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The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game | [Michael Lewis]

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game

When we first meet the young man at the center of this extraordinary and moving story, he is one of 13 children by a mother addicted to crack; he does not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or any of the things a child might learn in school. And he has no serious experience playing organized football.
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Publisher's Summary

When we first meet the young man at the center of this extraordinary and moving story, he is one of 13 children by a mother addicted to crack; he does not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or any of the things a child might learn in school. And he has no serious experience playing organized football.

What changes? He takes up football, and school, after a rich Evangelical Republican family plucks him from the mean streets. Their love is the first great force that alters the world's perception of the boy, whom they adopt. The second force is the evolution of professional football itself.

In The Blind Side, Lewis shows us a largely unanalyzed but inexorable trend in football working its way down from the pros to the high-school game, where it collides with the life of a single young man to produce a narrative of great and surprising power.

©2006 Michael Lewis; (P)2006 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"As he did so memorably for baseball in Moneyball, Lewis takes a statistical X-ray of the hidden substructure of football, outlining the invisible doings of unsung players that determine the outcome more than the showy exploits of point scorers....Lewis probes the fascinating question of whether football is a matter of brute force or subtle intellect." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (659 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Chris Laramie, WY, USA 10-12-09
    Chris Laramie, WY, USA 10-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Touching and Informative"

    This was a fantastic book. As the title suggests, I was stunned to hear the details of Michael Oher's background. I was expecting more of a x's and o's type of story about the evolution of the left tackle position. The information in that area was used instead to reinforce Oher's value to the NFL and those around him.

    This was a very well written book that is both socially and historically informative. The limited information on the evolution of the "Blind Side" is not abundant, but it is thouroughly informative. The emphasis on Michael Oher's background, and his relationship with the Tuohy family is eye-opening.

    Don't wait for the movie, listen to triumph of the human spirit unabridged.

    P.S. The dictation by Hoye was great, I loved his cajun accent.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    V. Brown the hinterlands of Idaho-ho-ho 03-14-08
    V. Brown the hinterlands of Idaho-ho-ho 03-14-08 Member Since 2001

    llacharbach

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    "a very human sports story"

    this book can alter the way you watch a football game. You WILL notice the line play and the constant pressure of rusher to get to the QB. Beneath all that is a another, very different story of a quiet young man of unique physical gifts and of abject neglect and poverty. The football teams want him for what he can become: an all pro left tackle. He is used to a solitary, impoverished life of fending for himself; he distrusts those who can help him with food clothing and shelter. Point and counter-point, Lewis writes a true story that is compelling to hear. A tale very very well told.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bret Omaha, NE, United States 02-16-10
    Bret Omaha, NE, United States 02-16-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Outstanding!"

    Not only a great story about Michael Oher and his adopted family, but a unique perspective on the evolution of football and specifically the left tackle position. I've yet to even see the movie, but the book is fantastic.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lowly customer Era, TX 01-12-10
    Lowly customer Era, TX 01-12-10 Member Since 2005

    Lowly

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    "Excellent"

    Not only was this a great telling of a heartwarming story of a family openning their arms to a downtrodden unlikely stranger, but it also tied in a great analysis of the evolution of pro football.



    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert pleasanton, CA, United States 08-30-09
    Robert pleasanton, CA, United States 08-30-09 Member Since 2005
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    "Heart Warming"

    A good story about football, a great story that shows what can happen when a child is given a chance to succeed by those who care. I laughed until I had tears and at the same time my heart ached for Michael Ohr a young man who just needed a chance at life. Michael Lewis incorporates the world of pro-football with one of the best human interst stories you will ever listen to. Stephen Hoye is outstanding as the narrator. Have listened to this one twice.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 10-01-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2010
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    "This author is wonderful!"

    I can’t believe he makes nonfiction so entertaining and engaging.

    Several times I didn’t want to stop reading. Several times I was laughing out loud. Part of his talent is “finding” a good subject to write about. I can see why they made this into a movie. Although I was disappointed that the movie had a scene that was not in the book. But that’s a minor point and relates to the movie, not the book. The story of Michael Oher is such a feel good story. However, the end of the book is sad when showing the details about his early childhood.

    The book was published five years ago. I wish there was something bringing us up to date with what happened to Michael since then. When I finished the book I found myself online doing searches to learn more about what happened to him.

    I am not a sports fan and don’t watch football, but I really enjoyed this book. Actually I am now a little more interested in the sport. When I saw a football game on TV recently, my first question was who is playing left tackle, and I wanted to watch him.

    STORY BRIEF:
    The book starts out with some history about the passing game and Lawrence Taylor’s skill at sacking quarterbacks. That created the need for a left tackle to protect the quarterback’s blind side. The first player who could stop Lawrence was a guy who wrestled steers on a cattle ranch. He was big yet light-footed fast. Most of this book is the story about Michael Oher. He was homeless for most of his childhood, but through a stroke of luck ended up at a private Christian high school. Within two years, Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy invited him to live with them. He needed a full time tutor to survive class work which they provided. They later adopted him. Michael had the perfect body and skills for the left tackle position. Some additional history about high school, college, and pro football is provided during and after the Michael story.

    NARRATOR: Stephen Hoye was excellent.

    GENRE: football nonfiction.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leland Humble, TX, United States 03-20-11
    Leland Humble, TX, United States 03-20-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Another great book by Michael Lewis"

    I'm not a big reader, just an engineer with a long commute. I purchased the book because I enjoyed reading "Moneyball" when my daughters played softball. The knowledge from the book helped in the coaching of my daughters, but also in the way I worked with others. I hoped "Blind Side" would do the same, while telling a great story about a loving family and a child, who needed a break.
    The "Blind Side" starts with an understanding of how the game of football was changed by players like Lawrence Taylor. Whether you like football or not, this is a great story of how one person affects a system or an industry. LT forced coaches to give greater consideration to their individual offensive linemen, who previously had just been known for being big and heavy. Like "Moneyball", we learn how this simply inequity in the game was discovered and exploited. The change in the game set the stage for a young Memphis kid with a bleak future to become a national prospect.
    The story of Michael Oher could be it's own book (and it is, now that he wrote an autobiography). Inside that wonderful story are great supporting characters, the Tuohy family. The book is far more honest about the intentions of everybody than the movie, and for that; it's worth the time to listen. You'll see how Leigh Anne is the key to Michael Oher in many ways, but the one story as remarkable as Michael is that of Sean Tuohy. That's a story hinted at, but never told in the book. What's for certain is Sean Tuohy truly believes in paying it forward. His willingness to help others is obvious, and I suspect part of the reason of his success. Certainly, it was a major part of Michael Oher's success.
    As they say, the book is better than the movie, but this one is good even after seeing the movie. Perhaps its even better to see the movie first. If you liked the movie, and you read through this review; buy the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob 11-06-06
    Rob 11-06-06 Member Since 2006
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    "Lewis Does it Again"

    After enjoying Moneyball so much, with its amazing human portraits placed against the tableau of baseball, I had some doubts that Michael Lewis could duplicate such quality with The Blind Side. And while The Blind Side may not garner as much attention as Moneyball, or the sizzle that book generated, it is every bit its equal, and perhaps even better. A fascinating (almost incomprehensible) story for our age, Lewis has actually managed to make the left tackle position in football interesting. Have you tried watching left-tackle play during a game? It's only effective when it's dull. Lewis, however, peels back the layers of its intricacy, in the process showing us why people like Michael Ohre and the Tuohy family are so remarkable. Even if you don't like football, you'll enjoy this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul S 03-21-10
    Paul S 03-21-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Excellent book"

    This was a great book for sport fans. For those who saw the movie this book is much more than just the story of Michael Orr. Mr. Lewis goes deeper into the changes in strategy in the NFL. The game does not stand still and those who are willing to change will win.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Highland Park, NJ, United States 10-27-06
    Jeffrey Highland Park, NJ, United States 10-27-06
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    "Life Lesson"

    I purchased this book because of the author, not the subject matter. Michael Lewis is a gifted writer. The story is very interesting, but can feel a bit long at times. But the most enjoyable part for me is the appreciation for those who, behind the scenes, can make a fundemental difference in others lives. For the Blind Side, that person is the Left Tackle. For someone else, it may be a teacher, a mother or neighbor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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