Contented Reader

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Brittle Innings

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Brittle Innings

Michael Bishop

Bantam Books

At its beginning, this is a good historical baseball novel.  It’s the era of World War II.  Danny Boles is a teenaged shortstop, rendered mute by an incident on the train on his way to his first ‘professional’ baseball position, playing for the Highbridge Hellbenders.  When they aren’t on the road in their awful brown bus, the single Hellbenders share a home in Highbridge.  There, Danny shares a room on the top floor with ‘Jumbo,’ who is a strange, oversized, foreign first-baseman.  The first half of the book is a slow-paced, pleasant look at life among this team of men, and it would be a good novel if that were all there was to it.

Then the book takes a left turn, and becomes something much odder.  But even as it shifts genres, it remains a book about baseball in the 1940s, and the men who love it and dedicate themselves to playing it.

I like the measured pace, words that are well crafted and not in a hurry to get to their destination, even on the most startling pages.  I also like the characters.  And I think my girlfriend, who is reading this, should definitely read this book.  If I thought she weren’t going to, I would go ahead and ‘spoil’ it in this blog entry, but I’m being circumspect for her sake.


Written by Contented Reader

September 18, 2012 at 6:39 am

Posted in Reviews


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