Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2007
Great content, great subject, well-written and very well-narrated, but disjointed and lacks closure.
As an enthusiastic but not eccentric Red Sox fan, I enjoyed this book, but it could have been much better simply by changing the structure.
This book is written the way most newspaper sports articles are structured. (Considering the author is a NYT columnist, this shouldn't be a surprise.) Vaccaro ropes you in with the denouement up front, then steps back and starts filling in the details. That's a perfectly good approach to start with -- the problem is that, it's not laid out chronologically. Throughout the 13 plus hours, we jump repeated back and forth countless times like a game of pong, trying to keep tabs on what decade we're in and which generation of Sox and Yankees players we're talking about. Even for someone who knows the back story, it's hard to follow, there's no flow, and the herky-jerk approach really makes it hard to get fully invested in the book.
I've never been a fan of this sort of writing in newspapers in the first place, and it really doesn't translate to a work of this length. It's like the author doesn't respect the audience enough to trust that he can hold our attention. All the while, he's forgetting that we aren't skimming newspaper headlines -- we're reading a book and he shouldn't feel the need to keep waving something new at us to keep us engaged.
Also, as others have pointed out, the book doesn't finish the story of the 2004 season. Yes, I realize the Cardinals aren't the subject of this book, but that year was chosen as the end point of the book for good reason. Without the Red Sox world series victory, the 'curse' doesn't end. This feels like a natural part of the book and is strangely missing.
Simply put, if the book was exactly the same, except re-edited to lay it out chronologically like a conventional biography or history, the experience would be much better. If you can get past that issue and let Scott Brick work with what's given to him, you can still enjoy this book. It's a great effort, but manages to stumble somewhere between third base and home plate.
Julian Rhind-Tutt's delivery was great. Considering I had already seen the movie with Hugh Grant as the protagonist, it was nice to have the book read by someone who gave off a very similar demeanor.
Of course, the most memorable moment has to be Dead Duck Day.
Will and Marcus are both great. It's their relationship that makes this story so interesting.
Simply put, I just enjoy the story. The way the rag-tag band of characters, each with their own flaws, end up mingling together into an ultimately tight-knit crew is a fun journey.
I would definitely recommend this book for an enjoyable read with an assortment of interesting characters with an assortment of interesting flaws.
First, the good news.
The content of this book is excellent. This is a very scientific/biological explanation of the many changes that occur in a female's brain over the course of her lifetime.
As a guy, I found this book very informative, and it has made me much more aware of how differently males' and females' minds differ, and it makes those frustrating failures in communication seem so much more logical.
Now, the not-so-good news.
I tend to like when an author of any non-fiction narrates their own work, however this was very painful for me to listen to.
Simply put, I felt like I was sitting in kindergarten, being read a children's story. The author reads at a painfully slow pace, using tones that are very much akin to what new mothers use to talk to their babies. (Well, hewwo there my widdle schmoopie whoopie.)
After getting so perturbed by this that I couldn't bare to listen to it any longer, I decided to increase the playback speed on my iPod to an accelerated rate. This had the double benefits of almost making the reader speak as fast as a normal human being, and also effectively removing the annoying baby-talk.
In all, I still give this book a 4/5 rating because of the quality of the material. I would strongly suggest that the author consider changing her delivery in any future readings.
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