Guide to Baseball Novels: D

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Novelization of the screenplay Davies wrote for the film starring Ray Milland; a breezy, slight effort that delivers an oddly crude look at the interplay between money, sex, class, academics and athletics; the novel is less urbane than the screenplay.

Just a plain exciting detective story with well-written action scenes.

Testimonials from players and managers festoon the dust jacket of this rather ordinary novel, vouching for its keen insider realism, but the basic premise doesn't ring true. "If Juan Francisco Alcazar, El Jefe—The Chief—could not put out his best for Howie (which this season he evidently chose not to) then it would be just a matter of time before Diaz was brought in" (3-4). Perhaps some observers think that this must happen, but you can't point to any real-life parallels: who outlasted who in Boston, after all, Terry Francona or Manny Ramirez?

Perhaps better characterized as memorabilia fiction than baseball fiction, this novel is nonetheless an outstanding use of baseball themes in postmodern American writing.

Compelling hyperrealist fiction, though you may feel less than compelled to buy this book, which is basically a reprint of the first chapter of Underworld packaged separately for $16.00. First published in Harper's in 1992.

Criticism: Duvall

That plot outline has the potential for sheer dreadfulness, but this is a very pleasant surprise, an intelligent, quirky, energetic manhandling of American history. Read more at lection.

Criticism: Hye

A highly-regarded novel; I just find it interminable.

Criticism: Hye

The battle scenes and the baseball scenes alike are fairly tedious, but the spy story is exciting. Ultimately Dyja's novel has too many characters, but develops some interesting themes, is well-researched, and well-written.