Cold War/Christianity/the suburbanization of America. I canThis was quaint. Well-written, but quaint.
Not enough baseball for me, too much glossing of Cold War/Christianity/the suburbanization of America. I can see why so many people on GR who've reviewed the book positively are Cold War Kids and Baby Boomers - it's a trip down memory lane, I guess. A lot of those readers also came to this from her other big biographies, which likely put their expectations in a different place than mine. (I came to it because of her involvement in Ken Burns' Baseball.)
If you're looking for a baseball book, look a little further into the literature of the sport....more
A true blow-for-blow, season-by-season history of the Expos delivered by an eloquent lifetime fan. For the general reader, the best thing about the boA true blow-for-blow, season-by-season history of the Expos delivered by an eloquent lifetime fan. For the general reader, the best thing about the book is the balance of backstory and game stories, it doesn't make the error of getting bogged down in too much minutiae (like, say, The Milwaukee Braves: A Baseball Eulogy). In addition to history on dozens of great players, coaches and execs the Expos produced or fostered, there's lots of interesting information about the team's relationship with the city, its battles to endear Canadians and the travails of running a small market club. Readers unfamiliar with Jonah Keri can preview or continue to seek out his work at Grantland, and wherever fine baseball journalism is published....more
meticulously researched and minutely detailed, this truly is a blow-by-blow account of the braves' 12 years in milwaukee. good research and niche stormeticulously researched and minutely detailed, this truly is a blow-by-blow account of the braves' 12 years in milwaukee. good research and niche stories are the clear strengths of the book. the glory days of baseball are so rich with quotable characters and buege does a good job of bolstering his game and season stories with quotes from a wide variety of personalities.
however, the minutiae does eventually (not long for readers less in love with baseball than i) feel over done - outlining the acquisition and departure of literally every single player to play with the major league franchise is not only unnecessary, it's uninteresting about 50% of the time.
for a dedicated baseball fan, historian or milwaukeean, this is a worthwhile and often entertaining read. for the layperson, this will feel like a long, boring news report....more
*note* in baseball speak, i must allow that this is a "homer" pick. that is to say, i am a milwaukee brewer fan, and that fact likely inflates my appr*note* in baseball speak, i must allow that this is a "homer" pick. that is to say, i am a milwaukee brewer fan, and that fact likely inflates my appreciation for this book by as much as one star. i'd say that's on par with giving the minor novels by your favorite writer the benefit of the doubt.
media saturation has dulled our impressions of sports and athletes by marketing them in accordance with slogans and brands. by combining a radio-announcer-like play-by-play with multiple layers of background, dan okrent here undercuts such hyper-superficial information and creates something of a cinematic effect. as the book progresses - the narrative being the inning-by-inning play of a real baseball game - okrent turns names and numbers from a boxscore into rounded characters and provides the circumstances behind many of the players' and executives' roles in the game (both immediate and general).
while 9 innings is probably too much for someone who doesn't know anything (or doesn't care) about baseball, it is a great resource for the casual fan and a fun retread of various facets of the business end of baseball for the knowledgeable fan. not only does okrent profile many recent greats, he also gives background on such institutions as the commissioner, the players association, the birth and growth of free agency, and the goings on in a dugout, at winter meetings, and during meetings at the pitcher's mound.