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Review: The Blind Side

June 24, 2010

Michael Oher grew up in a rough inner-city neighborhood of Memphis – in the third poorest zip code in the country.  His father didn’t play a part in his life and his mother was only around when it was time to get her check.  Michael ended up sleeping on the floor in the home of a friend.  When that friend’s father took his son to enroll him in an exclusive Christian school on the other side of Memphis, he took Michael along and Michael ended up enrolling there too.   That event changed Michael’s life forever.

At his new school, Michael caught the attention of a wealthy white family – the Tuohys – who ended up taking him in, tutoring him, and eventually adopting him.  Through a lot of hard work and a little finagling of the rules, Michael ended playing football at the Tuohys’ alma mater, Ole Miss, and currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis is the story of Michael Oher and the Tuohys.  I’ve been interested in reading this book ever since I saw the movie version of it.  I discovered that the movie does follow the basic story of the book, but also leaves out a lot of details, over-dramatizes parts and sugar coats others.

Michael’s childhood was nothing, if not dismal.  Left to his own devices much of the time, he missed years of school and had to scramble to find food and warmth.  He was failed by almost every adult he knew, yet he never seemed to grow hardened.  He is definitely lucky to have had the Tuohys come into his life, but I got the impression that they feel like they were just as lucky to find him.

This book has made me think a lot about the tragic lives some children lead – when you hear stories like this, you realize why some people turn out the way they do.  It also made me think a lot about wealth and privilege and all that can bring you.  The Tuohys had no problems using their status to call in favors and further Michael’s cause.  While I certainly can’t fault them, it made me realize just how much power comes with money and I have to admit it made me somewhat uncomfortable.

There is a lot football in The Blind Side and those totally unfamiliar with the game, might find themselves lost through parts of it. This book is about so much more than football, though.  It’s about love and faith; it’s about class differences and privilege.  This feel good book made me think and I do recommend it.  See what Michael Lewis has to say about this book:

I listened to the audio version of this book and I have to say that Grover Gardner did a wonderful job reading it!  He is going on my list of narrators to watch for.  The unabridged audio is on 5 CDs and runs for approximately 6 hours.

I’m posting this to celebrate Audiobook Week which is being organized by Jen of Devourer of Books – go to her blog to check out more fun audiobook events this week!

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


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42 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2010 5:39 am

    oh, I have this book. I watched the movie and had to get the book. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s waiting for me. Glad you enjoyed the audiobook version.

  2. June 24, 2010 6:37 am

    I loved the movie but have not thought about reading the book. The movie was unforgetable.

  3. June 24, 2010 7:01 am

    I haven’t seen the movie or read the book, but I must admit it sounds like a perfect story for me. I love football and inspirational stories.

    BTW — Fantastic review!

  4. June 24, 2010 7:29 am

    I’m not sure I want to read the book, but I know I want to see the movie. My husband had nothing but good things to say about it. Thanks for the review!

  5. June 24, 2010 7:43 am

    This sounds like a very inspiring story. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m putting the book on my list. I especially like that it’s an audio book.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

  6. June 24, 2010 7:49 am

    Very moving….great review
    http://forkbootsandapalette.wordpress.com

  7. June 24, 2010 8:27 am

    I saw the movie adaptation and it was tear jerking, believe me. This sort of movies make you realize how lucky you are, makes you count your blessings and find out it’s more than your fingers and toes.

    I did not know it has a book!

  8. June 24, 2010 8:33 am

    I have yet to see the movie, but it is on my list (especially as a Ravens fan 🙂 ). Everyone who has seen it raves about it.

  9. June 24, 2010 8:47 am

    The audiobook sounds like a good option for me. I don’t know allthe football jargon, and listening to it could help me follow it.
    Thanks for explaining the differences between the movie and the book.

  10. June 24, 2010 8:54 am

    I saw the movie a few months ago, and loved it. It does sound like the book is a bit different though, and I think I might like to get the chance to read it. Michael’s life was really very sad, and I am really glad that he found a really good family to love him. I do also see what you mean about power coming with wealth though, and think it would be interesting to read the book with this in mind. Thanks for the great review. I am really glad that you found a great narrator as well!

  11. June 24, 2010 9:20 am

    This movie was so amazing and obviously I loved Sandra Bullock, but I loved the character Michael as well. I’m not a football watcher, but loved the movie regardless! Thanks for posting 🙂

  12. June 24, 2010 9:59 am

    Reading the book after seeing the movie is a different route. But I can understand it as the movie was an excellent story. I’m glad the book added to the picture.

  13. June 24, 2010 10:31 am

    I loved this movie and I’m happy to see that the book is good too!

  14. June 24, 2010 10:40 am

    I saw the movie and absolutely loved it. Sandra Bullock was a shoe in of for Mrs. Tuohy.

  15. June 24, 2010 11:52 am

    Great video. I especially liked seeing the pictures of the real people involved. It really does sound like, though, as you say, it took money and connections to help him.

  16. June 24, 2010 12:03 pm

    Kathy, I did enjoy the movie but the book sounds even better. Terrific review! 🙂

  17. June 24, 2010 12:06 pm

    i loved the movie! i’ve had this book on my tbr for quite a while now. i’m glad you enjoyed the book! i’m looking forward to reading it myself.

  18. June 24, 2010 1:51 pm

    I completely understand your discomfort with the use of the power that money and social status bring, even if for a good cause.

  19. June 24, 2010 1:59 pm

    I usually don’t like to read books after seeing the movie, but I bet the audioversion would work for me. Thanks for the review Kathy!

  20. June 24, 2010 2:00 pm

    This might be my next audio pick because since I liked the movie so much, that might be the best way for me to tackle it.

    I’m interested in how I’ll receive the wealth and privilege bits. I think I will be uncomfy with that as well.

  21. June 24, 2010 2:00 pm

    I want to read this book. I understand that Michael Oher himself is supposed to be writing a book or that’s what my husband told me after we watched the movie. I’ll read it keeping what you said about money and power in mind.

  22. June 24, 2010 3:11 pm

    I am usually not a movie person, but this is one that I definitely want to see.
    CMash

  23. stacybuckeye permalink
    June 24, 2010 3:38 pm

    I loved the movie. It made me want to help everyone I saw 😉
    I love football, so I would probably even enjoy those parts of the book.

  24. Beth Hoffman permalink
    June 24, 2010 3:50 pm

    I’m not into sports, but I think my husband would really like this. Thanks for giving me a great gift idea, Kathy!

  25. June 24, 2010 5:19 pm

    The movie was entertaining, but I did hear that the book definitely was more hard-boiled than the Hollywood version. I think that is primarily why it got middling ratings…it was just too sugar-coated. I do want to read this!

  26. June 24, 2010 5:27 pm

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I do want to see it. I would probably mist enjoy the additional info that the book provides even if I have to wade through some football to get to it.

  27. June 24, 2010 5:30 pm

    I have to admit I’ve neither seen the movie nor read the book, but I’ve heard wonderful things about both. Thanks for the review!

  28. June 24, 2010 6:28 pm

    I loved this book so much, and the movie made me cry like a baby multiple times.

  29. June 24, 2010 10:37 pm

    I loved the movie and I’ve wondered about the book. Great review. I think I need to track down a copy.

  30. June 25, 2010 9:01 am

    I have a sort of phobia about reading a book and seeing the movie adaptation of it. Since I’ve seen the movie, and loved it, I think I’ll skip the book. I’ve also seen the family on TV and in real life they kind of grated on my nerves, kind of holier-than-thou, you know. I love football too so it was a great movie for me.

  31. June 25, 2010 11:16 am

    This one does sound good. I’m going to look for the audio as well.

  32. June 25, 2010 12:29 pm

    I didn’t even realize this was a book before it was a movie! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much, I remember you loving the movie.

  33. June 25, 2010 2:29 pm

    My son and I loved the movie so it would be great to read the book that inspired it.

  34. Kathleen permalink
    June 25, 2010 2:39 pm

    I’d love to read the book and then see the movie. I’ve heard good things about both.

  35. June 25, 2010 4:59 pm

    Everyone seems to love this, but I don’t know. I’ll probably never get around to it.

  36. June 26, 2010 7:15 am

    Wow — I have been wanting to read this book too, but have hesitated that it might be too sappy. Sounds like it tells it like it is (was). We have the movie in our Netflix queue.

  37. June 26, 2010 1:52 pm

    I have definitely been interested in reading the book ever since I watched the movie; the movie just really made me think. I’m glad that the book had just as powerful an effect on you. And i definitely look forward to reading it.

  38. June 28, 2010 12:54 pm

    Sounds like an excellent book for audio.

  39. June 28, 2010 2:14 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read this one. Glad to know the audio version is good because it does seem like a book that I could handle listening to while trying to do other things.

  40. June 29, 2010 4:22 pm

    I was hoping to get to the book before I saw the movie but I let my Netflix queue go unwatched and the movie just arrived so I’ll have to see then read. I am actually looking forward do all the football stuff.

  41. July 1, 2010 4:42 pm

    I enjoyed the movie and never thought to read the book. I think I’ll see if my library has the audio version though, I’m always in need of good audio suggestions.

  42. August 1, 2010 4:17 pm

    I loved the movie, but wasn’t as impressed with the book (read it before the movie) because of all the stats and details. And I love football!

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