Charlie Hustle: The Rise and Fall of Pete Rose, and the Last Glory Days of Baseball

Books on Tape. Mar. 2024. 14:48 hrs. ISBN 9780593795972. $95. BIOG
Sportswriter O’Brien (Paradise Falls) takes listeners through the exhilarating highs and tragic lows of baseball legend Pete Rose’s memorable career. O’Brien’s comprehensive and balanced account, drawn from interviews with Rose, his fellow players, and federal investigators, presents listeners with little-known facts about Rose’s life inside and outside baseball. On the field, this tough kid from Cincinnati’s West Side became a baseball legend through hard work and drive, excelling at the game despite never being the greatest athlete. Interwoven into the story of Rose’s baseball career are details about his family, his associates, and his attraction to gambling, which led him to bet on everything from horses to football and, eventually, to his fateful decision to bet on the MLB team he played for and managed. O’Brien provides an engaging reading of his author’s note, while Ellen Adair offers the primary, rich, and clear narration, adding excitement with her enthusiastic and lively delivery.
VERDICT A fascinating but ultimately tragic account of the rise and fall of an athlete who could not abandon his self-destructive habits or take responsibility for his actions. Those who followed Pete Rose back in the day will want to check this out.
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