An editor would have been helpful. As it was, it was an endless and seemingly random stream of quotes from various participants in ESPN's rise to glory.
It was as if the authors emailed everyone who ever worked at ESPN, gathered the responses, and cut-and-pasted everything into a giant tome -- no real insights, not much of interest, and no flow.
One of the narrators was decent, although it was challenging because so many of the voices of the players in the book are so familiar. The narrator who read the few, brief connecting pieces (the blurbs between the stream of quotes) sounded as if he were put off to have to read his parts. The woman's role was so over-the-top, "Well, golly!" that it subconsciously made all the female characters sound like ditzes.
I did learn more about the rise of ESPN, but ultimately, I guess, to what end?
Nate Jackson provides a very clear picture of what life is like for a professional football player, from the pain of a torn muscle to the availability of "jersey chasers" for a pro athlete. He peppers his story with more philosophical meanderings and extended metaphors than you might imagine, but it's largely an instructive, interesting, informative inside look inside the locker room.
I find myself telling a lot of people (mostly guys around age 40) unprompted that they have to read this book. To be clear, I didn't spend my youth plugging quarters into the games at the arcade and I never had tape on my glasses (actually didn't even wear glasses until an unfortunate attempt to appear scholarly much later), but this innovative futuristic/nostalgic blend totally appealed to my inner nerd. Great concept, very strong writing, and even for a guy who has trouble with willful suspension of disbelief, somehow totally believable.
I hadn't thought about it before I got to this question, but Wheaton himself represents for me both the nostalgia (I saw Stand By Me at least six times) and futurism (Star Trek: Next Generation) that the book captures. He just sounded right.
Not moved, so much, but made me react in some real way. I actually look forward to going back and listening to this one again in a year or so.
The premise doesn't sound like all that much fun, but it's incredibly well written, incredibly well told, incredibly engaging. The writing is crisp, capturing the feelings and conversations in a way that was totally believable. And I can think of at least a dozen times when I hit the "back 30 seconds" icon so I could listen again to the way a paragraph was constructed or the incredible wit delivered in a line.
It almost felt as if John Green had her in mind when he wrote it. It was just the right marriage of story and voice.
Yup, and I even listened to the author Q&A at the end because I didn't want to stop.
I was startled in that Q&A when the interviewer asked why he only wrote Young Adult books. Frankly, I had no idea that it was meant for teens. I mean, I guess in retrospect it's a bit obvious, but it was a book for everyone.
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