Sunday, January 13, 2008

Book Review: Kurkjian

In the spirit of full disclosure, I wanted to say that the last time I wrote a book review was in high school, maybe even junior high, which was approximately 136 years ago. So, I'm not completely sure if I'm doing this right. But I'll try my best.

Tim Kurkjian. Is This a Great Game, or What? New York: St. Martin's Press, 2007, 258 pp., $24.95

When I received this book, I was expecting it to be full of all kinds odd statistical facts much like his pieces on Baseball Tonight. It's not like that at all. It's more like a compilation of newspaper special-feature type articles.

Kurkjian loves baseball very much. At least that's what he says several times throughout the book. I don't doubt it for a minute, but sometimes it feels like he tries too hard to sell it. And, it really seems like he sucks up to some of the people he's writing about - particularly A-Rod.

As I was reading, I could definitely tell that he has a newspaper background. His chapters are well organized, aptly cited, and fully researched. The stories he tells are very interesting, but not particularly fun. It felt like his writing came more from his Chicago Manual of Style and less from his heart. In fact, he doesn't get truly opinionated until the later chapters, which I enjoyed much more than the others.

Overall, I liked the book. It kept me interested, and he really does know what he's talking about. One of the reviews on the back of the jacket uses the word hilarious. I wouldn't go that far, but it is enjoyable. I recommend it - I give it a solid B+.

No comments: