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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Touching and Readable, October 27, 2011
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This review is from: UC_I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond (Kindle Edition)
I got the Kindle version of this on a whim, and I didn't expect much because these "written by a famous person" books are generally ghost-written exercises in self-aggrandizement. Every now and then, however, you come across a really good and meaty memoir...and this is one of those. Mr. Oher clearly wrote this book himself. It is written in a conversational style not typical of professional authors, and it personalized the book in such a brilliant way. You can tell that you are reading this young man's own words and thoughts. It's totally endearing. The substance of the book is wrenching and lovely and funny all at once. Mr. Oher's sense of humor and his ability to tell stories of terrible sadness mix together into something really special.

I loved learning about Oher's irritation at certain parts of The Blind Side film's depiction of him. I loved hearing the confidence and awareness in his self-evaluation. He has a remarkably observant estimation of his own gifts and shortcomings that I found inspiring. Some of the reviews I consulted before buying this book said they felt Oher's tone was unappreciative, dismissive, or even snobby. I didn't sense that in any part of the book; in fact, he spends a great deal of time talking about everyone in his life--other children, select teachers, neighbors, social workers, and coaches--who showed him a kindness. He leaves out no one. He stresses the importance of not just the Tuohy family, but each of the others who helped him, fed him, sheltered him, or taught him. How anyone got ingratitude from this book is beyond me. This is a man who knows where he came from, knows what his mistakes were, and knows how hard he worked personally to gain what he's now received. He shows gratitude, but does not spend half the book gushing about how he'd be nothing without this or that person because the simple truth is: there was no way Michael Oher was ever going to allow himself to be "nothing."

You get honest truth in this book about what it felt like to be Michael Oher as a child, how he views the people who formed his childhood now that he's grown up, and what he thinks people who come from a similar background should focus on to achieve their potential. At the end of the book, Mr. Oher talks about the charities he is familiar with himself and offers a long list of ideas about how individuals can make a difference for children in distress. It was wonderful getting to hear the voice of the real Michael Oher, and I highly recommend this for a nice weekend read.

I loved every paragraph of this book, and I couldn't put it down. Well done, Mr. Oher. Very well done, indeed.
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