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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finished in a day... great book!
I'm a fan of Jonah Keri's writing at Grantland. His previous book, "The Extra 2%" was also fantastic. I'm always a little suspect, though, of books written by unabashed fans of the subject they are writing about. However, this was a great piece of writing, a very fair and accurate account of the success and ultimate failure of the Expos franchise, with minimal...
Published 5 months ago by David McLain

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better luck with the Raines biography...
I haven't read Jonah's other books, but I enjoy his Grantland writing. I found this book to be disappointing. It's a generic overview at best, trying to cram around four decades of history into less than 400 pages. He would have been better off focusing on the 1981 Expos, the 1994 Expos, or attempting another combination sports/business book, this time on the 1994...
Published 1 month ago by Sam Green


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finished in a day... great book!, March 25, 2014
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This review is from: Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (Hardcover)
I'm a fan of Jonah Keri's writing at Grantland. His previous book, "The Extra 2%" was also fantastic. I'm always a little suspect, though, of books written by unabashed fans of the subject they are writing about. However, this was a great piece of writing, a very fair and accurate account of the success and ultimate failure of the Expos franchise, with minimal cheer-leading. When I received my copy this morning, and immediately saw a picture of my favorite player of all-time milking a cow, I knew it was going to be great. And it was. I finished in about 13 hours, and now I'm sad it's over. You don't have to be an Expos fan to appreciate this book, any baseball fan will surely enjoy the story. It's truly unlike any other in sports history.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant Baseball Classic, March 27, 2014
This review is from: Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (Hardcover)
A great book on the history of one of the most under-appreciated and unique teams in all of sports. Keri, despite obvious Montreal ties, presents a very objective view of Nos Amours, not blaming any single source for the team's ultimate departure for Washington, DC in 2004. It presents the stories in a way any person, baseball fan or not, can understand, and presents stories that can seemingly transcend that world as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, April 16, 2014
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This review is from: Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (Hardcover)
I have been looking forward to this book since I first found out about it. It didn't disappoint! While any baseball fan would enjoy this book, it really is a must read for any Expos fan. I grew up with the Expos and the book brought back many memories. There are also a plethora of stories I didn't know anything about such as the Expos pursuit of Reggie Jackson before he signed with the Yankees. While some thought since the author was a fan growing up it would take on the slant of homerism, the book does not read that way. In fact, reading Jonah Keri's accounts of going to Expos games add to the book. There are some fun stories about The Maple Ridge Boys that really are a treat.

If anything, the book left me thirsting for more on the Expos. Several books are cited as sources in Up, Up & Away and I have purchased one, and will be getting others.

I denvoured this book - it doesn't seem like a 400 page book because it reads so fast. Once I read the last page and put it down, I was struck with a feeling of sadness, almost as if I lost the team to MLB/Washington all over again. Granted, I grew up an Expos fan so I have a close association with this book, but it honestly is one of the top 5 baseball books I have ever read. I have been trying to read Jonah Keri's other work in my free time and plan on checking out "The Extra 2%" at some point in the future.However, next up for those perhaps unfamiliar with Canadian Danny Gallagher's writing is "Ecstasy to Agony: The Story of the 1994 Montreal Expos."

In closing, if you love baseball and great writing - read this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent book!, May 19, 2014
This review is from: Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (Hardcover)
Jonah Keri's fans view of the Montreal Expos history is simply put a magnificent book.
Where Jacques Doucet 2 volumes "Il était une fois les Expos" is still a major and highly interesting overview of the franchise, Keri's is more able to reach out to your heart and bring back forgotten emotions.

Moreover, like Doucet, he is right on target when he explains that the penny pinching Jean Coutu, Bell, Jacques Menard and all those avaricious shareholders are really the main reason why that wonderful and colorful franchise left. They did everthing they could to destroy the fan base, and the concession. What else is there to say when the shareholders require of GM Kevin Malone to liquidate 4 all stars within 24 hours? What was the hurry? That was the best way of letting go proven star MLB players for nothing in return.

When Claude Brochu left before becoming the official main villain of the whole enterprise, they found in Jeffrey Loria the perfect scapegoat. Better for the unscrupulous Montreal media to blame a New Yorker for the whole mess than people they would still bargain with in the future in Montréal...

Thank you Mr Keri for a well done job, thank you to Mr Charles Bronfman for getting us an MLB franchise, and thank you to all those admirable players like Rusty Staub, Gary Carter, Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero and so on that made our summer so fun and memorable.

I never will forget my Montreal Expos.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even if you're not a baseball purist, very enjoyable book, April 4, 2014
This review is from: Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (Hardcover)
There might be about five people on the planet who could tell *this* story - of the Montreal Expos, their popularity, their quirkiness, and their eventual demise. Jonah Keri is one of those five people, and, fresh off another page turner ("The Extra 2%"), he delivers.

So I'm a Cubs fan, but have always considered myself a Canadaphile and a baseball guy (who doesn't study the Sabermetrics TOO much), but I didn't think I'd enjoy this story as much as I did. Like, I hated Gary Carter (the Met, not the Expo), but now I see how I should change my mind. And Andre Dawson - I only really think of him as a Cub patrolling Wrigley. He was the man in Montreal.

And this is only part of the story...again, Keri's work - which you can find on ESPN's Grantland site - speaks for itself. It's the kind of book, dripping with anecdotes, that you don't want to end.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nos Amours, March 31, 2014
The nostalgia that exists, that permeates the lives of baseball fans and Montrealers in particular, drips off this book like water from a slate roof during a monsoon. A lot of nostalgia. In Montreal this weekend, the first major league baseball of any sort (albeit of the pre-season variety) and almost 100,000 tickets sold for games between teams that Montrealers are indifferent to at best. For me, at least, reading this book when I did hit me in a lot of ways. Having said that, for anyone who is a fan of the game, or were fans of the Expos (and those two things may be mutually exclusive), this book is definitive as a case study for a sports franchise that never quite had all of its marbles. Or baseballs. The Expos would have strong ownership but a lousy stadium, then a lousy stadium and lousy ownership, then a lousy fanbase, then nothing at all. And it's all chronicled here, in amazing detail, by a great baseball writer, who also happened to be an amazingly loyal Expos fan. He still is, that's obvious, but Jonah Keri doesn't indulge in too much "what-iffing" (as Expo nostalgists are want to do) though he doesn't entirely lay blame anywhere either: the Expos demise is chronicled as it happened: a kind of slow motion Humpty Dumpty, or, perhaps, super slo mo, the film speeding up the closer we get to the end, until Humpty's fall, so predictable, happens, in real time, at astonishing speed, and then everybody walks away. Montrealers walked away. Until this weekend. Somehow. Now they're starting to wonder how to put everything Humpty together again. This book is a nice start to remind us of what we had. It's a cautionary tale for other cities. It reminds us, again, that sports is a business and team is a commercial product. A brand. For baseball fans, it's a well written chronicle of one of the sport's most colourful franchises.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jonah hits it out of the park, March 27, 2014
This review is from: Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (Hardcover)
When I first got word three years ago that Jonah was writing the definitive book on the Expos, which would be completely uncensored, warts and all, revealing all the behind the scenes machinations of the franchise, as well as cover all of the endearing qualities of the franchise that made it "Nos Amours" for a good reason, I knew then and there, that what was eventually called Up, Up, & Away would be my favourite, and most read book of my lifetime.

I picked up my copy March 12th, and Jonah even exceeded my high expectations. While this book has statistics in it, and my favourite was pages 262 - 264, which covered "Tim Raines Hall Of Fame Case", which quantified and also described firsthand what a miscarriage of HOF justice there is by Raines looking from the outside in, and Jonah perfectly summed it up best with 'Let's end this nonsense' and rightfully put Raines in the HOF where he so richly deserves to be.

This book is not just for Expos fans, and not even for baseball fans. Since it is not a stats book, it would appeal to everybody, and what intrigued me the most was the behind the scenes political moves, so it is in essence, almost like a spy novel, with shady dealings being orchestrated that Jonah with his amazing reporting skills was able to bring out.

Do not wait! Pick up Up, Up and Away right away! You will not regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a history of (and love letter to) the Expos, April 24, 2014
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This review is from: Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (Hardcover)
This book is loaded with great quotes from players, managers, general managers, owners and broadcasters. There are some wonderful behind-the-scenes stories that Keri learned by interviewing hundreds of principal figures.

I think my favorite story is this though (about a player, despite my being a Yankee fan, that I deeply admire) on pages 379-380:

After winning the World Series in 2004, a microphone was thrust in Pedro Martinez's face. They asked him how he felt about winning a title in Boston after an 86 year drought. He said, "I would like to share this with the people of Montreal that are not going to have a team anymore. But my heart...and my ring is with them too."

Jonah Keri got his start with Baseball Prospectus as a part-time writer in 2002. He wrote a book on the success of the Tampa Bay Rays: "The Extra 2%" (which is excellent); that led to this book. Keri is from Montreal and in 2004 he experienced the worst thing that can happen to a sports fan - the team moved. 10 years later, Random House has published his book on the history of the Expos franchise (while weaving in a number of personal anecdotes). I expect that this will be his favorite book that he will ever write.

At one point, Keri lists the worst moments in Expos history: Blue Monday (Rick Monday's homerun to knock the Expos out of the '81 playoffs), the trade of Gary Carter after the 1984 season and the absolute nadir, August 12, 1994. The baseball strike was probably the crippling blow to the Expos franchise, but a few other things also did them in:
(1) a number of major Canadian businesses moved out of Montreal after the 1980 and 1995 failed votes to separate Quebec from Canada -- this took away a number of financial backers, advertisers and ticket buyers
(2) the Toronto Blue Jays took over radio and broadcast rights in Ontario and much of Canada, reducing the Expos from being the Canadian team to just a regional team
(3) the mass sell-off of players in 94 (Wetteland, Grissom, Hill and allowing Walker to leave as a free agent)
(4) the trade of Pedro Martinez after 1997
(5) Olympic Stadium was not a good baseball venue for the non-hardcore fans and it was somewhat inaccessible and in a barren area
(6) Jeff Loria - it was interesting that Keri did not savage Loria. He laid some blame on MLB, the Montreal media and businesses in Montreal as well. Loria did nothing to engender the people of Montreal to him and he made a number of questionable financial deals and short-sighted business moves

I am an ardent Tim Raines supporter and did not need the book to inform me how deserving of a HOF plague he is. However, I think that Raines needs as much press as possible, so I appreciate Keri's efforts here. Some of Keri's personal stories are ok, while others are a little over the top (I don't think we need a 1/2 page devoted to a story of how he attended a game at Shea stadium and cheered when David Segui hit a home run). That's my only gripe, and it's a minor one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are (were) and Expos fan this is a must read. If you are a baseball fan its an interesting tale, April 16, 2014
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This review is from: Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos (Hardcover)
As a youngster I became an Expos fan in the late 70's. As a Canadian who had just moved to Chicago I felt an natural affinity to the team who was also on the cusp of becoming a very competitive team. As this book details, and little did I know, the decision to hand my baseball heart to the Expos would be one of ongoing optimism and promise only to be repeatedly squashed in disappointment.

The book retells in great detail the stories of lost pennant races, fire sales of star players, and the 1994 strike that stole Montreal's best chance at a World Series and essentially doomed the franchise. The most unknown and interesting parts of the book however are the behind the scene stories including the hilarity and insanity of landing the franchise in 1968, crazy stories about stadium facilities and how Olympic Stadium became the worst field in baseball, details on players both tragic and hilarious (the anecdote about how BIll Lee "really" scratched up his legs at 3am in the morning is a highlight of the book.

Reading through the book also reminds one of just how much talent Montreal was able to produce from its farm system churning out a conveyor belt of baseball stars. From Gary Carter to Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martínez to Randy Johnson, Tim Raines to Larry Walker. Andre Dawson to Steve Rogers it was an amazingly prolific production of talent by any measure. And when the business of baseball and a weak Canadian dollar prohibited the retention of big stars, Montreal was able to pluck players off the trash heap like Pascuel Perez, Dennis Martinez and Oil Can Boyd that fueled the team into contention through the lean financial years.

Overall, as an Expos fan much of the story of the franchise is sad and brought back many moments of disappointment and "what could have been". It might be the saddest book I ever loved.

So if you're an Expos (Nationals) fan this is a must read. If you just like a good baseball story that delves into the history of one of baseballs doomed franchises it certainly worth your time
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate Look at the Expos, April 13, 2014
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Jonah Keri did a masterful job taking us behind the scenes of the push for an MLB franchise which resulted in the Expos almost-aborted debut in 1969, then details the club's glorious (and the not-so-glorious as well) times. He has also recounted the team's fall from existence, and has done so passionately. Clearly, he is not a detached observer/reporter here -- and that's what brings so much life to each page. Any baseball lover would really enjoy this book, but it would be a very special present to anyone who ever attended a game at Parc Jarry or the Big O!
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