Ball Four is a classic and it is wonderful to hear Bouton read the book himself. Hearing him busting up laughing at his own recounts of the nutty characters in the book is a real joy. However, SPOILER: Bouton has undergone a great deal of hardship and heartbreak in the last couple of decades and he writes about, and subsequently narrates, this in the epilogues. He does a beautiful and heart-wrenching job but naturally you will be left with a much different experience than you would if you had only read Ball Four. It's a great book with and without the epilogues, but it is something to be prepared for. I'm glad I listened to it.
As a lifelong Angeleno, this book was very interesting to me. I hardly knew any of this information, and I think the story is compelling enough to hold the interest of people who do not know the area at all. However, the author takes on an affected, fake-pulpy style in the first half that is pretty distracting and definitely takes away from the content. The 20's and 30's were sensational enough on their own and don't really need that, and I would have preferred something a little more historical. The second half, which covers the second half of the 20th century, is much better in that regard. This is a great topic and I think Buntin covered it competently. The narration was good.
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