I thought I used to read a lot of sports books back in the heyday of Bailey’s Baseball Book Reviews. Lance Smith is making me look like a loafer. Over the past year he has tallied more than 100 posts on his site, The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books. This weekend he turned his spotlight on Nine Bucks a Pound, rating it 5 out of 5, outstanding. Here’s the heart of his review:
What I really liked about this book is that it puts a human face on a topic that comes across as black and white. Especially to those who are not baseball fans, those players who took these substances are bad and those who didn’t were good. Del’s trials and tribulations, which were both good and bad, show that it is a very gray area. The reader follows Del from the minor leagues to his award-winning rookie season with the Twins, his relationship with his long-time girlfriend Dana and his parents. These are what resonated with me while reading this book – Del’s decision had more effects than just an increase in his home run totals.The baseball scenes in the book are well written as well. Whether is on the diamond, in the clubhouse or just in the mind of Del as he is trying to figure out the pitcher while in the on-deck circle, fans of the game will love both the action on the field and the interactions of the players with both each other and the press.With excellent character development, a story that never stalls but keeps the reader moving forward and many emotional moments that range from elation to downright sadness, Bailey has written an outstanding novel that should be read by fans of not only the game of baseball, but also of human nature stories as that is the strength of this book – it puts a human face on an ugly issue in America’s Pastime.
In the coming days Lance will be throwing some questions my way for a Q&A to appear on his site. I’ll have a link to that as well when it is posted.