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Man in the Middle Hardcover – February 20, 2007
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
So I fully acknowledge that just because I really liked this book doesn't necessarily mean you will. After all, I am the most ready-made of target audiences, already holding the author in high esteem. But please allow me, in this review, to introduce you to Mr. John Amaechi and give you a sampling of his words. And hopefully once familiar with this wonderful fellow you will be encouraged to see for yourself just what he has to impart.
First off, let me say that with most sports books that are co-written with another author, you would be right to be cynical about words like "gregariousness" and "miscreants" (and phrases like "a bonanza of flesh") appearing in the prose. You'd be forgiven for finding it highly unlikely a pro athlete would write like that. But anyone who has heard John's spoken eloquence (or read his website poetry) knows that these would not be surprising word choices for him.
And one of the best things about this book is the joy in the language - John has always been a bit of a "word nerd" of sorts, so this offering comes loaded with a colorful vernacular and some nifty turns of phrase (I think "barmy armies" is my favorite - used to describe the truly fanatical basketball fans in Europe.Read more ›
That being said, homophobes, and of course I disagree strongly with such bigotry, could pick apart this book and the man's life. John Amaechi had an absent father and a strong mother: the recipe that many bigoted people say would make a male gay. Amaechi is a political liberal who loves writing poetry and drinking tea. He also hates guns proliferation and doesn't really care for sports. Again, bigoted readers may dismiss him as a stereotypical gay man, despite his accomplishment as the first NBA player to come out. Amaechi's witty urbanity will rub many "red-blooded, all-American" sports fans the wrong way.
Though there are more out football players than basketball players, Amaechi makes the NBA sound far less homophobic than Esera Tuaolo described of the NFL. Tuaolo said he feared for his bodily safety and that footballer players spouted homophobia constantly. Amaechi never describes fearing for his life and he minimally talks of homophobia in the NBA. Moreover, Tuaolo basically said NFL players could lose their jobs in an instant.Read more ›
I found John's story to be both heartbreaking and inspiring. I felt so sad for him because of the struggles he had with being accepted growing up and dealing with the whole akwardness of school life. I find his willingness to share his story inspiring because of the relationship he had with his mother and the goal he had for "The Plan". John's writing took me to every place he went in an effort to fulfill "The Plan". What stood out to me the most was when he described his experience with the Utah Jazz. I'm a sports fan, and I must admit that I never cared for Utah's coach - I was appalled by what John described. John's description about the lockeroom behavior with so called "straight" players in the league was classic comedy, I never laughed so hard. John has a knack for incorporating humor at the right times throughout the book.
I really hope that the NBA keeps recognizing John Amaechi - he is an outstanding individual.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Amaechi is a professional basketball player who happens to be gay. But with everything that goes on in this book, those two factors seem pretty insignificant. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Zach Harris
It's an easy read and it's like having a real conversation with someone telling their own story. I would recommend the book.Published on March 3, 2013 by Kelly Mickey
The book I ordered through an Amazon merchant arrived within a reasonable amount of time (about 1 week). The book was in the condition as advertised. Read morePublished on May 17, 2011 by Refused
At ten years old, little John Amaechi was not so little. Almost six-feet tall and overweight, he stood out in his predominately white school in Manchester, England. Read morePublished on March 8, 2010 by Taylor Siluwé
Purchased this book not sure what to expect and I could not put it down! Written really well! Am glad it is now in my collection!Man in the MiddlePublished on August 24, 2009 by Derrick Pfeister
When I read an autobiography, I assume that the author has chosen to reveal something about themselves - and if it's really well written, I'll find that those truths will shed a... Read morePublished on February 5, 2009 by Matt
a great book. shows what happens when a person can't be their real authenic selves.Published on November 2, 2007 by MR