Guide to Baseball Novels: K

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Unpleasant novel that plays its serious theme mainly for burlesque.

Methodically researched and constructed historical novel that generates a lively plot line.

By Ragtime out of The Great American Novel.

Low-key King, with generous helpings of baseball; a quick read.

Pleasant, low-key first-person narrative that builds toward an absurdist Big Game.

Kiraly's second novel is verbally deft and energetically comic. Fish write poetry, louts are redeemed, and old love flourishes anew -- it's a gentle and likeable story.

Sleazy far-fetched pulp.

A sequel to Short Season, this novel is funny, intricately plotted, and ultimately comic in the largest sense.

This novel is neither as funny nor as seriously interesting as it tries to be. It did break new ground in sensitive and realistic treatment of gay themes in baseball fiction, and deserves notice for that achievement.

Criticism: McGimpsey

This one has a Brooklyn Jewish childhood, the Dodger-Giant rivalry, World War II, misspelled letters from a fresh busher, and the death of one young man as a turning point in the coming-of-age of another. It may be possible to crowd more of the stock elements of baseball fiction into a single novel, but I haven't see it done. 

Strike Five on