Susan's Reviews > Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Moneyball by Michael   Lewis
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's review
Oct 15, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: book-club
Read in October, 2012

So... Moneyball both did and didn't work for me.

What worked: because of the book (well, and the movie that was made from it that I happened to see first), I did learn a lot about how baseball stats measure the wrong things, and about how some people who figured out what stats they *should* look at managed to turn the money game upside down to the great astonishment of pretty much the whole baseball world. That was, indeed, pretty cool. And there were a few interesting personal "human interest" stories interspersed into the statistics.

But there was more that didn't work for me personally. The longest running personal interest story is Billy Beane's, and here's the thing about him: he seems to be a guy who is doing something incredibly successfully, and yet seems fairly discontent with the whole thing. He wasn't happy as a ball player and he doesn't strike me as tremendously happy, either personally or professionally, in creating this astonishingly successful team. And, y'know, fine for him... but it doesn't make for a very good story. There are other players' stories, but they are short, and quite frankly, I know what it is that gives me my best shot at liking a book, and that's a chance to delve in deeply and become immersed. I *really* prefer novels to short stories, and while I love to learn from what I read, what I enjoy is the personal side of it all -- the way the science or game or stats or whatever connects to real people. And all the "real people" stories were short.

So I learned, and it was well written (if quite statistics-heavy), but just not my kind of book.

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