Charlie Hustle

Charlie Hustle by Keith O’Brien

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Charlie Hustle:

Hard to get out but even harder to like.

Quick synopsis:

The biography of baseball’s hit king, Pete Rose.   

Fact for Non-History People:

Cincinnati was home to the first professional baseball team, The Red Stockings, in 1869.

Fact for History Nerds:

About half of all American households watched the 1970 All Star Game.

My Take on Charlie Hustle:

I had preconceived notions before reading this book. The first is that Pete Rose is a bad person. The second is that Keith O’Brien was still going to be able to suck me into this story. Both turned out to be true!

If you somehow don’t know who Pete Rose is, he was a baseball player who had the most hits ever. This is a big deal. In O’Brien’s Charlie Hustle, you get to the full Pete Rose story. O’Brien has a knack for somehow taking these big stories, like his previous (and amazing) book Paradise Falls, and telling them in a way that is both interesting throughout but never manipulative. There is a version of this book where the author could excuse everything Rose did or make the argument he has lost enough. Another version focuses on his many negative actions or just his general personality.

Which brings me back to my preconceived notion. I was already knowledgeable enough about Rose to know I wouldn’t like him any more than when I started. However, O’Brien made it so that when I tell people why, I have way more facts to bolster my view. In fact, I bet someone who wants to stick up for Rose would say the same. Whichever view you have; you are going to enjoy it. That’s why this is such a damn good book.

(This book was provided as an advance copy by Netgalley and the author.)


You don’t even need to be a baseball fan. Read this as soon as possible. Buy it here!

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