The Boys of Summer

Narrated by: Phil Gigante
Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.5 out of 5 stars (216 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The classic narrative of growing up within shouting distance of Ebbets Field, covering the Jackie Robinson Dodgers, and what's happened to everybody since.

This is a story about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is a story by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is the story about what happened to Jackie, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others when their glory days were behind them. In short, it is a story about America, about fathers and sons, prejudice and courage, triumph and disaster, and told with warmth, humor, wit, candor and love.

©2009 Roger Kahn (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A moving elegy...[to] the best team the majors ever saw...the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s." ( The New York Times)
"A work of high purpose and poetic accomplishment. The finest American book on sports." (James Michener)

What listeners say about The Boys of Summer

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Hear from those who were a part of history

This started a little slow for me. Admittedly, I shared the opinion of a reviewer the author mentions in and epilogue that I was not as interested in his own back story as in those of the players. But I get it. I'd probably do the same thing. However, this becomes a fascinating book when Kahn begins to tell the stories of the players he tracked down long after their days in Brooklyn. It was a great look at the players as people, people who would not only witness but be a part of history as they played and coached alongside Jackie Robinson. And you won't find a more likable hero, fiction or non-, than Pee Wee Reese. Definitely worth a read/listen for all who appreciate the game and its history.

3 people found this helpful

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On my reading list for a long time

This is one of those books I just never got to. I'd forget about it or it wouldn't be in the store when I thought of it. This is a great book with insight to players, radio and TV personalities and baseball management. I enjoyed it very much.

2 people found this helpful

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Classic book!

even though I was born 30 years after the Dodgers left Brooklyn, I've always been fascinated by the period. I would hear stories from my dad, who grew up in Brooklyn during this period. I felt a nostalgia towards this hayday of baseball, something I wouldn't be able to experience myself.

Its almost two books in one. the first part was autobiography of growing up while the second part was about about team and the players. At first, I was annoyed by The length of the autobiographical section, but came to enjoy it. Even though the book came out in 1972, there are subsequent epilogues which give additional updates throughout the years.

The narrator was absolutely fantastic, doing a wide variety of voices, quickly switching between accents.

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I don't ordinarily review things...

...because what do people care what this total stranger thinks? I'll make an exception here, but I'll be brief.

1. The narrator is superb.

2. Though I assumed the book was about the Dodgers, or about NYC baseball in general back then, it's as much about Roger's life as about baseball, which is fine. It's a good "read", a good story.

3. Roger "writes" (at the 3:23:20 mark, I believe) "Christy Mathewson of 1905, Tom Seaver of 1969, won the big games, dominated the World Series, and carried a team." I can't speak about Christy in 1905, but in 1969 Tom Seaver went just 1-1 in the World Series, losing Game 1. It was Jerry Koosman who won 2 of the Mets' 4 wins ("dominated the World Series, and carried (the) team"), including a complete-game win in the Game 5 clincher. The erroneous reference to Seaver, in this context, is disappointing from Roger.

In the 1973 World Series, Seaver went 0-1 with a no-decision. So when this book was written, Seaver's World Series record was pretty weak.

That's all.

1 person found this helpful

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He was right about this being 2 books

I got this book on the recommendation of a friend as I am getting interested in baseball. After about three hours I started giving him crap. "This is a book about newspapers!" I started. My friend told me to give it time and the second half was an amazing heart warming and heart breaking follow up with the players of a historic team.

A credit to the author for following up for so many decades as his epilogues really bring closure to the whole saga of the Robinson era Dodgers. Or should I say the Reese era Dodgers. The author even stated he had complaints about this being two books, but both are damn fine.

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  • MG
  • 07-14-20

Superb, the measuring stick for audiobooks

Buy this book, you will not be disappointed. I picked it up after hearing Tony Kornheiser refer to it as some of his favorite sports writing. Great story, perfect narration and an amazing glimpse behind one of the most important temas in American sports history.

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Great book - reader performance subpar.

Terrific book. The reader’s failure to learn the pronunciation of many names detracted from his performance.

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One of the best books I’ve ever listened to

Sure it’s got sports in it, but it’s mostly about fascinating people and a fascinating time, beautifully told and beautifully read

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The golden age of baseball

A great book and a masterful performance by the reader. I am 69 years old, old enough to remember the days before curt flood’ds suit ruined professional baseball, and I loved it!

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Wonderful

If you enjoy baseball, and the way it was years ago, you’ll enjoy this book like no other!