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Imagine that you are a large (over 300 pounds) African-American teenager who lives in the worst part of Memphis. You never knew your father (and he will soon be murdered). Your mother is addicted to drugs and doesn't do much to provide for you. You have no bed. You don't know where your next meal is coming from. You haven't gone to enough school to know how to do much of anything.

What do you want out of life? You want to be Michael Jordan . . . just like millions of other teenagers. You've spent endless hours on the playgrounds practicing as a shooting guard.

What will you become in a handful of years? One of the most heavily recruited college football players in the nation and a top professional prospect who people are watching as you learn how to be a left tackle.

The story of how Michael Oher made this transition is one of the most amazing, moving, and fascinating real-life stories it has ever been my pleasure to read. Whether or not you like football, you'll find this book to be impossible to put down.

Michael Lewis does a remarkable job in telling the story. Mr. Lewis was fortunate to have a long-term friendship with Sean Tuohy, one of the many people who helped Michael Oher fulfill his potential. As a result, Mr. Lewis enjoyed amazing access to the people involved in Michael's life . . . and eventually got some help from Michael as well.

The Blind Side is four stories in one:

1. Michael's life before he met the Tuohy family.

2. Michael's progress from being ignorant to becoming a highly recruited college football prospect.

3. Michael's adjustment to college.

4. The changes in professional football that created an irresistible demand for someone with Michael's physical capabilities.

Each of these stories would make a fine book. To be able to pursue all four stories at the same time is an unexpected delight.

But the story's not over. Michael is now a sophomore at Ole Miss. Will he make it to the NFL? You can follow his career and find out. Perhaps other amazing chapters lie ahead. Who knows?

There's another story this book doesn't tell, but implies: The world is full of talented youth who could make great contributions . . . but they need a lot of help from people who care and are determined to help the youth succeed. For ever Michael Oher, there must be millions who languish. How can we change that? You'll be haunted by that question after you read this book.

If you are looking for keen insights into football that you don't already have, you'll probably be disappointed. Any fan of professional football knows that a team's potential chances of success are only as good as the blocking of the offensive line. Clearly, the left tackle is the best insurance against a maimed right-handed quarterback, something no fan wants. You've probably noticed that the top left tackles get paid almost as much as quarterbacks. The history of how the Bill Walsh-type passing offenses have become so important is something you've lived through.

The professional football material will, however, be helpful to those who don't know football and want to appreciate why people have been going gaga over Michael Oher.

How can you help an at-risk youth today?
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on December 30, 2006
A great chronology on the emergence of the left tackle position in pro football. Who could forget that devastating hit by LT on Theismann that ended his career. Lewis does a good job explaining what has led to one of the most important positions in football, protecting the QBs blind side.

The parallel story of Michael Oher who could become the next Jonathan Odgen or Walter Jones is a quite puzzling though. Especially Lewis' insinuation that the Tuohy's took him in so that they could steer him towards Ole Miss.

Not as good as Moneyball, but the book is easy to read and well-researched.
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on February 7, 2012
I thoroughly loved this book. It mixes business with sports. The message in my mind is the society we build and what we value or presume to value. It is a compelling tale of a giant "freak" that should easily be recognized as an elite athelete but can be hidden in full view in an inner-city ghetto project. Underlying all of this is the need to protect the spear chucker i.e. the most valuable member of a football team and you have an interesting tale of the value of that person and willingness of backers and college teams to find these individuals. In a team game these atheletes have a gladiator's battle every snap count.

The book gets into much more detail of the need for this phenomenal athelete and why business is willing to pay him the most or the second most money on a football team. It is a fantastic read and a little disconcerting to see the divide in America between the haves and have nots. A great read as is Michael Lewis's other book Moneyball. It is a illuminating read to why such atheletes if they make it to the pros deserve such huge amounts of cash in a very short career.
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on September 17, 2013
Read this book if you want to learn about LT (aka Lawrence Taylor, the greatest Linebacker ever) or about 'West-Coast Offence' or how the epic battle between Bill Walsh and Bill Parcells started (for those that don't know, pretty much *every* coach today can trace their coaching careers back to these two men, or Marty Schottenheimer). Another topic covered is the lopsided economics that is NCAA and how a virtual league run under the guise of education in order to basically get players that play for free.

Overall this book was great, quick read. I had trouble putting it down and more than once traded a few more hours of sleep (badly needed with my newborn 2 month-old daughter) to keep reading. Much like Moneyball and Hoop Dreams, this was great book about sports. If you're a sports fan or just a fan of good documentary-like books, this is a must read.

For a more detailed review, please go to my blog here: [...]
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on May 5, 2013
Like the book better than the movie as usual Intense in places but pleasantly so.
Fast read once you get into it.
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on February 5, 2010
Very good read, keeps you interested. I am a football fan and it was funny, sad and exciting the whole way through.
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on June 29, 2014
I almost always prefer books to movies, as most readers do. In this case, save some time, watch the movie.
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