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The Dog Sox
     

The Dog Sox

4.6 3
by Russell Hill
 

Fiction. Ray Adams buys his girlfriend, beautiful Ava Belle, a baseball team for her birthday. She loves dogs and baseball. Ray's gift is a broken-down semi-pro team in California's Central Valley, with a 70-year-old Jewish manager who's been in baseball for 50 years and breaks into Yiddish homilies when the going gets tough. He assembles a rag-tag lineup of

Overview


Fiction. Ray Adams buys his girlfriend, beautiful Ava Belle, a baseball team for her birthday. She loves dogs and baseball. Ray's gift is a broken-down semi-pro team in California's Central Valley, with a 70-year-old Jewish manager who's been in baseball for 50 years and breaks into Yiddish homilies when the going gets tough. He assembles a rag-tag lineup of sheetrockers, farm laborers, wanna-be big leaguers, and a freak submarine pitcher—19-year-old Billy Collins. The only problem is that Billy has a drunken, abusive father who, when he shows up at the ballpark, causes Billy to fall apart. How to get rid of Bucky Collins becomes a primary goal not just for the team's sake, but for Billy's. Rough him up? Pay him off? See that he has an "accident"? With him around, the team and Billy are simply not functional.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While billed as a mystery, this engaging baseball novel from Edgar-finalist Hill (The Lord God Bird) contains only a whiff of crime. When Ray Adams buys a minor league California team, based in the small town of Knights Landing, for his beautiful girlfriend Ava's birthday, he renames it the Dog Sox because Ava gave him a pair of socks with pictures of dogs on them. The team manager, Dutch Goltz, who had a short stint as a pro player, finds a diamond in the rough in the form of pitcher Billy Collins, whose eccentric pitching motion renders him unhittable, at least for a few innings. Bolstered by Billy's arm, the team reaches first place in its league, but the smooth ride hits a few bumps when Billy's abusive father shows up and causes trouble. More intrigue is generated by another hurler, English teacher Otis Bickford, who makes no secret of his interest in Ava. A simple prose style perfectly complements a moving character study centered on Ray and Ava's relationship. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781929355747
Publisher:
Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press
Publication date:
02/28/2011
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.50(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Russell Hill is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Lucy Boomer, Robbie's Wife (nominated for a 2007 Edgar), THE LORD GOD BIRD (nominated for a 2009 Edgar), and the new novel THE DOG FOX. His work has been translated into French, German, polish, and Spanish, and THE LORD GOD BIRD has recently been optioned for a movie. Hill is an avid fly fisherman, has written for outdoor magazines, and has taught writing for forty years. He still lives in California, where he has spent most of his life.

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Dog Sox 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
chasVA More than 1 year ago
Very well written, funny, interesting characters. Highhly recommended.
Author_Ron_Franscell More than 1 year ago
I played semi-pro ball for one glorious, dusty, Neatsfoot-soaked season, but I don't think about it much anymore except on summer nights when the breeze catches a whiff of somebody's newly mowed grass. Then I picked up THE DOG SOX and in a hilarious way, it all started coming back again. Of course, my experience was nowhere near as dysfunctional, surreal or hilarious as Russell Hill's wonderful novel about a broken-down bush-league team full of misfits and oddballs who are more Freak Show than Big Show. But that's the charm of THE DOG SOX, an utterly winsome little book about dreaming out loud. You'll find a little W.P. Kinsella, a little Philip Roth and a little Ring Lardner here, all in a good way. Hill has an excellent feel for the game, a praiseworthy ear for funny dialogue, and a spot-on sense of irony.
harstan More than 1 year ago
California building contractor Ray Adams bought a baseball team, which he named the Knights Landing Dog Sox. He gave the team as a gift to his girlfriend attorney Ava Bell. Most of the players play for free while a few are compensated. The star is hurler Billy Collins who has an arm that most pitchers would kill to possesses. He is winning games at an incredible rate when abruptly his fortune changes when his abusive drunken father locates Billy. As long as Bucky is kept away from Billy, the star can be a successful closer working the last three innings. Dutch the team manager believes Billy is his ticket to the big leagues as long as dearest dad can be dealt with. He has people he knows that can neutralize Bucky, but nothing seems to prevent the abuser from coming around. When Billy vanishes, Ava searches for him to try to persuade him to let go of his patriarchal hurts. On the surface The Dog Sox is about a baseball team consisting of diverse people from all types of life. However, Billy the innocent is the prime focus on the entreating sports drama as he has the talent to bet one of the best, but only if he can mentally rid himself of the demons brought forth by his father. Dutch speaks in Yiddish idioms as he makes a team out of individuals. With a nod to the movie Pat and Mike starring Tracy-Hepburn, Russell Hill provides a strong look at what could be That Championship Season. Harriet Klausner