The Blind Side

Michael Oher and family

I just finished reading The Blind Side by Michael Lewis and I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in football, or US social policy, or the human potential, or race relations, or, for that matter, just wants a good read.I just finished writing about David Foster Wallace and how much I have enjoyed his writing and The Blind Side is the polar opposite.

With DFW, I am always aware of, and dazzled by, the writing. In the The Blind Side, the story is everything – more accurately, what is being told is everything. All the words, all the sentences are pushing a narrative forward. And I mean that in the best possible way. 

At this point, I think everybody knows the basic plot – how a poor black kid, Big Mike who become Michael Oher,  is discovered (not quite the right word, maybe found) by a very rich, white, Christian, family and how his life and their lives are changed. That does not do it justice. Michael Oher is a 350 pound, 6'4", freakishly quick, and astonishingly graceful black kid who is invisible.  He goes to school, sort of, but nobody cares if he learns anything – they just pass him on to the next grade where he is invisible again.  He is one of those kids we read about every once in a while that just slipped through the cracks. At 6'4" and 350 pounds!

Except that, when he is starting his junior year in high school, everything changed. Michael is very likable but he is very lucky. As the book says, among other things, Pity the kid inside Hurt Village who was born to play the piano, or manage people, or trade bonds. This book made me realize, again, that we, me and the people who read this blog, were all born on third base, at least, and, even on our best days, think we hit a double.We didn't we are just enormously lucky.

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