Box Socials

Box Socials

4.0 1
by W. P. Kinsella
     
 

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Here's the story of how Truckbox Al McClintock, a small-town greaser whose claim to fame was hitting a baseball clean across the Pembina River, almost got a tryout with the genuine St. Louis Cardinals — but instead ended up batting against Bob Feller of Cleveland Indian Fame in Renfrew Park, Edmonton, Alberta.

Overview

Here's the story of how Truckbox Al McClintock, a small-town greaser whose claim to fame was hitting a baseball clean across the Pembina River, almost got a tryout with the genuine St. Louis Cardinals — but instead ended up batting against Bob Feller of Cleveland Indian Fame in Renfrew Park, Edmonton, Alberta.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kinsella, whose classic Shoeless Joe found another incarnation in the movie Field of Dreams , evokes the atmosphere of small-town ball fields and other aspects of rural life in this colorful, comic reminiscence of multi-ethnic farm society in Depression-era Canada. Purporting to tell ``the story of how Truckbox Al McClintock almost got a tryout with the genuine St. Louis Cardinals of the National Baseball League,'' narrator Jamie O'Day leads the reader on a rambling tour of the rural Alberta hamlets near which he and Truckbox grew up, the closest being a town called Fark. Inheriting storytelling talent from his father, a transplanted South Carolina carpenter whom he often quotes, Jamie also passes along insights picked up while eavesdropping on the gossip meetings of the ``Fark Female Farmerettes.'' With humor and tenderness Kinsella evokes the social rites of the Norwegian-, German-, Ukrainian- and English-speaking hillbillies, their courtships and heartbreaks, fistfights and philanderings, through a series of weddings, dances, whist drives and box socials. Jamie's teenage memories poke gentle fun at small-town society and at adulthood itself while still celebrating his coming-of-age--the real story here, despite Truckbox McClintock's brush with athletic fame. (May)
Library Journal
Fans of Kinsella's baseball novels (e.g., Shoeless Joe , LJ 4/1/82) will be surprised by this latest novel. A nostalgic look at a way of life long dead, it is best read aloud to be appreciated. Indeed, it is best understood as an oral tale like Mark Twain's ``Story of the Old Ram.'' The narrator keeps promising he will tell us about the day Truckbox Al McClintock got to play against Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians. He keeps on promising this from time to time, but first he has to tell us all about the residents of the Six Towns area of Alberta during those Depression and World War II days. The way of life is epitomized by the box socials, which both, as the narrator's mother says, ``teach social skills,'' and, as his father says, ``fill every human social need, mayhem being one of the most dominant.'' If not taken as an oral tale, the narrator's repetitive style could be tedious. Despite the caveat, this is strongly recommended for fiction collections.--Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.
School Library Journal
YA-- A story about rural life in Alberta, Canada in the 1940s. Here, people must rely on one another for almost all aspects of their daily lives, despite their ethnic diversity and foibles. Kinsella shows how they react to their neighbors' indiscretions, to cultural differences, and to the strengths and weaknesses of individual members of their communities. He adeptly captures the special flavor of small-town life, where everyone knows everyone else's business, and the pace of life before the communication explosion. This includes the social aspects, such as the auctioning of lunches at ``box socials.'' A baseball theme weaves a common thread through the lives of the characters. The author uses an unusual, repetitive style of writing; at times he begins almost every paragraph in certain sections with the same words, or repeats entire phrases or sentences, using them as adjectives modifying some new piece of information. While some readers might find it annoying, others will be amused. The book also gives good insight into the history of a specific area of North America during the time of mass European immigration and societal integration.-- Rose Calio, R . E . Lee High School, Springfield, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345377494
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/24/1992
Edition description:
1st American ed
Pages:
224

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Box Socials 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. It is full of humor and heart. I would recomend this exceptional book to anyone.