Game of Shadows – by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams

It may very well be the most controversial book to come out this year – Game of Shadows by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.

It’s the book that attempts to bring together never before released testimony and documents together so that you can draw the conclusion that baseball can’t seem to – that Barry Bonds and several other superstars used performance enhancing steroids and subsequently lied about it.

The book is smoking – it’s full of testimony, e-mails, and quotes that paint a pretty bleak picture of what Bonds was doing in the late 90s and early 2000s. You’ll definitely have a full plate of evidence to consider after reading this – none of which speaks favorably for the Giants’ slugger.

Now the book is not exclusively about Bonds – the authors do a good job tracing the use of steroids over the past 30 years, in the Olympics as well as baseball and football. You’ll get a good idea of what it is steroids actually do to a person, and why they create such an unfair advantage. You’ll also meet some of the most influential players in the steroid game – namely Victor Conte, the head of the infamous BALCO lab that supplied numerous elite athletes with illegal, performance enhancing substances.

But with the authors coming from San Francisco, and Bonds being the most visible athlete under suspicion of steroid use, the book does get dominated by evidence attempting to confirm his usage of designer steroids. If you’re not a Bonds fan – or at least not interested in reading a lot about Bonds – it might be a bit much for you. At 352 pages, it’s not a huge read, but it does take some effort to get through all the pages.

Until Major League Baseball, some other organization or Bonds himself confirms his alleged use of steroids, we’ll all have to form our own opinions. In the meantime, Game of Shadows attempts to remove any doubts you may have if Bonds cheated his way into the record books.

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