Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
DisappointingSept. 24 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
This book wasn't very informative. While I did learn some stuff about Matsui, most of it I already knew. I thought it was going to go into detail about his childhood, playing with the Giants, and coming to the Yankees. It sort of glossed over all of those, not really exploring any one thing in depth.
The author knows Hideki personally, and therefore spends a lot of time talking about himself. While some of these stories are interesting, most are not. Ijuin's narcissism gets old after a while. If you've been waiting for a good Matsui biography to come out, keep waiting.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lost In TranslationOct. 8 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
The term "hagiography" was coined for this book. It was absolutely glowing about Matsui in a fawning and sort of obsessive way. I don't know if it's due to cultural differences or what, but this reads like a Junior High School girl's diary entries, without the "LOLs." One of the author's quotes sums up this biography's tone: "For Hiroko [the author's wife] and me, middle-aged and childless, the appearance of Matsui in our lives was magical. It was as though a sprite had breathed a kind of radiance into us." Come on, get a grip, Shizuka.
Not to mention, the book's title should have been "My Life as an Obsessive Matsui Fan." This was more of an autobiography of author Shizuka Ijuin than a biography of the Japanese Yankees slugger. I will never regain the time I lost learning about Ijuin's wife, dogs, frustrated baseball ambitions, and literary accolades. Matsui is mostly mentioned as the guy at the other end of the dinner table from Ijuin.
All accounts I've read of Matsui portray him as a decent and charitable human being, which is why I risked my hide reading about a Yankee from Red Sox country: he is a philanthropist without ulterior motives, donating mostly anonymously (until later discovered); he has a tireless work ethic; he respects both his native Japan and the United States, visiting Ground Zero in a snowstorm his first day in New York; and he in general embodies the modesty that Japanese are traditionally known for. However, this stuff was touched upon so briefly and shallowly in this book. Did you know that Matsui earned a first-degree black belt in judo and won a citywide sumo tournament as a youngster? Or that he credits his tremendous professional restraint to a severe public slapping he received from his junior high school coach for throwing a bat in anger at an opposing pitcher who intentionally walked him? No? Well, you wouldn't have learned it from reading this book, either. It omitted these and other stories from the biography while describing the temperaments of the author's wife and dogs.