Thursday, December 09, 2010

On the Right Track by Marion Jones

About a month ago, I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 film on Marion Jones. Shortly after that, I saw Marion Jones on the Jon Stewart show talking about her book titled On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed. In both cases, elements of her story did not seem to fit. Looking for something short to read before the new Clancy book came out, I ended up buying an electronic copy of book from Amazon and reading it in the Kindle application on my iPad and iPhone.

There are some interesting things in the book. Marion's experiences in prison are eye opening. She ended up serving part of her sentence in solitary confinement after getting into a fight with another inmate. Jones was transported across the country in the government's "Conair" system to testify at a trial for her former boyfriend. When she left prison, Marion spent time in a halfway house. There is a solid story in all of these experiences.

Unfortunately, Jones does not spend enough time on these story lines. Instead, the book tends to be very repetitive on couple different themes around how she is learning from her mistakes and coping with adversity. I did not find these passages well written. Marion has a tendency to prattle on and on at certain points of the book.

Jones says in the book that "I surrounded myself with the wrong people, especially men, and I blame myself for not being more discerning about those with whom I've associated over the years." She essentially says that she ended up using steroids "because I allowed the men in my life to do everything for me." I am still uncomfortable with this as an explanation of how she claims she was using steriods without knowing it.

Overall, this book is NOT worth reading.

This is the first electronic book that I have read in the Kindle application on my iPad. I was very pleased with the overall process. Except when I am flying, I tend to read in short stretches, rather than for hours at time. Under these conditions, I did not have a problem with my eyes getting tired of the screen. I really liked the fact that the kindle application syncs between my iPad and my iPhone. There were several times when I was sitting somewhere waiting that I read a few pages on the iPhone. The Kindle app would open right to the spot where I was reading and then when I went back to the iPad it would open to the new location. While I love the visceral quality of real books, I will definitely end up reading some more books on the iPad in the coming year.

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