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Download Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports Audiobook, by Mark Fainaru-Wada Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,928 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Fainaru-Wada, Lance Williams Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2006 ISBN: 9781415929070
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The complete inside story of the shocking steroids scandal that turned the sports world upside down

For years, in the shadowy reaches of the world of sports, there were rumors that some of our nation’s greatest athletes were using steroids, human growth hormone, and other drugs to run faster, jump higher, and hit harder. But as track stars blazed their way to Olympic medals and sluggers brought fans back to baseball, sports officials, the media, and fans looked past the rumors and cheered on the athletes to ever-higher levels of performance. Then, in December 2004, San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams broke the story of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a tiny nutritional supplement company that, according to sworn testimony, was supplying elite athletes with banned drugs. The stories shocked the nation and the exposés led to congressional hearings on baseball's drug problems and a revived effort to purge the U.S. Olympic movement of drug cheats.

Now, in GAME OF SHADOWS, Fainaru-Wada and Williams tell the complete story of BALCO and the investigation that has shaken the foundations of the sporting world. And at the center of the story is the biggest star of them all, Barry Bonds, the muscle-bound MVP outfielder for the San Francisco Giants whose suspicious late-career renaissance has him threatening Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record.

Shocking, revelatory, and riveting, GAME OF SHADOWS casts light into the shadows of American sports to reveal the dark truths at the heart of the game today.


From the Compact Disc edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2006

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn | 2/19/2014

    " A quick read. Yeah, it's the book that uncovered Barry Bonds' shrunken balls and backne for the world to see -- but this book is less about the bold-face names than it is about good ol' American capitalism, Victor Conte-style. I don't think I'll watch track and field the same way ever again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 2/15/2014

    " After finishing this book you will be angry and confused over how Barry Bonds and a lot of other athletes aren't currently serving prison sentences. It was disturbing how the narrative in this book mirrored the court proceedings that unfolded recently during Barry Bonds' perjury trial. A great in depth look at how Balco came to exist, how the FBI was lead to athletes using synthetic drugs and the politics that kept Bonds out of prison. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendra | 2/12/2014

    " I admit it, I was completely hooked on all the coverage of the MLB steroids controversy, Bonds chasing & breaking Hank Aaron's record, the Tour de France scandals, etc. It was a riveting, albeit depressing, read. I'd recommend it to anyone. We spend so much time lauding human achievement when our athletes achievve the impossible, when in large measure, these achievements are obtained in unsavory ways. Cheaters never win and winners never cheat? I'm not so sure anymore.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 2/8/2014

    " A good read. A lot of truthful facts. Sad state of sports. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 2/7/2014

    " Barry did steroids and so did a lot of other athletes. After reading this, there is no doubt about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darryl Stangry | 1/23/2014

    " Definitive book on the steroids era in baseball. The pictures in the book of Barry's body and how it changes over time are shocking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jerry Smith | 1/21/2014

    " Very readable, perhaps too long and I guess I came out of it knowing more detail but really not learning anything new. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Muth | 1/16/2014

    " This investigative reporting confirmed my long held feeling that Major League Baseball, the Media, and even the Fans are responsible for the "Steroids Era" Players, managers/coaches, owners, sports agents bear the biggest brunt. The rest of us let it happen and often encouraged enhanced performance with our entertainment dollars "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon | 1/12/2014

    " This book got a lot of attention (and still does) for how thoroughly it documents Barry Bonds' steroid use. And there's a lot of that in the book, and the authors should get credit for it. But what's even more fascinating is that the book looks at steroids beyond Bonds and outside of the baseball, painting a portrait of an age when athletes in all sorts of competition were looking for a pharmacological edge. It's less a story exclusively about Bonds and baseball and more a story about how sports became tainted by steroids thanks largely to a company known as BALCO. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karis North | 1/11/2014

    " Read on vacation. So disturbing and disappointing for any fan of sport, especially baseball and track & field. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry Oksten | 12/18/2013

    " Fascinating inside look at what pride, ego, and arrogance can do to you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 LaVenna | 12/5/2013

    " Again I was forced to read this for my Baseball class, but it ended up being an okay book. A movie about this book will be coming out soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 12/3/2013

    " This is a complete inside look at how steroids has turned professional sports upside down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Perry | 11/26/2013

    " more reasons to not like barry bonds... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 8/14/2013

    " Good to read all the back story, but definitely makes me a bit more "jaded" when watching baseball. Either way, baseball is just around the corner. Go Padres!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse | 4/16/2013

    " Compelling investigative reporting about a buncha deplorable assholes. A totally necessary work. Fun factoid: the dude who started BALCO played bass for Tower of Power & Herbie Hancock. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mike | 12/13/2012

    " I love the Giants but Bonds is an idiot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luigib | 10/15/2012

    " Great uncovering of a cheater "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert | 10/10/2012

    " This book just annoyed me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Navajojim | 9/23/2012

    " Very informative with a great insight, seriously disturbing as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 7/20/2012

    " Truly a must read for baseball/sports fans who want to know about the underbelly of the steroid scandals.....well documented and researched; you will have no doubt that Bonds is not only a serious A-Hole; but he's also a cheat "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward A. | 2/22/2012

    " HANK AARON IS THE ONLY HOME RUN KING! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua Embrey | 10/29/2011

    " Stunning, eye-popping account of the true world of sports. As a major sports fan, this book both sickened & educated me. Additionally, Bonds is a racist piece of shit that loathes white people. Note to Barry: Hank is still the home run king, you retarded fuck! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George | 8/22/2011

    " i surprised by how much i enjoyed this book. i kind of thought it would be sensationalized fluff, but it was actually quite well written, enjoyable, and provided an in depth look at one of the great modern day villians... barry bonds. overall, not a bad read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dustin | 6/23/2011

    " If you're a baseball fan, read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 4/24/2011

    " Quite eye opening to the lengths that some athletes are willing to go to attain "greatness" in their sport. Also, the trainers that don't seem to have a problem helping them cheat is extraordinary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tad | 4/16/2011

    " Very well done. Excellent investigative sports journalism. More sportswriters should read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 12/11/2010

    " Once you get used to the terminology used it can be a pretty interesting and at times gripping story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 10/14/2010

    " Barry did steroids and so did a lot of other athletes. After reading this, there is no doubt about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 8/3/2010

    " a bit boring, only read it to see what they had to say about Bonds "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew William | 2/14/2010

    " Badly written, but well thought out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 2/3/2010

    " Barry Bonds is a terrible human being and a cheater. Also Marion Jones is a liar. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tajma | 9/21/2009

    " Fascinating, the lengths to which these people will go to protect their lies. This is a simple read and will only take a few hours. If you love sports, it's worth the time just to know how this steroid stuff works. I was riveted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ken | 6/28/2009

    " The title is missleading in that it does not address the Bonds issue until chapter 5. It was a good read and informative.
    "

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About the Author

Mark Fainaru-Wada is an investigative reporter for ESPN. With his colleague Lance Williams, he coauthored the New York Times bestseller Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports. He lives in Petaluma, California, with his wife and children.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.