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A TRUE STORY OF FINDING THE AMERICAN DREAM . . . ABROAD India is a country with more than one billion people, a fanatical national cricket obsession, and exactly zero talent scouts. There, superstar sports agent J. B. Bernstein knew that he could find the Yao Ming of baseball; someone with a strong arm and enough raw talent to pitch in the major leagues. Almost no one in In A TRUE STORY OF FINDING THE AMERICAN DREAM . . . ABROAD India is a country with more than one billion people, a fanatical national cricket obsession, and exactly zero talent scouts. There, superstar sports agent J. B. Bernstein knew that he could find the Yao Ming of baseball; someone with a strong arm and enough raw talent to pitch in the major leagues. Almost no one in India is familiar with the game, but Bernstein had heard enough coaches swear that if you gave them a guy who throws a hundred miles an hour, they could teach him how to pitch. So in 2007, Bernstein flew to Mumbai with a radar gun and a plan to find his diamond in the rough. His idea was The Million Dollar Arm, a reality television competition with a huge cash prize and a chance to become the first native of India to sign a contract with an American major-league team. The result is a humorous and inspiring story about three guys transformed: Bernstein, the consummate bachelor and shrewd businessman, and Dinesh and Rinku, the two young men from small farming villages whom he brought home to California. Million Dollar Arm is a timeless reflection on baseball and the American dream, as well as a tale of victory over incredible odds. But, above all, it's about the limitless possibilities inside every one of us.


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A TRUE STORY OF FINDING THE AMERICAN DREAM . . . ABROAD India is a country with more than one billion people, a fanatical national cricket obsession, and exactly zero talent scouts. There, superstar sports agent J. B. Bernstein knew that he could find the Yao Ming of baseball; someone with a strong arm and enough raw talent to pitch in the major leagues. Almost no one in In A TRUE STORY OF FINDING THE AMERICAN DREAM . . . ABROAD India is a country with more than one billion people, a fanatical national cricket obsession, and exactly zero talent scouts. There, superstar sports agent J. B. Bernstein knew that he could find the Yao Ming of baseball; someone with a strong arm and enough raw talent to pitch in the major leagues. Almost no one in India is familiar with the game, but Bernstein had heard enough coaches swear that if you gave them a guy who throws a hundred miles an hour, they could teach him how to pitch. So in 2007, Bernstein flew to Mumbai with a radar gun and a plan to find his diamond in the rough. His idea was The Million Dollar Arm, a reality television competition with a huge cash prize and a chance to become the first native of India to sign a contract with an American major-league team. The result is a humorous and inspiring story about three guys transformed: Bernstein, the consummate bachelor and shrewd businessman, and Dinesh and Rinku, the two young men from small farming villages whom he brought home to California. Million Dollar Arm is a timeless reflection on baseball and the American dream, as well as a tale of victory over incredible odds. But, above all, it's about the limitless possibilities inside every one of us.

30 review for Million Dollar Arm: Sometimes to Win, You Have to Change the Game

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Powers

    Million Dollar Arm: Sometimes to Win You Have to Change the Game by J.B. Bernstein. Book Review by Sharon Powers. Oh, man. It was nice to be able to get outside for our (7th grade) phys ed class now that the clouds and rain were gone. A girl with red hair and freckles was at bat...she swung...it was a strike. She was really tall for her age and seemed to fill up the batting box. Because of her long arms, she had a good reach with the bat. The pitcher wound up and threw the ball a second time...st Million Dollar Arm: Sometimes to Win You Have to Change the Game by J.B. Bernstein. Book Review by Sharon Powers. Oh, man. It was nice to be able to get outside for our (7th grade) phys ed class now that the clouds and rain were gone. A girl with red hair and freckles was at bat...she swung...it was a strike. She was really tall for her age and seemed to fill up the batting box. Because of her long arms, she had a good reach with the bat. The pitcher wound up and threw the ball a second time...strike two. She was usually a good hitter and when she connected with the ball we all knew it would go all the way to the outfield. The catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher. I was up next and felt anxious because our team still didn't have anyone on base. One more chance...I knew she could do it. Anxious, I peered forward to see the batter. The pitcher wound up...threw the ball...she swung...wham! the bat connected with my head. What? What just happened? I lay on the ground seeing stars. That little accident only cost me five stitches on my forehead. For a kid out there on the baseball field, I wouldn't trade places with anyone, but I did learn not to be so interested in what was going on that I forgot how close I was to the batter swinging the Louisville Slugger. She apologized profusely, but I told her, "No worries...after all...it was my fault, not yours." I was a "hit" for a while with the other kids--they all wanted to see my stitches. And, happy me, like any kid, I got to show off my war injury. Needless to say, the whole class got a lecture from our phys ed instructor on safety the next time we met. I don't know how different I would be if I had grown up without the game of baseball. After all, it's one of our national pastimes--it literally fills our culture. Who would I have become without this exciting and beautiful sport? Since I grew up loving and playing the game, I'll never know. But the book, Million Dollar Arm explores what does happen to two young men who grew up without baseball, but are handed a chance to discover who they are, and who they can become, as a sport, once unknown to them, magically transforms their lives. THE BOOK, THE MOVIE, THE GAME: The movie, Million Dollar Arm, is based upon the book, Million Dollar Arm, by J.B. Bernstein. The book, itself, is based on true-to-life events experienced by sports agent, J.B. Bernstein and the remarkable young men he sought to recruit as new, raw, baseball talent. Jon Hamm will star as J.B. Bernstein, Bill Paxton as Tom House, Suraj Sharma as Rinku, Madhur Mittal as Dinesh, Lake Bell as Brenda Paauwe, and Aasif Mandvi as Ash Vasudevan. Director credits go to Craig Gillespie, and writing credits go to Thomas McCarthy (screenplay) and J.B. Bernstein (book). IMDb information states the genres will be listed as Biography, Drama, and Sport and the MPAA rating will be PG (for mild language and some suggestive content). IMDb, also indicates that the movie will be available in both English and Hindi languages. You may remember Suraj Sharma; well, you will if you saw the movie, The Life of Pi. Suraj is the young actor who played "Pi" in that exciting movie. Suraj, as I said, just above, is cast as Rinku in the upcoming movie, Million Dollar Arm. Madhur Mittal will star as Dinesh--Madhur starred in Slumdog Millionnaire, the 2012 movie, Treasure Island (also starring Donald Sutherland and Elijah Wood), and a 2001 movie entitled, One 2 Ka 4 (starring some of Bollywood's leading actors). I have to tell you folks, after watching this trailer my face is filled up with smiles. I feel lighter just listening to the uplifting music; FYI, the music in the trailer, "Living in the Hall of Fame," was performed by "The Script." I've been chuckling and enjoying every second of the short trailer. I can hardly wait to see the movie! THE BOOK: While the movie indicates that J.B.'s business was on the rocks as his motivation for searching for new talent, the book provides the real reason. J.B.'s business was actually doing well. J.B. tells us that he is a business savvy sports agent, and that he rewarded himself with expensive watches, cars and a luxurious home. He also loved women. And although he loved being with women, he did not look to have a long-term relationship or family any time in the near future. He tells us he is not proud of the life-style he led, at that point, and feels a bit chagrined by it all. In spite of his less than squeaky-clean lifestyle, J.B. never hesitates to do the right thing. When he is asked to pay a cash signing bonus of one million dollars under the table--he picks up his contract, unsigned, and walks out. Looking for new talent, J.B. considers that he needs to look for it in an untapped market. A short time later he is considering cricket players and how fast they can throw. Quickly, J.B. and company put together an idea to host a reality TV show in India--where cricket is a national obsession. The show would be called, "The Million Dollar Arm," and would give finalists a chance to win a million dollars and sign a baseball contract with an American major league team. Soon J.B. is on a plane to India with a radar gun to aid him in his quest to find potential pitchers in big cities and on small farms. J.B.'s culture shock is not to be missed, but he does come away with two potential players--we know that from the movie trailer, so that's not really a spoiler. How J.B. manages in India and what can be described as getting the tiger by the tail, is nothing more than a rip-roaring wonderful read-fest with your Kindle or e-book reader. The stories will have you chuckling and snickering at all the vignettes that J.B. and the two young men (Rinku and Dinesh) go through. MY FAVORITE QUOTE: The following quote is, of course, by J.B. Bernstein: "...witnessing Rinku and Dinesh leave the comfort of home...to take a wild leap of faith across the globe...was nothing short of heroic.... Whether Rinku makes it to the major league and what- ever Dinesh does back in India, they are better for knowing that their lives are what they make of it. And I am better for having been along with them for the journey....For me, Million Dollar Arm was an awakening...I began to examine what I had made of myself. Taking inventory, my accomplishments didn't match my resources. I was a hard worker, but even in all my efforts on behalf of my clients, I had kept myself closed off from others. Like Rinku's father said, our job on this earth is to be a link to those who come before us and those who will be here long after we are gone. It wasn't until I helped two guys from India to dream that I had any inkling of what that meant....My prayers during the [Diwali] festival, honoring the inner light that transcends physical being, revolved around the health and well-being of the ones I loved already and the one on the way. For myself, all I hoped was to be a good, strong link for them, as well as anyone else needing a little help to dream. (pp. 218-220) I really love that J.B. gives credit to Rinku's father for helping him to learn about "being a link" between himself and others. The other thing I really love about this quote is that it takes courage to put yourself out there and let others see you. At the beginning of the book Bernstein talks about how he was not proud of his lifestyle. He put himself out there to show us all that we, too, can learn and grow beyond what we are, that we, too, can become a link for other people. All we need is the courage to make a leap of faith--as did Rinku and Dinesh. One last thing about the quote: J.B. gave Rinku and Dinesh direction, showed them how to learn baseball (English, and about the culture). The two young men had to be willing to listen in order to avail themselves of the knowledge J.B. possessed and that he was willing to give. The same can be said of J.B. He had to be willing to listen when Rinku's father spoke with J.B. about being a link to others. That willingness to listen is a very beautiful thing--you give respect to the speaker and gain wisdom for yourself, in the listening. Marvelous! A FEW ADDITIONAL NOTES ON WHAT I THINK ABOUT THE BOOK: I have been reluctant to divulge too much of the story of Rinku and Dinesh because, really, that is what the book is all about. Going to India to find baseball pitching talent and recruiting the two young men to play baseball in America is the spice that goes into J.B.'s dish, so to speak. I just can't give it all away, so I've primarily spoken about J.B. Bernstein, here. I wanted to give you a taste of the book so you could ascertain just how wonderful this lively story is--without giving you the whole dish! This is a new book, and I certainly don't want to spoil your enjoyment of reading this delightful story. Second. You will LOVE Rinku and Dinesh's part of the story. And...just as J.B. had culture shock when he went to India to recruit, Rinku and Dinesh also have culture shock in coming to the U.S. Their story about how they learned to play baseball, how to pitch, how to cook, and a myriad amount of other delightful vignettes for your enjoyment are sure to be as savory to you as they were to me. As I indicated, above, as I read the book, I laughed, chuckled, and snickered my way through the entire book. It is utterly delightful. Also, I heard an interesting factoid about Rinku. According to India Today, before every game, Rinku recites Hanuman Chalisa and then listens to "I'm Not Afraid," by rapper, Eminem. [16] I found the song on Soundcloud and have it for you to listen to, here. Listen to the lyrics to see why Rinku listens to this song to psych himself up. Just click the play button (and don't have your volume up too high.)[17] I have to admit that after listening to this song a few times, it has really grown on me. I never knew I would ever like a rap song. Oh, well, live and learn. Grow. Become. MY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RATING FOR THIS BOOK: Of the movie, Million Dollar Arm, IMDb tells us that the MPAA rating is PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) because of mild language and suggestive content. Similarly, I would rate the book PG due to some of the adult themes and "suggestive content." I didn't see much bad language in the book, but some suggestive scenes that may not be appropriate for young or impressionable readers. As always, I advise that mothers and fathers know best what they want their children to read, and advise parents to read the book first if there is any question of its suitability for their children. My rating for this book is simple. It is was a very entertaining book, well written, and rife with darling stories about Rinku and Dinesh. I rate this book 4.5 stars out of 5. I also look forward to going to see the movie next month, as its release date is May 16, 2014 in U.S. markets. Early this afternoon (04-17-14), Mr. Bernstein sent me this notification about my blog post of his book, Million Dollar Arm and the upcoming movie by the same name--please see a copy of that notification, just to the left. My deepest appreciation to J.B. Bernstein for his notification to me. It is so wonderful when someone recognizes your work--something I tried to do in my blog post for Mr. Bernstein, Million Dollar Arm, and Rinku and Dinesh (everyone involved in the project). I also appreciate Mr. Bernstein's kind words to me for my work. Thank you. I send my best wishes to all of you involved in the project and continued hope for success (in the very best sense of the word)! Since I am second generation Irish (and couldn't be more Irish, even if I lived in Ireland), I send you an Irish blessing: May you enjoy the four greatest blessings: Honest work to occupy you. A hearty appetite to sustain you. A good woman to love you. And a wink from the God above. Sincerely...my very best to you J.B., Rinku, Dinesh, Manoj, Deepesh, Coach House, and everyone involved in this wonderful project! God bless you all. Namaste. Thank you for joining me this week as we explored another new book. Join me again next week as we look at, yet, another book from the world of reading enjoyment. Please tell others about this blog and share my posts to help spread the word about books and the wonder of reading! Until next time...many happy pages of reading! Sharon Powers.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    What drew me to this book was the story. I enjoy true sports stories so I was excited about this one. The story is the highlight of this book for me. I enjoyed reading about the boys' journeys and the fun anecdotes along the way as they adjust to life in America. While I appreciate that this is a memoir, the writing and style sometimes bothered me. it was juvenile and repetitive in moments. Yes, the author is not a writer by trade, but I think that hindered the novel. I appreciated how he change What drew me to this book was the story. I enjoy true sports stories so I was excited about this one. The story is the highlight of this book for me. I enjoyed reading about the boys' journeys and the fun anecdotes along the way as they adjust to life in America. While I appreciate that this is a memoir, the writing and style sometimes bothered me. it was juvenile and repetitive in moments. Yes, the author is not a writer by trade, but I think that hindered the novel. I appreciated how he changed as a person, but I would have preferred more details about the boys' experiences (like more in their MLB tryout) rather than all the details about the famous athletes the author has represented. We get it; you know a lot of famous people. It could have been quite a bit shorter as well. Overall, a fun and quick read. Now I want to see the movie!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Oh, what a fun audiobook!! This is the true story of a U.S. sports agent, author J.B. Bernstein, who decides to try to replicate the Yao Ming story of a foreign national who became an NBA superstar by launching a reality show in India to find gifted pitchers to bring to the U.S. to launch baseball careers. Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel win the Indian competition and accompany J.B. back to the U.S. He gets them situated in a large house near USC and they put their hearts and souls into training to Oh, what a fun audiobook!! This is the true story of a U.S. sports agent, author J.B. Bernstein, who decides to try to replicate the Yao Ming story of a foreign national who became an NBA superstar by launching a reality show in India to find gifted pitchers to bring to the U.S. to launch baseball careers. Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel win the Indian competition and accompany J.B. back to the U.S. He gets them situated in a large house near USC and they put their hearts and souls into training to hopefully try out for a minor league baseball team. That's the baseball story but the transformation of all involved is where the real story lies. The sports agent learns to care about someone beyond himself, the boys grow into men, and... well, you'll have to listen to the book to find out how it ends. This is one of those wonderful audiobooks where the narration is so perfectly paired to the story that at one point I checked to see if the author was also narrator... the pacing, mood, and tone is pitch-perfect. This was a delightfully fun listen for a spring weekend that I recommend to anyone who enjoys a good story, baseball fan or not.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    This is a feel-good book about the real-life story of an agent discovering two Indian men who ended up being the first Indian men to play professional baseball in America. There has been a movie made from this story which I haven't seen. But I actually enjoyed this book. It's got a nice story and it also features a character development arc for the man who wrote the book, the agent J.B Bernstein. He is transformed from a workaholic womanizer by the experience of going to India to stage a reality This is a feel-good book about the real-life story of an agent discovering two Indian men who ended up being the first Indian men to play professional baseball in America. There has been a movie made from this story which I haven't seen. But I actually enjoyed this book. It's got a nice story and it also features a character development arc for the man who wrote the book, the agent J.B Bernstein. He is transformed from a workaholic womanizer by the experience of going to India to stage a reality show in hopes to find raw talent for pitching. He ends up finding two guys, Rinku and Dinesh, that come back to America with him to train and try out for professional baseball. The guys live with J.B who becomes like a father to them teaching them not only about baseball but about American culture and even how to cook and clean. There are some funny moments of culture clashes both in India for J.B and in America for the Indian guys. I ended up getting drawn into the story and ended up rooting for the Indian guys. I won this copy in one of the Goodread giveaways.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    I love true stories, especially (I admit it) feel-good stories. Sports books aren't my favorite genre, so if they aren't yours either, don't let that stop you. This was a quick read, too, easy to finish in a single evening. Bernstein was an American sports agent who launched a reality show in cricket-crazed India to discover someone with enough potential to become a major league baseball player, because he's become disillusioned by the young talent in the US. He's lucky enough to find three and i I love true stories, especially (I admit it) feel-good stories. Sports books aren't my favorite genre, so if they aren't yours either, don't let that stop you. This was a quick read, too, easy to finish in a single evening. Bernstein was an American sports agent who launched a reality show in cricket-crazed India to discover someone with enough potential to become a major league baseball player, because he's become disillusioned by the young talent in the US. He's lucky enough to find three and is able to bring two of them back. Million Dollar Arm tells that story. It's currently being made into a movie. Minor quibble:The POVs of Dinesh and Rinku were missing; their perspective would have added a lot to the story, especially on events near the end. I realize they didn't author the book, but if they had written even a few paragraphs in the epilogue it would have felt more complete. If you liked this, see: Invictus on DVD. *ARC won in a Goodreads.com giveaway*

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    An excellent book about how pursuing your dreams with hard work can yield results that are different but better than you ever could have imagined.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Greg Chandler

    The first couple of chapters were hard to slug through. The author so self-congratulatory and full of himself. Don't give up on the book, or on him. This is a path of self-discovery and the early chapters an honest view of the starting point. The book chronicles an attempt to find a major league-caliber pitcher among the literally billions of young men in India, a country with almost no professional sports teams, not even rudimentary amateur baseball clubs, no real concept of the game. But, in a The first couple of chapters were hard to slug through. The author so self-congratulatory and full of himself. Don't give up on the book, or on him. This is a path of self-discovery and the early chapters an honest view of the starting point. The book chronicles an attempt to find a major league-caliber pitcher among the literally billions of young men in India, a country with almost no professional sports teams, not even rudimentary amateur baseball clubs, no real concept of the game. But, in a vast land where cricket is king, where cricket players sometimes throw 100 mph, it stands to reason that someone must be able to throw a baseball 90 mph, the raw material of a major-league prospect. The competition and search became a reality show on Indian TV. Three young men were identified as having the raw talent required. One had to be left behind, the victim of bureaucratic red tape (born at home with no birth certificate, he could not obtain a visa). The two young men chosen are brought back to train in the US with professional coaches in a professional-quality training facility. After a year, a dozen scouts were recruited to their try out. The rest is history. The real story, however, is how these young men come of age while learning to adjust to a strange land, and how their manager/agent grows as a human being and develops an appreciation beyond the dollar.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Shipps

    This is a great book to read especially since you where already into this topic. Have seen the movie and like to compare the two of them. I wish that the Author would have show the over all picture at some points when it getting confusing. This book is complete different to any other book I have read my whole life. From this actually show this is a real life situation that makes people a better person. This book is great for the people that love to read nonfiction. Really good life long experien This is a great book to read especially since you where already into this topic. Have seen the movie and like to compare the two of them. I wish that the Author would have show the over all picture at some points when it getting confusing. This book is complete different to any other book I have read my whole life. From this actually show this is a real life situation that makes people a better person. This book is great for the people that love to read nonfiction. Really good life long experience that we could see the results to day watching baseball. I choice to read this book because i say the movie and i want to compare the two. Plus I always love t read a great nonfiction book. especially sense that I play The sport and i love watching it. Plus its really special of see those people in person and watching the play right in front of me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    In 2008, J. B. Bernstein is a sports agent who finds his business being seriously outplayed by his deep-pocketed competitors. Inspired by reality shows and Indian cricket games on TV, Bernstein gets the bold idea of finding cricket players in India and training them to become pro baseball players in America. After a long search, Bernstein finds two talented, but non-cricket playing, youths, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. Together, Berthstein takes his prospects to Los Angeles where they find mast In 2008, J. B. Bernstein is a sports agent who finds his business being seriously outplayed by his deep-pocketed competitors. Inspired by reality shows and Indian cricket games on TV, Bernstein gets the bold idea of finding cricket players in India and training them to become pro baseball players in America. After a long search, Bernstein finds two talented, but non-cricket playing, youths, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. Together, Berthstein takes his prospects to Los Angeles where they find mastering a new sport in a foreign land a daunting challenge. As these boys struggle amid an alien culture, Bernstein must find a way to make their dream come true. In doing, Bernstein finds a deeper humanity to his work with growing friendships he never expected to have.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike Kennedy

    I listened to the audio version of this book. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recognize the book. There isn’t a whole lot more in the books that isn’t in the movie, but it is still a worthwhile story. I enjoyed revisiting this story. A nice uplifting story to start the year. For those of you who don’t know this book is about a sports agent who brainstorms a reality TV show to find untapped baseball talent in India, a country where cricket is king and baseball is almost non existent. The sports I listened to the audio version of this book. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recognize the book. There isn’t a whole lot more in the books that isn’t in the movie, but it is still a worthwhile story. I enjoyed revisiting this story. A nice uplifting story to start the year. For those of you who don’t know this book is about a sports agent who brainstorms a reality TV show to find untapped baseball talent in India, a country where cricket is king and baseball is almost non existent. The sports agent is the author, and I found his retelling honest and fair. I enjoyed the book just like I enjoyed the movie. If you like baseball or just feel good stories, this is worth the time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Margo Allore

    A light read but a lovely story. It is based on the true story of J.B. Bernstein, a sports 'marketer' who has a scheme to get two boys from India and get them in the major leagues. This whole effort results in Bernstein becoming a much better character. It was of interest how the two boys fared in North America and the baseball circuit. Book resulted in a movie. A light read but a lovely story. It is based on the true story of J.B. Bernstein, a sports 'marketer' who has a scheme to get two boys from India and get them in the major leagues. This whole effort results in Bernstein becoming a much better character. It was of interest how the two boys fared in North America and the baseball circuit. Book resulted in a movie.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sean Pocock

    This book is about a man who travels to India looking for baseball players. Although it was a little interesting, it definitely wasn't my favorite book. I would recommend it if you were a baseball fan. This book is about a man who travels to India looking for baseball players. Although it was a little interesting, it definitely wasn't my favorite book. I would recommend it if you were a baseball fan.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Bergner

    I love reading non fiction sports books and this was one. It was nice to read and understand a country’s customs and their way of life. Must’ve been very stressful for JB but proud of what he did for those boys and the dynamic of multi sports.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    A fantastic story, poorly written - I think this might be one of those where you say 'the movie was better.' A fantastic story, poorly written - I think this might be one of those where you say 'the movie was better.'

  15. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    I read "Million Dollar Arm" in a single sitting on a flight from NYC to Fort Lauderdale. It was funny, entertaining, and inspiring. I read "Million Dollar Arm" in a single sitting on a flight from NYC to Fort Lauderdale. It was funny, entertaining, and inspiring.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura Munson

    Being a sports fan makes this better, but still an interesting (at least mostly) true story about the business and personal side of international sports.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Himani Gupta

    J B Bernstein is a super hardworking and successful baseball agent in the US. His job is to sign up lucrative advertising and other contracts for successful baseball players. So he is used to making sales pitch at two levels - one to woo the players and get them to sign up with him and secondly with the companies to sell his players and get them whopping contracts of which he ofcourse gets a healthy cut. Single, footloose, with only one focus - his work - he seems satisfied with his life, when h J B Bernstein is a super hardworking and successful baseball agent in the US. His job is to sign up lucrative advertising and other contracts for successful baseball players. So he is used to making sales pitch at two levels - one to woo the players and get them to sign up with him and secondly with the companies to sell his players and get them whopping contracts of which he ofcourse gets a healthy cut. Single, footloose, with only one focus - his work - he seems satisfied with his life, when he starts to get disillusioned by the increasing greed displayed by the ball players he is working for. One newly successful player whom he had been wooing for two years asks for a million dollars in cash before signing on with him. From somewhere JB gets the idea of scanning India to locate raw pitching talent and on doing a Pygmalion on them to rapidly groom them into getting into Major League Baseball in the US. The premise is that these players are going to be more sincere than the blase Americans and if one them turns out to be successful, there is potential for huge earnings. It was also a challenge - something that had not been tried before. JB sells the idea to a couple of investors and comes to India to start a major talent hunt looking for raw pitching ability. The book is a little thin on the details of how he actually launches this hunt, but the speed with which he makes thigns happen is pretty impressive. JB also is very hands on and seems to have been personally involved in the whole exercise. After screening over 100000 youngsters, JB identifies three that he would like to take back to US for further training. Unfortunately he is not able to get a passport for one of them in time. So two 19 years old lads Dinesh and Rinku from small towns / villages in India leave for the US with him along with Dinesh who is part trainer, part translator. They live in a large house with JB and go through rigourous training at USC campus. The boys spoke almost no english and were landed into a totally different cultural milieu. JB treats the boys reactions to the their new environment with sympathy unlike many books that tend to dwell overly on the initial reactions and social gaffes made by people from developing countries who come to the West for the first time. Infact overall JB writes very positively about his two proteges - their sincerity, their hard work, their attachment to their families etc. That is an endearing feature of the book. Unlike Eliza Dolittle the boys do not charm the "Prince" in their launch into the baseball world six months after they land. They make a decent showing and get selected into one of the smaller teams. They undoubtedly perform well overall especially given the fact that they started baseball at 19 yrs of age compared to the other American players who would have been playing since childhood. JB undergoes a personal transformation as well through this experience and opts to get married and have a child. He visits Rinku and Dinesh's village when they return to India and interacts with their family members in a natural and enquiring manner. The book is written in a first person narrative and is more of a journalistic account of an experiment in recruiting baseball talent than an important piece of literature. I think a lot more time could have been dwelt in fleshing out the characters and describing their interactions with each other.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Donovan

    I received a review copy of this audiobook from the publisher. Summer is a great time to find an audiobook that the whole family can enjoy. Whether you are taking a road trip or just enjoy listening to it at home or hearing 20 minute-bits as you are driving from here to there, I think that this one would be a good one for 9ish and up through adult. I enjoyed it a lot. I don't feel like I need to say what the book is about, since Disney publicized the heck out of it for the movie. I haven't seen th I received a review copy of this audiobook from the publisher. Summer is a great time to find an audiobook that the whole family can enjoy. Whether you are taking a road trip or just enjoy listening to it at home or hearing 20 minute-bits as you are driving from here to there, I think that this one would be a good one for 9ish and up through adult. I enjoyed it a lot. I don't feel like I need to say what the book is about, since Disney publicized the heck out of it for the movie. I haven't seen the movie yet, but it seems that the book and the movie were sort of done concurrently. For those who have seen the movie or will see it after, Bernstein talks about how the movie came to be made, a bit about the casting process, and some of the differences between the real story and the movie version. This is not just a story about baseball. I'm not really a baseball fan, but I still enjoyed it. My son isn't either, and he's interested in seeing the movie. It's a story about dreams and motivation and innovation. CONTENT: Because I'm recommending this for family listening, I wanted to point out that J.B. does talk about the early empty life he led of picking up women and bringing them home. He talks about him getting out of bed when he couldn't sleep and then them leaving. I don't remember any swearing, so it wasn't prolific, though I can't guarantee that there's not a mild swear word or two in the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I received this book as a preview from Goodreads giveaways. I am not a baseball fan but this story was about so much more than just baseball and I absolutely loved it! I couldn’t help but root for these young men which J.B. Bernstein took under his wing and moved them half way across the world from India to America. Finding out what J.B. learned about along the way was a real eye-opening and heartwarming experience. When a businessman comes up with an idea to find raw talent in the India cricket s I received this book as a preview from Goodreads giveaways. I am not a baseball fan but this story was about so much more than just baseball and I absolutely loved it! I couldn’t help but root for these young men which J.B. Bernstein took under his wing and moved them half way across the world from India to America. Finding out what J.B. learned about along the way was a real eye-opening and heartwarming experience. When a businessman comes up with an idea to find raw talent in the India cricket sport, he has no idea what to expect but some young men who have a fast arm. The world he is thrust into after starting out on his journey is nothing like he thought it would be. He is lost in a culture he doesn’t understand and the way things are done is enough to drive anyone mad. But somewhere along the way, this becomes more than a business venture of a reality TV show and more about the two young men he brings back with him who will later become like family. Sure this is a book about sports, more importantly, baseball the American pastime but it is so much more. This book is an exploration of the human spirit and the dedication it takes to make dreams come true. But most of all, it is a story about not just learning but understanding other cultures and how to enjoy the experience instead of dread it. I am looking forward to seeing this on the big screen.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I received this book as part of the First Reads program. I don't normally read non-fiction/biographical books, but I'm glad I won this book and was prompted to read outside of my normal genres. Overall, I thought this was a fun, quick, and light-hearted read. A good summer feel-good book. As some other reviewers have mentioned, the writing itself is only average. There were many times that it gave me a somewhat disjointed feeling with the story jumping around paragraph to paragraph. I also felt I received this book as part of the First Reads program. I don't normally read non-fiction/biographical books, but I'm glad I won this book and was prompted to read outside of my normal genres. Overall, I thought this was a fun, quick, and light-hearted read. A good summer feel-good book. As some other reviewers have mentioned, the writing itself is only average. There were many times that it gave me a somewhat disjointed feeling with the story jumping around paragraph to paragraph. I also felt like there were times I could have gotten more feeling out of the story or connected better to the characters if it were written better. However, the story itself is still good enough to pull you in and at least cheer for the underdogs. Although the author/narrator portrays himself initially as egotistical and spoiled, which makes it hard to like him, by the end of the book you realize it was to show the impact the Indian baseball players had on him. I loved pretty much every part involving Dinesh and Rinku, and appreciated the humor and struggles of them adapting to America. I also enjoyed seeing the impact it had on the players' families back home, and the change they were able to evoke in J.B. I look forward to seeing its adaptation to the big screen.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    I was really expecting to enjoy this work in anticipation with the movie with Jon Hamm and Executive Producer Bill Simmons. I'm a huge fan of both, but the book really disappointed me. I have two real problems with this book. First: You can tell it was not written by someone who writes for a living. Bernstein's writing style is akin to that of an amateur writer and is very disorganized. He constantly jumps from story line to story line with very little transition. Second, Lake Bell appears to be I was really expecting to enjoy this work in anticipation with the movie with Jon Hamm and Executive Producer Bill Simmons. I'm a huge fan of both, but the book really disappointed me. I have two real problems with this book. First: You can tell it was not written by someone who writes for a living. Bernstein's writing style is akin to that of an amateur writer and is very disorganized. He constantly jumps from story line to story line with very little transition. Second, Lake Bell appears to be one of the feature roles of the movie and plays Bernstein's future wife. In the book, however, Bernstein doesn't introduce her as a character until the last 15 pages of the book. Overall, this is a great story, that was very poorly executed. I'm hoping that the movie is higher quality and gives more insight into the plight of Rinku and Dinesh than J.B.'s book did. All that being said, Bernstein did tremendous work and really went out on a limb for the two kids from halfway across the world and that is truly admirable. I just wish he would have had a little more help in writing this book so I could learn more in depth about Rinku and Dinesh.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Will Ogden

    6/10/15 The book, “Million Dollar arm” by J.B. Bernstein, is a great feel good story. It is about a successful sports agent, who feels that there is pitching talent in india. He travels over to India looking to find pitchers capable of being the first indian born players to make it big in the Major Leagues, Two college aged teenagers were brought back because of their ability to throw strikes registering above 90 mile per hour. Once brought back to the United States Dinesh and Rinku, are constan 6/10/15 The book, “Million Dollar arm” by J.B. Bernstein, is a great feel good story. It is about a successful sports agent, who feels that there is pitching talent in india. He travels over to India looking to find pitchers capable of being the first indian born players to make it big in the Major Leagues, Two college aged teenagers were brought back because of their ability to throw strikes registering above 90 mile per hour. Once brought back to the United States Dinesh and Rinku, are constantly training and trying to adapt to the American culture. Despite never throwing a baseball before in their lives before they were discovered by J.B. Bernstein, the two were signed to major league contracts by the Pittsburgh pirates and set multiple firsts and records. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes feel good stories and sports books. Also anyone who is considering doing something that is dominated by a certain group of people, this could be an inspirational and motivating story. I read this book because I wasn't sure if the movie was worth watching, and after reading this, the movie has pretty high expectations to live up to.

  23. 4 out of 5

    William Meckley

    In a country where nobody is into baseball but are cricket fanatics, a MLB scout named J.B. Bernstein decided he wanted to find the first ever Indian professional baseball player hew could become a superstar with a strong arm and enough raw talent but the one problem nearly everyone in India was not familiar with the game. In 2007 Bernstein flew down to India with a radar hoping to find that one player with enough raw talent to play in the majors. His idea was to find the next million dollar arm In a country where nobody is into baseball but are cricket fanatics, a MLB scout named J.B. Bernstein decided he wanted to find the first ever Indian professional baseball player hew could become a superstar with a strong arm and enough raw talent but the one problem nearly everyone in India was not familiar with the game. In 2007 Bernstein flew down to India with a radar hoping to find that one player with enough raw talent to play in the majors. His idea was to find the next million dollar arm and a reality TV show he formed was named after those very words. The winner would win a huge cash prize and a chance to come to america and give them the chance to become the first player native to India to play in the MLB. In the long run he finds these to hard throwing Indian young men named Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel hew were later signed by the Pirates where Singh was clocked at the speed of 92 mph on his fastball. Currently they bolth have made it as high as double A but are still working on becoming a Major Leaguer.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ravi Jain

    Full Review: http://www.bookgeeks.in/entries/forei... Though hockey is our national game, India is a country crazy about cricket. We can never have enough of it. Most of us don’t watch soccer or hockey or track games or athletics. Most of us haven’t even heard of baseball or ice-hockey or rugby. It is always cricket. If you turn on the sports channel even at 3am, you’ll be treated to a game of cricket, and no matter how old the match is, we watch it. Baseball and cricket are cousins. The basic fu Full Review: http://www.bookgeeks.in/entries/forei... Though hockey is our national game, India is a country crazy about cricket. We can never have enough of it. Most of us don’t watch soccer or hockey or track games or athletics. Most of us haven’t even heard of baseball or ice-hockey or rugby. It is always cricket. If you turn on the sports channel even at 3am, you’ll be treated to a game of cricket, and no matter how old the match is, we watch it. Baseball and cricket are cousins. The basic fundamental of the game is same; a player throws a ball, and another player has to hit it. Why then, when we are so strong at cricket, we don’t even have one professional baseball team? J.B. Bernstein’s “Million Dollar Arm” is the result of this very same question.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    I received this book through the First Reads program here on Goodreads. As both a Red Sox fan and someone who has had the opportunity to travel to India on many occasions I was interested in the true story here behind the film. Overall, I enjoyed the book as a light quick read and the story of Dinesh and Rinku was interesting. What I didn't like was the "gee whiz" tone of the author in terms of constantly overplaying his perceived differences between India and the US. I found this excessive and I received this book through the First Reads program here on Goodreads. As both a Red Sox fan and someone who has had the opportunity to travel to India on many occasions I was interested in the true story here behind the film. Overall, I enjoyed the book as a light quick read and the story of Dinesh and Rinku was interesting. What I didn't like was the "gee whiz" tone of the author in terms of constantly overplaying his perceived differences between India and the US. I found this excessive and often inaccurate if not outright overly patronizing to the point where I really didn't want to read anything more from J.B. himself. Overall a good effort but perhaps the "author" could have stepped back a bit more from the patronizing and it would have been even better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ollie M.

    To me I think the book, Million Dollar Arm by J.B. Bernstein is a amazing book that has a great story to tell. I think this book is so great because it has an amazing story to tell about young men in India that have a chance to come to the U.S. and get signed for a big league. I think this book is so great because it's a real life story, you can relate to the good and bad emotions in the book. I think the way the author writes this book adds to the story being told by the language he uses. I thi To me I think the book, Million Dollar Arm by J.B. Bernstein is a amazing book that has a great story to tell. I think this book is so great because it has an amazing story to tell about young men in India that have a chance to come to the U.S. and get signed for a big league. I think this book is so great because it's a real life story, you can relate to the good and bad emotions in the book. I think the way the author writes this book adds to the story being told by the language he uses. I think that this book has a very powerful story that is really well told. For that reason I believe this book really has no big weakness and is overall a great book. I think this book is great for anyone who wants a good book to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    A somewhat interesting glimpse into the life of one sports agent. Finding the jewel in the rough of the Indian subcontinent sounds a bit like a lark the Bernstein tells it. I could almost feel the press of flesh and hear the sounds of the busyness of the streets - but I suspect much of his telling will make little impact unless you've been there - or somewhere very similar (is there anywhere quite like India?) He starts off sounding a bit like a shallow cad, which he may well be, and eventually A somewhat interesting glimpse into the life of one sports agent. Finding the jewel in the rough of the Indian subcontinent sounds a bit like a lark the Bernstein tells it. I could almost feel the press of flesh and hear the sounds of the busyness of the streets - but I suspect much of his telling will make little impact unless you've been there - or somewhere very similar (is there anywhere quite like India?) He starts off sounding a bit like a shallow cad, which he may well be, and eventually comes up with a somewhat heartwarming story of the life of his Indian pitchers. Not great literature, but not a bad story, either.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Max Arellano

    million dollar arm a heart warming story of kids and adults in over there heads.This story talks about a mlb representive going broke and they need something new for the mlb fans to talk about they decided to get a new star pitcher everyone would love. they decided they were going to india because there has never been an indian player in the mlb. so decide to have these tournaments to see who could be the next star players on 2 would win.As soon as they would have there winners they would have s million dollar arm a heart warming story of kids and adults in over there heads.This story talks about a mlb representive going broke and they need something new for the mlb fans to talk about they decided to get a new star pitcher everyone would love. they decided they were going to india because there has never been an indian player in the mlb. so decide to have these tournaments to see who could be the next star players on 2 would win.As soon as they would have there winners they would have some tryouts for pro teams. If you want to find out f they find what they need and make to they tryouts you have to read the book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Randy Schultz

    OK, its not like this guy will write a bunch of books and quite likely he didn't really wanna write this one but saw the merit in doing so. I don't know how much actual input he had in the writing, but the end result is surprisingly readable and as written, quite likeable. I'm certain the movie will be stellar. The story itself is the star here, and its one that should have been written, and should have been made into a movie, just too good. Ok saw the flick and it was just ok, Hamm kind of mail OK, its not like this guy will write a bunch of books and quite likely he didn't really wanna write this one but saw the merit in doing so. I don't know how much actual input he had in the writing, but the end result is surprisingly readable and as written, quite likeable. I'm certain the movie will be stellar. The story itself is the star here, and its one that should have been written, and should have been made into a movie, just too good. Ok saw the flick and it was just ok, Hamm kind of mailed it in. Definitely not stellar.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Again, I wish I could give .5's--this would be 3.5 stars. I have not seen the film, but I appreciated the story told here about how J.B. changes the lives of two young men from India. It was an easy piece to read, and it seemed to accurately represent Rinku and Dinesh and their country as hardworking, humble, and determined to learn all they could. I think students who like baseball would find this an interesting story to read. The writing itself could have been a bit more sophisticated, but the Again, I wish I could give .5's--this would be 3.5 stars. I have not seen the film, but I appreciated the story told here about how J.B. changes the lives of two young men from India. It was an easy piece to read, and it seemed to accurately represent Rinku and Dinesh and their country as hardworking, humble, and determined to learn all they could. I think students who like baseball would find this an interesting story to read. The writing itself could have been a bit more sophisticated, but the author is an agent, not a journalist so I give him some leeway.

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