For Love of the Game

For Love of the Game

4.0 1
by Michael Shaara

View All Available Formats & Editions

Billy Chapel is a baseball legend, a man who has devoted his life to the game he loves and plays so well. But because of his unsurpassed skill and innocent faith, he has been betrayed. Now it's the final game of the season, and Billy's got one last chance to prove who he is and what he can do, a chance to prove what really matters in this life. A taut, compelling


Billy Chapel is a baseball legend, a man who has devoted his life to the game he loves and plays so well. But because of his unsurpassed skill and innocent faith, he has been betrayed. Now it's the final game of the season, and Billy's got one last chance to prove who he is and what he can do, a chance to prove what really matters in this life. A taut, compelling story of one man's coming of age, FOR LOVE OF THE GAME is Michael Shaara's final novel, the classic finish to a brilliantly distinguished literary career.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Moving, beautiful . . . If Hemingway had written a baseball novel, he might have written For Love of the Game."
—Los Angeles Times

"A delightful and lyrical story about a great athlete's momentous last game . . . A fairy tale for adults about love and loneliness and finally growing up."
—USA Today

"An endearing, timeless novel that can be enjoyed by both serious readers and baseball lovers for generations to come."
—The Orlando Sentinel

—San Diego Union-Tribune

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Reading this posthumously published baseball novel is best compared to watching a gifted young player whose promise slowly fades with every strikeout and weak groundball, despite occasional flashes of potential. Shaara, who won a Pulitzer in 1975 for The Killer Angels , died just after the book was finished, and one feels he might have liked to give it a rewrite. Just before the last game of the season, star pitcher Billy Chapel, a veteran of 17 years in the major leagues, discovers that his team plans to trade him. Moreover, he learns that his New York editor/girlfriend has inexplicably ended their romance--leaving him adrift and the reader more than a little indifferent. The love affair, seen in flashbacks (notably a scene in which they achieve congress in a small airplane), must compete with an unhealthy number of baseball cliches and a series of featureless characters; even Billy, whose thoughts we share, seems a blank. The book does come to life, fittingly enough, as Chapel takes the mound for his final and greatest game. Shaara succeeds in conveying the extraordinary physical and psychological demands of the professional game as well as the dizzying pleasures of its triumphs. But even the account of Chapel's greatest victory is marred by a trite ending. While flawed, however, this is a noteworthy attempt to capture the simultaneous loss of a life's love and a life's obsession. (May)
Library Journal
Pulitzer Prize-winner Shaara's final work (he died in 1988) is about a baseball player's final work. Billy Chapel, a great pitcher, is going to be traded after 17 years of service. He plans to end his career with this game, rather than accept this betrayal by his team's new owners. We follow him pitch by pitch through his perfect game, and memory by memory through his imperfect life. Cushioned by a children's game, he has never quite grown up, never taken the ultimate risk of trusting a relationship; the woman he loves is equally frightened of commitment. They come together now, when Billy has to go home, with no home to go to. As much a psychological novel as a baseball tale, this is a good choice for popular fiction collections.-- Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.09(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.42(d)

Meet the Author

In the early 1950s, Michael Shaara published award-winning science fiction stories in the most popular pulp magazines of the day. He later began writing straight fiction and published more than seventy short stories in such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Playboy, and many others. His first novel, The Broken Place, was published in 1968. But it was a simple family vacation to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1966 that gave him the inspiration for his greatest achievement, The Killer Angels.

After seven years of research and rewrite, and then two years of rejections from publishers, The Killer Angels was finally published by Random House, later winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Michael Shaara went on to write two more novels, The Noah Conspiracy and For Love of the Game, which was published posthumously after his untimely death in 1988.

It was Shaara's son Jeff who found the manuscript of For Love of the Game among his father's many works, thus insuring another piece of the Michael Shaara legacy.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

For Love of the Game 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RicoGM More than 1 year ago
Mr. Sharra must love baseball. He has crafted a character in Billy Chapel who touches all of us who love/enjoy baseball. Billy comes of age later than most. He grows up through a most joyful and yet poignant life event. This is a stand alone book that is a good springboard for a "Man's Romance" movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding read, I think it is a unique blend of baseball and some of the relationships of the people.It is very entertaining and a quick enjoyable read. I would recommend it to any baseball fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The writing is superior in this book, but I agree with the previous reviewer who said that focusing more on the perfect game aspect and less on the personal relationships would have heightened the plot. Still a good read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had planned on buying the book before I read your review. After watching the movie, I would have been thrown for a loop when I read the difference. Thanks again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great. I saw the movie first, and the movie and book complement each other in a great way. The movie had more detail, but the book had a great underlying message. I find it ironic that this book was published after the death of this great author, as it could truly be said of the author's life. Sharra sadly left us when he was at the top of his game, as did Billy Chapel in the book. Sharra was a fine author, and this is an amazing last book by the great author. You could read this book in a night, and I guarantee that it would be a night well spent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had seen the Kevin Costner film before reading the book it was based on, but tried to read it as unbiased as I could. The book had its moments, but seemed jumbled at times. The baseball moments resonated, but the relationship memories were disjointed and didn't seem to fit in w/ the story. If it had been simply a story of a baseball pitcher who attempting to achieve perfection and yet failed to live a perfect life (relationships included), then I would have enjoyed it a bit more. A good story, but yet it did yield a bloop single in the top of the ninth.