Guide to Baseball Novels: P

Back to Novels index page

Meticulously detailed magical-realist fiction, with an expansive narrator but little dramatic conflict.

Unsuccessful mix of the nostalgic and the hard-boiled. An elaboration of the short story "Harlem Nocturne"; derivative in some ways from Honig. See my review at lection.

Excellent entry in Parker's highly-acclaimed series of detective novels.

Highly sympathetic to Shoeless Joe Jackson, this first-person narrative fiction covers his years in baseball but emphasizes the long aftermath of the Black Sox scandal.

Final entry in the Hot Zone series of romances that match female publicists with interesting male clients.

Platt's third "Fe-As-Ko" novel, a comic historical Western adventure.

An elaboration of Plimpton's famous joke piece for Sports Illustrated (1 April 1985). The novel is fairly plotless but light in tone, and it provides some laughs along the way. It acknowledges its own debts to stories like Valentine Davies's It Happens Every Spring.

The novel narratizes a Strat-O-Matic replay of the 1924 season: "for a little over a year beginning in February, 2009, I replayed the 1924 season in Strat-O-Matic's super advanced format, then reported the daily events through the eyes and words of 17-year-old Phillie fan Vinny Spanelli and others, in the language of the time."

The novel narratizes a Strat-O-Matic replay of the '77 season. Polman takes two eight-team leagues and runs them through 154-game schedules – the players are thus "real" if the events are not, while the writers and fans who follow them are fictional. There are elements of Robert Coover's UBA here, but the proceedings are both more and less "nuts" in different ways. An elaboration of the Play That Funky Baseball blog.

Agreeable, unpretentious historical local-color novel.