Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Review: Frank Pastore - Shattered

Genre: Biography
Publisher: Tyndale
Publication Date: April 12, 2010

From his difficult childhood with a manipulative mother and distant father, to excelling at baseball in high school and ultimately in the Majors, to his failures, and eventually successes in radio, Frank Pastore has lived an interesting life. Not knowing anything about him before reading his new book Shattered (I should have being a huge baseball fan), I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a fascinating memoir about a man that discovered the goodness of God's relentless pursuit of him, despite how often he tried to run.

Biographies are a different animal than most non-fiction to me. Stories are great, but unless you can show how those individual stories fit together to create the person you're reading about, the book can end up just a hodgepodge of "here's something that happened to me once." I don't enjoy those kind of books.

With Pastore, you see the development of a man who struggled with confidence, trust, and other issues as a boy, pride and arrogance at times as a professional baseball player, emotional detachment after that, and ultimately, became a godly man with the largest christian radio show in the country, a great family, and a strong faith in God. I never get tired of hearing stories like that. There were lots of hardships on the way, and Pastore is very candid about how he felt about things, but the story is really about God and his pursuit of one man. In that way, Frank's story is my story.

Speaking of stories, Pastore has some great ones: his elopement with his wife (then 16), pitching through a horrible injury, becoming a Christian, starting up a radio and teaching ministry from basically nothing, among others. I think my favorite story dealt with getting released from the Reds and sitting down with then-manager Pete Rose. Rose basically said he'd lost his edge because of his new faith, so Frank proceeded to basically share the gospel with him. Those familiar with Rose can anticipate his reaction.

Overall, as a Christian, a baseball fan, and a lover of stories, I found this book very enjoyable. Frank' story is interesting and he and his co-writer Ellen Vaughn tell it well. I would recommend it as a quick, easy read about a fascinating life.

This book was provided for review by Tyndale in exchange for a review. No expectation of a positive review existed.

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