I can't even believe it. I've learned to love audiobooks this year (what would my errands be like without a good book to listen to), but I unfortunately came across two I couldn't complete. I debated on posting it out in the blogosphere since I didn't finish them, but hey, this is also a personal rant site at times, so why not? Here are the brief reasons why I couldn't finish The American Heiress and Moneyball.
Let me also make sure to note that these are my own opinions and certainly do not represent the love that fans have for these two stories. I'm just an odd duck sometimes.
The American Heiress, by Daisy Goodwin.
I can't tell you how much I wanted to like this one. I love historical fiction, but... It's 1893 and Cora Cash is the richest American heiress and her mother wants Cora to marry an appropriate man, one with a title. After a trip to England, Cora meets the Duke of Wareham and they get married in a lavish wedding in New York. Upon her return to England, Cora begins to realize that her only true friend is her maid, Bertha, who is also an outsider.
This is going to sound silly, but right out the gate, I was a little annoyed by the characters' names. The richest heiress' last name is Cash? The maid's name is Bertha?
I just couldn't get into the story. And *mini-spoiler alert for this paragraph* when the story opened up with Cora wanting to be ready to kiss her love interest at the party that night, she enlists her maid to "show her how." It was intended to be shocking, but I thought it was going for the cheap "thrill."
Guys, you know I love historical fiction. But this one just didn't do it for me at all.
My thoughts on the audio? The narrator certainly carried off the snobbish accent of the turn of the century, but it wasn't the most enjoyable for me to listen to.
Moneyball: The Art of Winning the Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis.
Okay, bottom line, let me first put the disclaimer out there that I love sports, and I love sports stories. I most especially love the science behind sports.
Moneyball is about how one man led the change at the Oakland Athletics on how players are selected. With his team of "geek statisticians," Billy Beane revolutionized the old way of baseball recruiters and didn't opt for the large payroll. Go for the guys who can get on base, even if they don't "look like" a "real" baseball player. In fact, they called Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox fat, for cryin' out loud, but they knew he could get on base. The old school recruiters liked the traditional look of a baseball player, but Beane and his geeks pushed to bring "others" to the team. Consequently, the Oakland Athletics had one of the lowest payrolls at the time for baseball, but had one of the best records. Sounds completely fascinating for a geek like me, right?
Moneyball, though, is a whole heck of a lot of stats about baseball, and if you are not a baseball nut (meaning not just a sports fan, but a baseball NUT that knows obscure facts and stats), it is a struggle to get into this story and understand what is happening. I also kept waiting for a storyline to pick up, but quite frankly, it jumped from one reason to another of why Billy Beane changed the recruiting philosophy of baseball. To me, it felt like a legal case: it was one fact after another, further evidence of why Billy Beane was the man.
My husband did end up finishing it, but he's a baseball nut. He did reassure me that it was extremely difficult, though and a lot of events passed him by, too. I felt a little better that it wasn't just me. Moneyball is for the pure baseball fan who doesn't really like a lot of story, but likes a whole lot of facts, stats, and events.
My thoughts on the audio? Unfortunately, even the phenomenal Scott Brick couldn't help me get into this one.