My greatest career disappointment …


… probably came 4 1/2 years ago, when HarperCollins released my Barry Bonds biography, Love Me, Hate Me … to silence.

It certainly wasn’t Harper’s fault. Largely, bad timing. The biography came out about 2 1/2 weeks after Game of Shadows, and the world just wasn’t hungering for another look at Bonds, even if the two books had completely different focusses. So me and my book sort of faded away. I did a bunch of interviews, and ESPN the Magazine ran an excerpt. But overall, it just sold sorta blah.

This was crushing.

Anyhow, no point to this. Just popped into my head.  🙂

20 thoughts on “My greatest career disappointment …”

  1. Not much I can say to take the regret away, Mr. Pearlman, but as a devotee of sports lit, I couldn’t wait to get Love Me, Hate Me. Never even had any interest in Game of Shadows. I’m sure it was decent, but I wanted something that would be a more enduring read, not just have the dirt.

    I’m pretty sure I made the right call.

  2. I read both books, and, yes, the focus is different. I thought Jeff’s book put Bonds’s whole life in baseball (Up to the point the book was written anyway) in focus much more effectively, where Game of Shadows mainly focused on the steroids angle. As someone who finds Bonds completely flawed yet strangely endearing, I liked “Love Me, Hate Me” and found it provided a very fair if a little critical, view.
    Have you thought about an update, Jeff, to cover the fallout of Bonds’s breaking Hank’s homerun record?

  3. For the record, I enjoyed your book more than Game of Shadows. Actually, it turned me onto The Bad Guys Won, and The Rocket Who Feel To Earth, and so on. It was a gateway book.

  4. It was also my gateway book to all things Pearlman. Being a Giants fan, but also an anti-Bonds person, I was interested. I bought my copy at a Hastings bookstore, couldn’t put it down, then I bought Bad Guys. Then, I ordered the Cowboys book and the Clemens book at the same time.

  5. But even all these years later, Game of Shadows was much better.

    If it makes you feel better, I paid for your book. Got it for 1.25 at a “Oops!” store.

    Was worth the money.

  6. Jeff, how do you think baseball as a whole might have been different if Bonds had stayed in Pittsburgh in ’93? Pitt would have remained solid and probably gotten over the 92 disaster and Bonds’ legacy might be completely different. What say you?

  7. Jeff,

    As I have posted before, I have had all of your books, including Love Me, Hate me shipped to Australia!! Really good book..I would take little notice of “No Offense” as you say, what’s the point of taking the time to reply to a blog post if that is all you have..dude needs a life, or a hobby or something !!


  8. So Jeff let me get this straight. Because this is your blog we should only praise you and not voice our genuine opinions? Oh OK. Just checking.

    1. If you read this blog, you know I get ripped often, and keep almost all the posts up (unless they’re graphic in nature). I kept this one up. But I just don’t understand why a person would go out of his/her way to tell someone else that they suck, and that the $1.50 they spent on their book was worth it. Seems cruel for the sake of being so.

      Am I not allowed to say that?

  9. Having read both books, it always bothered me to see “Game of Shadows”, become the default sacred text for any talking head attempting to make an argument against Bonds.

    “Love Me, Hate Me” was the superior Bonds book. It was also the only Bonds book. “Game of Shadows” was a well researched, plodding, blow-by-blow breakdown of cheating among Track & Field athletes & Victor Conte, occasionally interrupted by an all too brief chapter about Bonds, Giambi, Sheffield, or other athletes we think about more than 2 weeks every 4 years.

    Sadly, “Game of Shadows” came out 2.5 weeks earlier & had a picture of Bonds on the cover. As a result, too few people had the opportunity to share this opinion.

  10. Isn’t it an obvious question – Why did your publisher not push your book out a month earlier? Isn’t that just really bad business??

  11. I read this book and found it pretty fascinating. I dislike BB intensely and didn’t think I would enjoy reading about him, but I ripped through it in a few days. Don’t like BB any more, but have a new understanding of him.

  12. I read Game of Shadows & Love Me, Hate Me, and I enjoyed both, but GoS read more like a documentary and LMHM was a fascinating and insight to Bonds’ life. The sheer amount of sources and interviews is astounding, and I finished the book knowing more about Bonds than I would have ever expected, while finding him more mysterious and confounding than before.

  13. …but you ‘go out of your way’ to give your mind on the WNBA, Tebow, and other things. That to me is just as “dickish” or “cruel for the sake of being so” than my comment.

    You posted about your book, thought GOS was better, and wouldn’t buy a book solely about Barry Bonds unless it was close to free. Which is was.

    I guess it would also be “dickish” to feel I was jobbed out of my buck fifty, but like I said, it was worth that amount.

    Sorry to get your neurotic panties in a bunch.

  14. Late to the party, but hey.

    I had read “The Bad Guys Won” and enjoyed it immensely, and I remember going to purchase “Love Me, Hate Me” days after the release and plowing through it in about a day and a half. As a diehard Giants fan, it’s a real eye-opener regarding Bonds as an individual; I used to defend the guy vigilantly, but the book made me wonder if I should. I’ve re-read it at least once a year since.

    Oh, and I’ve never read “Game of Shadows”, either.

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