Gene's story, a surprising paean to the power and humanity of a game, is told here by his son, a first-time author who exhibits the confidence and pacing of a pro. His gripping material certainly helps: after several years overseas in the Navy's touring baseball team, Gene was brought back to Louisiana and assigned to guard secret German POWs, whose U-boat was captured just days before the storming of Normandy.
There, Gene teaches his German captives how to play baseball, with a number of unintended and life-altering consequences. When Gene's finally able to return home to Sesser, Ill., he's "on crutches, depressed and embarrassed," holing up in the local bar and prompting one bartender to lament, "he's become one of us, when we were hoping he would make us like him." Gene's journey from promise to despair and back again, set against a long war and an even longer post-war recovery, retains every bit of its vitality and relevance, a 20th-century epic that demonstrates how, sometimes, letting go of a dream is the only way to discover one's great fortune.
Would you consider the audio edition of Playing With the Enemy to be better than the print version?
I really liked the audio version, I haven't read the print version.
What other book might you compare Playing With the Enemy to and why?
There are so many stories of comebacks that this could be compared to, but not all of them were originally sacrificed for the good of others. This man was not only a great ball player, but a great man and a great leader.
What about Toby Moore’s performance did you like?
Toby did a great job of bringing these characters to life.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The main character really sacrificed a lot for others, I loved when his friend gave up his chance to give him a 2nd chance.
Any additional comments?
It's always good to remember that our lives can turn on a dime, and we should always appreciate what we have here and now.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A beautifully told story that shows how the author's father (and main character) didn't have to become a household name to be the hero he probably didn't realize he was to many in his life. Gary Moore honors his father in the telling of his story and tugs at your heartstrings chapter after chapter along the way.
There's plenty of interesting WWII history and excitement on the field for baseball fans. But, what connected me to the story the most was how much it is rooted in love. Gene's love for baseball, for his family, for his comrades and teammates. His ability to finally find love and gratitude in the face of heartbreak and disappointment. Even the author's love in writing this tribute to his father all came through in the telling of this story.
This audiobook version is made all the more meaningful by the narration of Gene's grandson, Toby, who does a wonderful job bringing all the characters in his grandfather's story to life with natural ease and expression. There is so much love within the pages of this book and I felt all these moments deeply as lessons learned ❤️.
Ps. If you are an expressive person like me and listen to this audiobook in a public area, you might run the risk of alarming strangers around you with uncontrollable gasps, awwws, laughter, and tears.
Fabulous story which can appeal to a baseball fanat the same time as the average person dealing with what life has thrown their way. B
The book connects on so many levels. Don't miss it. And... I rarely write reviews.
This book is fantastic! The story, the writing and the lessons. Listening to this book on my way to and from work, I so often found myself on the edge of my seat, fighting away tears and cheering. What a delight!