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Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic

Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley's Swingin' A's
Narrated by: Jason Turbow
Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: Sports, Baseball
4.5 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Oakland A's of the early 1970s were the most transformative team in baseball history. Never before had an entire organization so collectively traumatized baseball's establishment with its outlandish behavior and business decisions - or with its indisputable winning record: five straight division titles and three straight championships. The high drama that played out on the field was exceeded only by the drama in the clubhouse and front office.

But those A's, with their garish uniforms and outlandish facial hair, redefined soon virtually every aspect of the game for coming generations. Under the visionary leadership of Charles O. Finley, the team assembled such luminary figures as Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, and Vida Blue. Finley acted as his own general manager and, with an insatiable need for control, dictated everything from the playlist of the ballpark organist to the menu for the media lounge. The advent of free agency spelled the end of Finley's reign; within two years his dynasty was lost.

A sprawling, brawling history of one of the game's most unforgettable teams, Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic is a paean to a turbulent yet magical time.

©2017 Jason Turbow (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Overall
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Great History Book

What did you like best about this story?

I lived through the A's dynasty, beginning as a young teen. I didn't appreciate the total lack of community support in Oakland, the depth of talent that Finley and his scouts discovered or that the A's sported baseball's first facial hair in something like half a century. This is a story about baseball. The author makes no attempt to tie the team to a societal revolution. It's a great inside look at friendships, fights, stalemates between owner and players, personalities, events and even a little baseball strategy.

What does Jason Turbow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Turbow is the rare author who serves as a good narrator. He kept the story engaging.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not one, but many relates. He gives a balanced portrayal of the innovative, bombastic, larger-than-life Charlie O. Finley. We see the duplicity and the sincerity in the man, as well as his bungling negotiations with players and his generosity when players performed exceptionally. Finley was a complicated man, and I thought that Turbow explores him in depth and in a balanced manner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hire a narrator

I grew up watching the A's of the early 70's, and I learned a lot a new information from this well researched book. The book was well written with good pacing and overall structure.

I am not sure if there was a recording problem early in the performance, but the author sounded slow and sped up at the same time. Further into the book, the author's performance was solid.

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Great Memories

I was 16 living in San Francisco when the A's won their first World Series in 1972. My dad and I would go to A's games once in awhile, those colorful uniforms, white shoes, Charile O the mule. Little did I know was all the turmoil going on with this team and what a cheap SOB Charlie Finley was. Very enjoyable book!

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  • Robert
  • Pinole, CA USA
  • 08-07-18

A good baseball book

The A's in the 70's were definitely a strange baseball dynasty. This is a lot about the history of that great team.

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The Oakland A's Five Year Dynasty

No one ever thought the low budget Oakland Athletics cellar dwellers would become a five year, 1971-1975, Division winning dynasty with 3 consecutive World Series titles, a feat achieved by less than five other teams in World Series history.

A's owner, Charlie O'Finley, despite his flaws, is brilliant in assembling All Stars like Bert Campaneris, Ken Holtzman, Vida Blue, and Sal Bando, with future Hall of Famer inductees Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, and Rollie Fingers to create the fabled dynasty.

Fiery Dick Williams, who managed the championship A's, as well as the Impossible Dream Red Sox, is also in the Hall of Fame.

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Entertaining the whole way

Loved the history behind this team. Watched them growing up and knew there had to be some stories to be told.

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Excellent story of fab 70's team!

Compelling story of some great A's teams, Kudos Jason Turbow...he can write AND narrate. A great listen.