The Yankee Years
By Joe Torre and
Read by Tom Verducci
8 CDs, 9.5 hours
Hating the Yankees is as time-honored a tradition among baseball fans as wolfing down hot dogs and Cracker Jack. But it’s awfully hard to aim bad feelings toward easygoing manager Joe Torre, who arrived to extremely low expectations and then led the New York team to multiple championships in his 12 years at the helm. He’s a reasonable and calming background presence in this audiobook, read by Sports Illustrated scribe and co-author Tom Verducci.
Discs one through four focus on Torre’s shaping the Yankees into a true team, with selfless players like David Cone and Derek Jeter leading the way. Each miraculous win and gut-wrenching loss on the way to four World Series rings is described in play-by-play detail.
The final four discs bring us the Yankees we love to hate: selfish, millionaire stars, interfering and ruthless owners. So there’s plenty here for Yankee worshippers to love, and enough for Yankee haters to enjoy, too.
— Nancy Henderson
John Lennon: The Life
By Philip Norman
Read by Graeme Malcolm
10 CDs, 12.5 hours
If you occasionally feel that you’ve missed something while listening to the audio version of Philip Norman’s biography on late Beatles legend John Lennon, you’re right. To bring Norman’s 864-page book down to a manageable length, complete chapters have been removed from this version. Among the casualties of this brutal abridgement method are some of the most important events in Lennon’s story, from the breakup of The Beatles to the birth of son Sean and the singer’s subsequent five-year retirement to be a stay-at-home dad.
For those who can handle this herky-jerky style, there are rewards. Graeme Malcolm’s warmly stern British tones are well suited to Norman’s prose, and the tale of Lennon’s family background is surprisingly riveting. Still, the audio version of John Lennon: The Life should be regarded not as a standalone resource but as a sampler for the print version.
— Chris Neal