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A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez Hardcover – May 4, 2009

2.8 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Her reporting is diligent, detailed, and overpowering. This is not a book of conjecture: It’s one of bootstrap journalism. (New York magazine)

Important ... devastating ... merciless. (New York Times)

We learn many of Rodriguez’s secrets in Roberts’s meticulously reported psychological profile… (New York Times)

About the Author

Selena Roberts, formerly a columnist for the New York Times, is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. She lives in Connecticut.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061791644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061791642
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,281,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book, if it were to be written at all, would have been far better in someone else's hands. Selena Roberts' treatment of Alex Rodriguez is superficial at best and biased at worst.

If you dislike the Yankees or dislike players that sign long-term contracts for great sums of money, then you'll probably enjoy this book. If you're fairly neutral on both fronts (as I am), then this book won't cast a very long shadow upon your life.

There are two main problems with the book. First, it's abundantly clear that Selena Roberts personally dislikes Alex Rodriguez. She's certainly entitled to feel this way, but this should not come through in a book that is supposed to be the product of serious journalism. Second (and this is connected with the first) Rodriguez's use of steroids is this book's raison d'etre. It's as though Roberts said to herself, "Yes! We caught him using banned substances, now I can write that book."

The rather superficial picture of Rodriguez we get is of a guy who will do anything to win, including making use of stolen signs and performance enhancing drugs. Why does he do this? Roberts lacks the gravitas to tell us. Rodriguez's dad left when he was 10 years old and he was understandably affected by this. But beyond needing approval from others and missing his dad while growing up, how exactly did it affect him? We're never told. Roberts' failure in this regard shouldn't come as a surprise. Her bibliography is mostly composed of magazine and newspaper articles with comparatively few interviews.

Nearly everything in the book is told through the prism of Rodriguez's use of steroids or is only mentioned because it relates directly to steroids.
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Format: Hardcover
As a Red Sox fan, I've been giddy about this book coming out. I just wish it had been written by somebody other than Selena Roberts. This is the woman who convicted the Duke lacrosse team in column after column and when it came out that she had used a column in one of the world's most prominent newspapers to heap scorn on three innocent college kid's, she couldn't even admit she was wrong, much less issue an apology.

Even with her past, I was interested to read the book in the hopes that she would do some real reporting and have some real facts to back up the sordid stories. It turns out that we knew most of what she had hard core evidence to prove months ago, and the rest comes from anonymous sources and pure speculation. Given her past history of making up facts in order to sell a story, I'm a little leery.

If you're a baseball fan, I would suggest reading it. If nothing else it's pretty juicy gossip for your bathroom reading time. If you're looking for well-researched facts and good investigative journalism, keep looking. This is the National Enquirer of sports books. Sure it might be true. Some of it actually seems probable. But who knows if it's really true or not? Unfortunately, Ms. Roberts' past reputation and the lack of hard evidence presented in this book cannot answer that question.
1 Comment 77 of 103 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I'll kick myself for paying good money to read this junk. A bunch of hearsay from nameless people with no facts to back it up. Initially figured it would be as detailed as the book on Bonds. Shoulda waited for media reviews instead of buying it right away. Many facts are being refuted publicly by some former teammates and managers.
1 Comment 18 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition
I will confess up front - I am not an Alex Rodriguez fan. Having been a lifelong sports fan, I love baseball. However, I also am one of those annoying people who feel that by paying players astronomical salaries, it is tarnishing the reputation of the game, and leading more and more players to find sources of quick enhancements (i.e., steroids) to help them excel at the game and have an edge to get to the next tax bracket.

That said, I think Selena Roberts had some interesting points. I'm sure it is difficult enough being a female sports journalist without attempting a stark portrait of the highest paid player in the game. However, I thought she interjected her own thoughts and persona far too much. I didn't need to see the "character" Selena Roberts show up at A-Rod's house, and hear how she interviewed his father. Those were somewhat amateurish scenes that a professional writer should be far beyond. With that, I thought she quoted too heavily from Jose Canseco's "Juiced." If I had wanted to know what he thought about A-Rod and steroid use in MLB, I would have purchased his book - but since I don't care what he has to say, I really didn't like having those longer passages from his book quoted.

I know this book has come under criticism as not having enough sources, and I can see where that might be a problem. However, I did think that she spoke to and named several people who seemed to know Alex very well who were willing to go on the record to speak to his alleged steroid use and his philandering behavior.

In the end, the book dragged on too long at parts, and wasn't nearly the scathing criticism I thought it would be. Roberts shows sympathy for the man in some respects (boy abandoned early on by adored father), but doesn't make the extra effort to delve beneath the surface and show the true man he has become. Maybe she's saving more for a follow up book that goes beneath the surface.
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