Journal Entry 3: Book Review
Journal Entry 3: Book Review: Season of Life by Jeffery Marx
The best thing about Season of Life by Jeffery Marx is that boys are allowed to have feelings in this book. Feelings can range from deep sadness that causes them to cry as well as happiness when they are part of a winning sports team. The book is about true experiences from Gilman High School football players and from Joe Ehrmann, who is famous from his days as a college football player. Marx takes a different approach from other books when he shares ‘ coming of age’ stories of boys; that makes his book interesting and exciting. The characters in the book are real people who are easy to care about. He is a good writer and is able to make the reader feel that they are right beside him when he hears the stories from the Gilman School boys. I like how, by the end of the very first page, I was immersed in the story and wanted to read more of the book. Marx starts the first chapter with a locker room scene which takes place right before a football game. I could feel the excitement and the tension of the players before the game started. The high school boys were going to be playing football in front of three thousand fans. They were expected to do well because they were number one in the state. Making the game even more exciting was the fact that their competitor was number two in the state of Maryland. The scene prepared the reader for a sports book full of suspense. The journey Ehrmann made from football star to minister was interesting. I felt very good when he explained his feelings and how satisfying he feels working with boys.
In general I do not like the subject of football. If anyone on the team is injured at practice or during a game; it can be very upsetting to read about their pain. Another difficult part that I did not enjoy reading were about violence to children. For example, it was very difficult reading about a child being slapped by his father. Also it was very sad to read about men who never learned how to communicate with anyone, not even with their wives. I understand that the reasons for including these topics in the book were well thought out. The difficult subjects were appropriate for the book so the author could demonstrate how important communication is for men. The problem is that the topics made me think about all the homeless men who are living on the street now. I think that perhaps the homeless men living on the street are the type of men who were not able to learn how to communicate with their wives or the other people in the family.
I learned a lot about “ false masculinity” which is a totally new concept to me. Ehrmann has a very interesting way of explaining what culture has wrong about men’s roles in society. He also makes very good and interesting arguments for how the “ false masculinity” expectations can change. I also like the author’s writing style and the words he uses to describe good points in the book. For example Marx calls the three factors of “ false masculinity” the “ triumvirate.” The word is a good word for describing a set of three factors and it is fitting for the subject. It reflects society’s way of giving men higher value then women or children in the culture. Ehrmann shares some insights about being famous, too. “ You’ve kind of climbed the ladder of success, and when you get up there, you realize somehow the ladder was leaning on the wrong building.” This shows how confusing and maybe how not very satisfying success can be especially couple with fame.
There are famous men who are pointed to as the masculine, athletic model for boys who take on this role with a great deal of responsibility, and they are helping people who mentor boys learn good strategies.