Elizabeth S's Reviews > Stan Musial: An American Life

Stan Musial by George Vecsey
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Mar 15, 2011

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bookshelves: n-history, first-reads, z-2011, c-adult, n-sports, n-bio
Read from May 02 to 08, 2011

This is a good book. There is much that is inspiring, interesting, and impressive about Stan Musial. Although I consider myself a pretty good baseball fan, I knew nothing about Stan the Man. Obviously I'm not a Cardinal fan. (I was a Twins fan growing up, and I'm a Cubs fan now.) And I must be generationally off by enough to not know him as an opponent. But I enjoyed reading and learning about his life. Vecsey obviously did some real digging and found tons of stories, memories, and details to help tell the story of this honorable man.

It is interesting to me that I've recently read two great baseball books by authors who are newspaper columnists. For both books, my big complaint is the lack of overall flow. In many ways this reads like a series of newspaper columns put in order roughly by place in time with a little re-writing to make it sort-of fit into a book. Perhaps this is the price one pays for the amazing research and detail found in both books. Each vignette/chapter is done very well. But there is little flow from one to the next, and little acknowledgement that the other chapters exist. For example, we meet a number of people several times throughout the book, and each time we get a separate introduction with no acknowledgement of the previous intro. Please know that I do appreciate refreshers as to who people are, but these are not mere refreshers. It is still a good, enjoyable book.

I recommend this book for any baseball fan, whether or not you know Cardinals history. It does not teach you anything about baseball, however, so if you think the Triple Crown refers just to horses, or you have no clue who "the two modern sluggers, the Cardinal and the Cub" were in 1998, you may want to learn more about baseball to really appreciate this book.
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