Guide to Baseball Novels: A

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Mostly pure suspense, but draws intriguing connections among declining economies, threatened men, and images of athletes. Subtler than its subsequent film version.

Criticism: McGimpsey

Nicely told, with humor and distinctive Toronto settings and characters.

One of the few baseball-themed novels by an African-American woman.

Told in a style full of wordplay and deliberately overwritten; the central theme is violence and its impact on relations among men.

Early realistic fiction (the author was a minor-league player) that still engages its readers as a story. Its rhythm of inevitable failure risks melodramatics at times but rings true to the experience of sport. Man on Spikes is notable as a precursor of other adult baseball novels in deflating the effortless heroics so common in juvenile fiction.

Enjoyable pastiche of the hardboiled genre.

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