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The Blind Side

'The Blind Side' is a cross genre book, as it is a biography, a documentary, and could almost be an anthropological treatise.
I saw the movie, and the book caught my eye at the Miami airport.
The story is about Michael Oher, a black kid growing up in the slums of Memphis. His life crosses paths with the Tuohy family, a conservative Christian family living in the wealthy suburbs of Memphis. Leigh Anne Tuohy sees Michael on the streets in shorts in wintertime and reaches out to him. An amazing series of events unfolds as the family takes in this high school boy, whose life is formed by the society of the ghetto. Both cultures are radically changed by the encounter.
The reason I call the book cross genre, is that the story is non-fiction- a biography- but is interwoven with laborious detail of how the game of football is played. There were a few times I faltered and almost skipped sections, as football is not my game at all. Yet even the dissection of the sport was compelling. However, I couldn't wait to get back to the story.
Author Michael Lewis also weaves in backstory of Michael's life in the slums; his mother who never took care of him (called a 'breeder', as she inevitably wound up pregnant, providing Michael with thirteen brothers and sisters, with multiple fathers), and the society he grew up in, which carries such different rules than the Touhy household, he may as well have come from a foreign country.
The book, like the movie, did not disappoint. From the first chapter, which spends thirteen pages describing, analyzing and backstorying the five seconds from the snap of the ball to the end of Joe Theisman's career, to the end of the story that isn't the end, as it leaves us with Michael Oher just about to start his NFL career, the book is a treat. Not only does Lewis cover Oher's life with great detail and insight, it is obvious he really did his homework before publishing his tome. I highly recommend it.

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