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Bang the Drum Slowly
     

Bang the Drum Slowly

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by Mark Harris
 

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Bang the Drum Slowly is the second in a series of four novels written by Mark Harris that chronicles the career of baseball player Henry W. Wiggen. This series is among the finest novels ever written to use baseball as a theme. Published in 1956, the book is a simple, moving testament to the immutable power of friendship. The title page in the novel reads; "by Henry W

Overview

Bang the Drum Slowly is the second in a series of four novels written by Mark Harris that chronicles the career of baseball player Henry W. Wiggen. This series is among the finest novels ever written to use baseball as a theme. Published in 1956, the book is a simple, moving testament to the immutable power of friendship. The title page in the novel reads; "by Henry W. Wiggen / Certain of His Enthusiasms Restrained by Mark Harris", the author's personal touch that tells us (the reader) that we are about to enter a genial, conversational first-person story.

Wiggen is a gifted pitcher in the major leagues, playing for a team that includes a mediocre catcher named Bruce Pearson--a slow-talking Georgia boy who tries the patience of the team. Pearson has a secret; he has been diagnosed with Hodgkins' disease which threatens not only his life but also the baseball career that he so desperately wants. When Wiggen learns of Pearson's illness, their casual acquaintanceship deepens into a profound friendship. Wiggen fights heroically to keep Pearson on the team, saving his friend from being sent down to the minors, and he also rallies other teammates to help his friend. The miracle is that Pearson is transformed into a better ballplayer... but the miracle is brief for the man's time has already run out.

In lesser hands, this story could be cloying or overly sentimental, but Harris writes with a gentle, unassuming dignity. His freewheeling colloquial style verges on an easy stream of consciousness. Wiggen is an engaging character and his observations are lucid and refreshing. The characters are wonderfully realized, from the drawling Pearson to team manager Dutch Schnell. It may be that what makes Bang the Drum Slowly a great novel is that it is not entirely a sports novel but also a warm human comedy complete with believable real-life tragic events, set in the familiar, magical world of American baseball.

Bang the Drum Slowly is #14 on the Sports Illustrated Greatest 100 Sports books.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013992115
Publisher:
RosettaBooks
Publication date:
07/01/2010
Series:
RosettaBooks Sports Classics , #7
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
844,680
File size:
2 MB

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Bang the Drum Slowly 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't be turned off by the cover if you're not a baseball fan. The book is more enjoyable if you have some knowledge of the game, but it's not essential. It's a novel about an imaginary professional team, the New York Knights, in the 1950's, but baseball is just the setting. It's about living...and dying...and how the realization that we're all mortal changes everything. Written in the style of an average, less than eloquent man, it will make you laugh, make you think, and, quite possibly, make you cry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Restricted land only invite people
mikehampen More than 1 year ago
It's about baseball, before the need for salary caps. It's also a story about friendship and family. This is a very good book. I highly recommend it!