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Mark Gandy

Fayette, Missouri, United States | Member Since 2012

  • 2 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 350 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • One Last Strike

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tony La Russa
    • Narrated By Tony La Russa, Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After 33 seasons managing in Major League Baseball, Tony La Russa thought he had seen it all - that is, until the 2011 Cardinals. Down ten and a half games with little more than a month to play, the Cardinals had long been ruled out as serious postseason contenders. Yet in the face of those steep odds, this team mounted one of the most dramatic and impressive comebacks in baseball history, making the playoffs on the night of the final game of the season and going on to win the World Series despite being down to their last strike - twice.

    Mark says: "Insight to the 2011 Cards Magical Season and More"
    "Insight to the 2011 Cards Magical Season and More"

    Yes, there will be bias here - I'm a Cardinals fan, and I'm enjoying this book. I'm only on chapter 18, but the book walks the listener through the 2011 season and the subsequent post-season. As expected, LaRussa gets off on (appreciated) tangents which adds to greater insight of the game itself.

    This is not just a book about Tony. It's a great course on management by getting buy-in from 25 different personalities and getting the team to focus on EFFORT, not just results. My favorite quote early on is when LaRussa describes winning as a process, not a result.

    As you can expect, there are a plethora of stories added along the way. By far my favorite is when his 1996 club (his first year managing the Cardinals) was not buying into his philosophy. During a trip to Chicago, he took some of his veteran players to a Bulls practice. The Cardinals players that went were impressed with the way the Bulls approached their practice (hard and intense). I'm also sure it didn't hurt to see Jordan and Pippen walking up to Tony and calling him by his first name. After that little field trip, the 1996 Cardinals started to turn things around.

    Tony read the first chapter, and through the next 17, the other narrator has read the rest. Scott Sowers reads this well, but I wished the two would have alternated chapters.

    I know it's nitpicking, but Scott Sowers keeps saying Kyle Lohse with two syllables (LO - sa) - it keeps getting old. Otherwise, excellent presentation by Sowers.

    I suppose the ultimate kudos to a great audio book is when a person decides to read the print version afterwards - exactly what I'll be doing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Frank Brady
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From Frank Brady, who wrote one of the best-selling books on Bobby Fischer of all time and who was himself a friend of Fischer’s, comes an impressively researched biography that for the first time completely captures the remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer’s life. When Bobby Fischer passed away in January 2008, he left behind a confounding legacy. Everyone knew the basics of his life—he began as a brilliant youngster, then became the pride of American chess, then took a sharp turn, struggling with paranoia and mental illness. But nobody truly understood him.

    Roy says: "A Trajedy"
    "A Gifted Mind Gone to Waste"

    I enjoy reading biographies and have always wanted to know more about Bobby Fischer. I suppose I've been living under a rock as I had no idea regarding his viscous antisemitism and his anger toward the U.S., especially after 9/11.

    While you will learn about the young genius and how he became a champion at such an early age, on the flip side, you will learn about his paranoia about imagined Russian conspiracies, medical procedures and practices, and from being taken advantage of financially.

    Ray Porter, in my opinion, has a gift at reading these long books and again, he turns in another strong performance (Ghost in the Wires was the first time I heard him).

    Not a great book in terms of entertainment, but factually compelling, and if I were a chess player, I would probably say this is must reading to learn more about the history of championship chess during the late 50s through the early 70s.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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