Title: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
Author: Michael Lewis
Release Date: October 12, 2009
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Michael Oher was a poor kid in Memphis who didn’t have a lot going for him. By all accounts his drug-addicted mother didn’t keep track of him, and some of his teachers questioned if he was literate. But when, by chance, Oher ended up at a prestigious Christian private school in Memphis and caught the attention of the Tuohy family, his life changed in more ways than he could have imagined.
Pretty much everyone has heard about The Blind Side by now. The rags-to-riches story of Michael Oher is the stuff fairy tales are made of. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her no-nonsense portrayal of Leigh Ann Tuohy. Michael Lewis was the one who noticed this story was worth telling (through various complicated means, as he explains in the book), but instead of telling it as a human story, as the movie does, the book the movie is based on tells it, first and foremost, as a story about football.
If you’re a fan of football, reading The Blind Side is an absolute no brainer. You’ll revel in the geeky detail that Lewis goes into while describing the game, and exactly how much Oher was revolutionary. He describes the circumstance that made Michael Oher’s journey possible, about the state the game of football was in at the time. It’s incredibly well researched and informative. If you, like me, aren’t so much a follower of football, you might get a bit lost in the details in these sections. I’ll admit I found myself skimming when the discussion of football went beyond me, but Lewis still makes it interesting and informative.
The human factor is what really made me interested in the story of The Blind Side, and what I appreciated about Lewis is that he didn’t make the Tuohy’s seem like saintly people who help the downtrodden. They’re human, with their own strengths and weaknesses, and though they do something extraordinary when they take in Michael, it doesn’t seem so crazy in the book after you get to know them. It’s just the type of people they are.
Whether you’re interested in the football approach or the human story behind Michael Oher’s triumphant tale, Michael Lewis has a real treat for you in The Blind Side. He’s an amazing writer, telling the story in a narrative style, and it will draw you in from beginning to end.