I read the other reviews before downloading this so I did have my reservations, but I was quite satisfied. I guess if I was a rabid football fan, as opposed to someone who enjoys watching college games, but not too fanatical (with no allegiance to any US college) I might have been a little disappointed in the balance between the coverage of football and the coverage of Michael Oher's struggle and development to the level of a college player. But I thought it was fairly balanced; and in the process it told a story about football, and the way in which the game has evolved such that someone like Michael Oher can have an impact. The narration was good, it was engaging, and the audiobook was just the right length - ending at the perfect juncture.
I enjoyed the history of the game and how it changed. Sometimes it was hard to follow.
How Lawerence Taylor and Wallace changed the game so extraordinarily.
He had a nice soothing voice, a fairly good reader.
While the movie is a good movie, The Blind Side, as with Moneyball, is so much richer as a book. How Michael Oher fits into the ongoing shifts in how players are valued in football is covered to an amazing depth, and also brings a new appreciation to the game that many viewers simply don't appreciate as every play includes one battle in the ongoing war over the line of scrimmage. While not as intense in statistics as Moneyball, the understanding of the reasoning behind the varied salaries of each position is wealth of gaming theory analysis and very enjoyable to listen to.
For those of you who have seen the movie - be prepared for so much more. Michael Lewis is a great storyteller, and he does an amazing job of weaving together the story of an underprivileged kid from Memphis with the history of (believe it or not) the left-tackle position in pro football. As for Stephen Hoye's narration, it is nothing less than pitch perfect. I remember driving home from work with tears streaming down my face as I listened to the part where Michael Oher's childhood is described. Nothing against the movie, an easy, feel-good film, but I'm glad I read the book first. Another winner for Michael Lewis.
Non-Fiction, Science, History and Business Reader
This book can be taken as a character study of good people thrown into an unusual situation, or as a book for Grid Iron 101 or perhaps even an introduction into the world of Collage Football politics in the US. But it doesn't really accomplish any of these goals well, and instead feels like a collection or articles and essays strung together by a less then compelling narrative.
Read Moneyball by Michael Lewis instead, which is similar in style and approach, but altogether MUCH stronger in execution.
Appreciating the game
I enjoyed that there are 2 story lines: the Michael Oher story and an history of football strategy.
Hoye is a clear and lively reader.
The explanation of what Bill Walsh did for football.
I am not a football fan and rarely watch football games. The Blind Side allowed me to understand some football strategy and that there is more to the game than physical trauma. The historic development of the power (money) positions is fascinating.
I shouldn't have been as surprised by this book asI was. Michael Lewis can make any topic interesting, but I am not a big football fan and initially resisted reading this book despite how much I like his work. It really demonstrates that every topic is interesting if narrated with the right amount of enthusiasm and background in the hands of a wonderful writer. The story made commuting fly by. In addition to the evolution of football the author treats head-on many of the issues of racism brought up by the adoption of a young black man by a white family that are addressed more subtly in a fictional treatment like Ann Patchett's 'RUN'. Interestingly, although I am a big fan of fiction, I thought this non-fictional treatment was more effective. The narration was also great. This was a big hit for me and out of my usual comfort zone.
This was a great story that needed to be told. I enjoyed hearing about the struggles and hardships that were endured. The only thing I found hard to listen to was the actual talk about NFL as I am Australian I would liken this to someone from the USA listening to a story about an Australian cricket legend... this aside I did learn about the game and the story itself kept me interested the whole way.
I am a huge fan of romances and happy endings. I like books that take me away from everyday life and into the land of romance, some adventure and of course happy endings.
I saw the movie and enjoyed it a great deal so I purchased the book to see where the story came from. Loved the book and the detail. It was so well written and I am buying the hard copy for my son for Christmas, Wish I had bought it earlier!
This is a very low rating for me.
It was a good enjoyable book, BUT...if you do not really like football, just go see the movie (I happen to love football). Too much of the book is a way oversimplificiation. Its like Lewis has a borderline personality disorder in which a few people changed football all by themselves (LT, Walsh) while the rest are a bunch of idiots who are just followers. Furthermore, the movie is much more touching and focues on Michael Oher.
And the narration is terrible. I actually liked Hoye's narration of "flags of our fathers", but that was such a maudulin book. In this book, his voice is just terrible. Way too slow. Good lord this book is supposed to be uplifting and inspirational! Hope he is dropped as a narrator.