Guide to Baseball Novels: E

Back to Novels index page

A strange fiction: on the one hand it's an art novella by a highbrow novelist; on the other hand, it's basically a kids' story, and is sometimes shelved in the juvenile section of libraries. Reflects the odd situation of "serious" adult baseball fiction around the year 1950; at the time, there were few models for novelists. In its action and theme, it's a taut, well-written story. Of course by 1950 the speculative aspect of the fiction had somewhat lost its edge . . . but I've been unable to find an earlier publication for the work.

There really isn't much baseball in this entertaining hard-boiled, and what there is doesn't convince; but Estleman makes an attempt throughout to portray a metropolitan community still united, tenuously, over major-league baseball. Darius Fuller is the last sports hero that the city has, and the novel and its characters care deeply about him.

An appealing, well-crafted novel, one of very few baseball novels with an African-American protagonist (and one of even fewer with an African-American author).

Criticism: Rutter.

This one kicked off a mystery series featuring protagonist Duffy House. It's packed with baseball lore and Chicago local color, but it holds almost no interest as a mystery. "Crabbe Evers" is a pseudonym for the collaborators William Brashler and Reinder Van Til. Not to be confused with the Troy Soos novel Murder at Wrigley Field: Soos's book is a period piece; this one is contemporary.

Another Duffy House entry; this one tries to get socially relevant with analysis of new-ballpark campaigns, race, and class in 1990s Detroit. But it isn't any better-plotted than the previous ones.

Wrigley Field is one lethal sports venue . . . this novel is entertaining enough, but not highly memorable.