The two veterans experience very different seasons - one on a team dealing with the pressure to get to a World Series for the first time in seven years, the other with a team expected to be there every year.
Taking the listener through contract negotiations, spring training, the ups of wins and the downs of losses, and the people in their lives - family, managers, pitching coaches, agents, catchers, other pitchers - Feinstein provides a true insider's look at the pressure cooker of sports at the highest level.
©2008 John Feinstein; (P)2008 Tantor
"Feinstein makes you care." (Entertainment Weekly)
"John Feinstein has become sportswriting's John Grisham." (Sporting News)
Feinstein has done an excellent job of capturing the last 20 years of the careers of these two major league pitchers. He has written in a literary voice that is one that many of us are familiar with, from a fairly long list of sports personality profiles.
The familiiarity with his aural tone may be part of what is a fairly serious problem with the narration. For many of us, who live in the DC area, there is a real familiarity with his voice through both radio and personal appearances. Since the book carries so much of his literary voice, we expect (want?) there to be much of the intonation that he brings to radio. The narrator is just not able to pull it off. Further, the narrator is apparently very unfamiliar with many of the people involved and has mispronounced quite a number of names. Much of this could have been corrected with the tiniest bit of research.
My suggestion is that you only purchase this book if you are reasonably certain that you can get by the mediocre narration and hear Feinstein's voice. I found it difficult and a real turn off.
I thoroughly enjoy John Feinstein's analysis of sports on NPR. I purchased this audiobook hoping/expecting the same kind of in-depth insight and analysis of the "process" of Major League Baseball as "Three Days in August". Rather, the book's discussion too often provides only an unenlightened and superficial look at the the baseball lives of the two subjects: Tom Glavine is self-serving and unlikeable and Mark Messina is uninspiring. The descriptions of events include so many cliches and platitudes that I wondered whether Mr. Feinstein himself actually wrote this book. The final disapointment: The narrator's tone and pace is poor.
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