Concussion - Jeanne Marie Laskas

The beginning threw me off because I have seen the documentary on Netflix about this subject and expected the book to delve right into the matter but instead it starts with the childhood of Dr. Bennet Omalu, basically resulting in a biography for the first third or so of the book. Alright, I can roll with that. But then the author made the interesting stylistic choice of cutting in Omalu's own narration of his POV of certain events covered in the book in an italicized sentence here, paragraph there; I was absolutely convinced that this was meant to imply that Omalu was schizophrenic in the same way that it is implied throughout the book that he is emotionally immature. Regarding the latter, I think the book does a great job of showing how intelligence is not necessarily linked to emotional development, because while Dr. Omalu is clearly intelligent and good at his job, he is also portrayed as being gullible, resulting in his skills being taken advantage of first by his mentor and then, later, by the personalities involved with covering up his discovery or taking credit for it.


My favorite aspect was the comparison of the NFL with big tobacco companies and their cover up practices. Reminds me of those anti-smoking ads that used to run on TV. But anytime there are multi-billion dollar industries involved, shouldn't corruption be the default assumption? :P


Apparently the point of the book was to bring Dr. Omalu's role in the events into light, and in that I do believe it succeeded. After all, there is now a movie version starring Will Smith. I also liked the comparisons between Nigerian and American culture which made me more eager to read something from Nigeria for my world books challenge.