Andre's Reviews > Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

Luckiest Man by Jonathan Eig
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's review
Nov 17, 2009

it was amazing
Read in March, 2010

This was a great biography, but the deeper into the story I got, the more difficult the book was to read. That is the result of superb writing. Jonathan Eig did as thorough a job as possible of getting into the details of Lou Gehrig's illness and physical deterioration. The muscular atrophy, search for diagnosis, loss of motor skills, and search for answers are painful to read.

Most biographies are of people who are no longer with us, and we know the ending going in, but rare are those whose deaths are so agonizing to witness. Eig's research and writing take you right there with Lou and his wife, Eleanor, as the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis destroys the man's body. The subtitle of the book is The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig; the back of the book is all about the death. It is not pretty and romantic and nostalgic like the clips we have all seen from July 4, 1939. This book is full of the real.

The rest of the book, though, is full of the slugger's life. I have said before that I am a fan of exhaustive research; Eig's pays off into the story of a man about whom baseball fans should know a great deal more than we do. Gehrig was a quiet and unassuming giant who bridged the Yankee gap between celebrity behemoths Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. As Eig points out, the Iron Horse was never truly appreciated until he was gone, first from the Yankee lineup then from the earth.

This book is a pleasure for any baseball fan.

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11/17/2009 page 3
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