Information is presented by a droning narrator. Conclusions are no longer persuasive -- much has changed since this book was written.
I teach a course on "Baseball & American Culture" and was really excited about this book. The subject needs more attention than it's had in the past and this seemed so promising. Unfortunately, the book is poorly structured, wandering all over the place, and is read by a plodding narrator who sounds like he's in his 70's (no slur on age -- I'm in my 60's -- but on his pacing (repetitive) and vocal timbre). I had to give up after three hours. Giving the disorganized structure, the written version will likely not be any better. Very disappointing.
As my title says, this one was not even close to being as good as the first in this series. The first was well written. This one seemed formulaic. I won't be listening to more, I suspect.
Lewis presents a provocative, scholarly argument that takes considerable focus to listen to and fully grasp (I've purchased the book to re-read his argument). And while I very much appreciated his perspectives, the narrator was extremely annoying in his frequently mispronounced words. Dominant among these words, and one that author Lewis uses throughout his book: "Pastoral." Pronounced "pas-TOR-al" by the narrator, every time he said it, I had to keep saying out loud: PAS-tor-al. grrrrr.... I went to online dictionaries to listen to audible pronunciations of this word, just to confirm that some new way of saying it hadn't entered the English language. It hasn't. So, the narrator (and whoever let him continue saying not only this word -- an especially important one when talking about the myth of baseball -- but the names of players as well) made this an even more difficult read. But I pushed on because I found the argument fascinating and, well, SMART.
This book had a weird, staccato feeling, in which plot elements jumped around and sometimes seemed to omit important information. It kept me from really engaging with the book in ways I might have with a smoother ride. In addition, the narrator was perhaps instructed to read with the vocal affect originally from Valley Girls but now much more widespread that is known as "vocal fry" at the end of sentences -- that growly, I'm-so-bored kind of tone -- and it annoyed the heck out of me. I tried to overlook it or credit it as an intentional, performative device, but it was difficult to do so.
This is a beautifully written book. The language and structure are so great that I'm going to buy a hard copy so that I can reread and admire the author's beautiful choices. The reader does a good job -- not as beautiful as the writing, but good enough to convey a great story.
I wish Quinn had found more ways to use the concept of a story told from the dog's perspective. It was such a great idea in his first book, Dog On It, and had lots of hilarious consequences. I loved the way in which Chet, the dog, would get distracted when his owner/partner Bernie was in the middle of explaining the crime they were trying to solve and we'd miss #3 in a list of three. Often, Chet would be listening and then spot a piece on food on the food "Ooh, a Cheetoh! My favorite" and gobble it up, never returning to Bernie's observations. He was a most unreliable narrator, but wonderfully so.
Unfortunately, no book has been as good as that first one. Instead, it seems like each book is less likable than the ones preceding it.
He should've been more excitable and frisky, in other words, "dog-like." I just don't see Chet being so solemn and deliberate.
Long time Audible member & never had a problem before. But this download repeatedly froze my iPod. I tried downloading again, and then downloading at lower quality. Nothing worked. Had to get a refund on this one. And I really was enjoying the story a lot!
I loved these stories and have ordered the book to enjoy them again. The audio quality, however, was so uneven it was occasionally difficult to listen. Good reader, but bad sound engineer. A most unfortunate result for such great writing!
Hated the kid in this story -- whine whine whine -- grew so repetitious I was actually yelling at my radio.
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