Thursday, February 16, 2017

Book Review: The Blind Side

TITLE: The Blind Side
AUTHOR: Michael Lewis
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Biography/sports history
PREMISE: Lewis tells the story of Michael Oher, a kid from the poor side of town who rises up and becomes one of the major NFL football players.
MY REVIEW: I mostly picked this up to complete the read a sports book task in the Read Harder challenge over at Book Riot. I have seen the movie that was based on it. My feelings on the movie are...mixed. Sandra Bullock and the guy playing Michael Oher are great, but I don't particularly think it was Oscar worthy.
As for the book...if I were to judge it based on just the would be a perfectly decent book. Lewis is a competent writer, he explains football in a way I actually understand, and we get a good overview of Michael's life. What left a bad taste in my mouth was the way the author went about writing it. You know the white savior-ish feeling of the movie? Yeah, that's no accident. The author basically writes the book as if the Touhy's and all the generous white people in Oher's life are the ones single-handedly responsible for Oher's success. When he writes about Oher's biological family...there's a lot of condescension lets just say. He also is clearly very biased about things because he writes as if the Touhys can do no wrong. Even though there are some highly questionable things going on in this book where the Touhys are concerned.
That along with him deciding that it's totally necessary to including homophobic and transphobic conversations (when it really wasn't) make me really side-eye this book hard. Is the story inspiring? Sure. I definitely did root for Michael. But the way the author goes about writing this just left me grimacing a lot.
WHO SHOULD READ: Sports fans, fans of the Blind Side movie
MY RATING: Three out of Five really hard side-eyes

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