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Publisher's Summary

"Tough, straight, upsetting, and strangely beautiful. One of the best sports autobiographies I've ever read. It comes from the heart." (Stephen King)

Eclipsing the traditional sports memoir, House of Nails, by former world champion, multimillionaire entrepreneur, and imprisoned felon Lenny Dykstra, spins a tragicomic tale of Shakespearean proportions - a relentlessly entertaining American epic that careens between the heights and the abyss.

Nicknamed "Nails" for his hustle and grit, Lenny approached the game of baseball - and life - with mythic intensity. During his decade in the majors as a center fielder for the legendary 1980s Mets and the 1990s Phillies, he was named to three All-Star teams and played in two of the most memorable World Series of the modern era. An overachiever known for his clutch hits, high on-base percentage, and aggressive defense, Lenny was later identified by his former minor league roommate, Billy Beane, as the prototypical "Moneyball" player in Michael Lewis' best seller. Tobacco stained, steroid powered, and booze and drug fueled, Nails also defined a notorious era of excess in baseball.

Then came a second act no novelist could plausibly conjure: After retiring, Dykstra became a celebrated business mogul and investment guru. Touted as "one of the great ones" by CNBC's Jim Cramer, he became "baseball's most improbable postcareer success story" (The New Yorker), purchasing a $17.5-million mansion and traveling the world by private jet. But when the economy imploded in 2008, Lenny lost everything. Then the feds moved in: Convicted of bankruptcy fraud (unjustly, he contends), Lenny served two and a half harrowing years in prison, where he was the victim of a savage beating by prison guards that knocked out his front teeth.

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, channeling the bewildered fascination of many observers, declared that Lenny's outrageous rise and spectacular fall was "the greatest story that I have ever seen in my lifetime". Now, for the first time, Lenny tells all about his tumultuous career, from battling through crippling pain to steroid use and drug addiction to a life of indulgence and excess, then an epic plunge and the long road back to redemption. Was Lenny's hard-charging, risk-it-all nature responsible for his success in baseball and business and his precipitous fall from grace? What lessons, if any, has he learned now that he has had time to think and reflect?

Hilarious, unflinchingly honest, and irresistibly listenable, House of Nails makes no apologies and leaves nothing left unsaid.

©2016 The Third Chapter, LLC (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Self Serving...

Dykstra's Book is a self serving, probably truthful narrative of his life. Seemed to me that there was a significant amount of purposeful omissions to make his case.

Can't recommend the book, can't dislike the book. It is what it is. There was nothing to keep you glued to it. It was ok, and that's about all. I was glad when I finished it. Sorry Lenny, you were a better player than you are a writer.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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awesome book, subpar reading.

I love the book. It was a great story and I believe most of it to be true. The one gig I have is that the reader was not well invested in the story it seems. He did not emphasize the funny spots or the heavier spots well. I think it would have been much better served had Lenny read it himself.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Lenny Dykstra What an Asshole

One thing is clear listening to House of Nails, Dykstra loves dropping names and pretending he is a big deal. He is clearly not learned and will fall again. Too bad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mudge
  • Los Angeles
  • 07-18-16

Stern interview was better

I loved the Dodgers growing up but knew about dykstra and liked him. I remember his car wash too. Heard the interview on Howard then bought the book next day. Even my wife loved the interview and is not into sports. The book leaves a lot to the imagination. I really enjoyed the parts about coming up as a young baseball player and his stories as a pro but then it tailed off. I wanted to hear more about what he did that was illegal and why he went to prison but it really dances around the topic even though a lot of time is spent on it. There's a lot of "moreovers" and "in addition" transitions all over the place like the editor was just trying to make sense out of a free flowing blob of material (dykstra said he wrote it). I love nails and think he's an interesting guy but this book didn't nail it for me. Sorry bro.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book for baseball fans

This very entertaining book was Narrated perfectly. The life of Lenny was a great story, & also a lot of fun to follow along. If you are a MLB or Lenny fan, this is a great book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • michael
  • poway, Ca, United States
  • 08-08-16

Foul mouthed gloss over story of a troubled life

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

That's a tough one. How about people who think that arrogant, foul mouthed, druggies with lots of money are cool...<br/>like Charlie Sheen

What was most disappointing about Lenny Dykstra’s story?

That he glossed over his crimes and was always the victim. His family and ex wife and kids were ignored thru most of the book...I'm sure they suffered greatly....not a good family man.<br/>In the last chapter he gave a mini token apology to his ex-wife....WOW!<br/>. <br/>The scene where he bought the German Shepard for $75K so he could win $100 bet with the doorman...was sickening<br/>He was out to prove EVERYONE has a price bc he would sell his soul for money..

Which scene was your favorite?

When he got beat up in jail...of course he claimed he was totally innocent (like everything else)

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes...It reminds us there are people like this in the world...arrogant, cheating, foul mouthed, crass, crude, money grubbers....pathetic<br/><br/>Also he went to jail

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Not bad

Better than I thought it would be! I like redemption stories. Author is honest, story is interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Cannot begin to describe how great this book is.

Not a Mets fan but a baseball fan . This guy has one hell of a story. I recommend it, in fact, you won't be able to stop listening. loved the German Shepherd story. I would love to hang with Nails. Great guy, great book.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Brought me back

Having been a diehard Mets fan throughout Lenny Dykstra's years with the team, this brought me back to the 1986 season. I truly enjoyed hearing about Lenny's escapades, his friendship with Charlie Sheen, and some of his struggles. The book got bogged down a bit with the minutiae of his legal circumstances and investments though. Patrick Lawlor's narration grew on me, as well.

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Nauseating Narrator

I couldn't bear to listen to the over-acting of the narrator. Bought a hard copy of the book and read it myself. Excellent story, very entertaining!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-22-17

Not bad

I may have enjoyed this book more if I had a greater interest in baseball but it was interesting enough. I got the impression that the author was holding back and he didn't reveal much about his feelings and emotions nor did he take much blame for the consequences of his arrogance and inflated ego. Overall it was OK but I wanted more and listened through the inconsequential paragraphs hoping they would lead to something a little more controversial but mostly was disappointed. If you are into MLB then this book would capture your attention. Otherwise, I saw through it as a last ditch attempt by the author to claw back some money lost due to his bad dealings with property investments

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  • Brian
  • 08-30-16

Never followed Baseball, but absolutely loved this

What an exciting, intriguing story. Loved every bit. Lenny's a legend in my books and I would recommend this book to anyone. Baseball fan or not.