February Goodreads Book Review

Rosedale LibraryStaff Picks

February Goodreads Book Review

'Moneyball'

Moneyball - novel cover
Moneyball - DVD cover
Michael Lewis’ Moneyball could easily have turned into a chronicle of statistics and behind-the-scenes tedium, but Lewis manages to create a wonderful blend of stats, action, and character analysis such that the book reads like a thriller, rather than a book about the business of baseball. Moneyball tells the story of the Oakland A’s 2002 baseball season from the point of view of the General Manager, Billy Beane, and the front office staff.

Throughout the novel, you find yourself rooting not so much for the Oakland A’s, but for the system employed by Billy Beane and his staff to build the team. Lewis compares the A’s versus Yankees story to that of the Biblical “David and Goliath” throughout the book, and he would be hard pressed to find a more apt comparison; he also brings you into the mentality of an “us versus them” dynamic, and you will have a hard time resisting the urge to root for the little guy.
The film adaptation drops much of the backstory behind Billy Beane’s statistical system, but keeps much of the baseball action and the reaction of the fans, players, and scouts to the new system. The film also focuses more on the private lives of Beane and of some of the players that he resurrects from obscurity. While Beane’s story dominates the book at times, the movie clearly focuses on him as the lead character, and this proves quite successful throughout.

Moneyball, in both of its adaptations, defies the traditional argument pertaining to which was better, the book or the film, as the two are very different, yet both are very good, and suitable for the true baseball fan and the non-believer alike.

Join us on Goodreads in the DC Public Library group for a spirited discussion of this and many other titles in our February “From Page to Screen” discussion!