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Past the Bleachers

Past the Bleachers

4.0 1
by Chris Bohjalian

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this accomplished third novel by the author of Hangman , narrator Bill Parrish and his wife, Harper, have lost their only child, Nathaniel, age 10, to acute lymphocytic leukemia. Searching for a way to deal with his grief, Bill agrees to coach the Little League team that Nathaniel would have played for had he lived to see another summer. Among his young charges is Lucky Diamond, a mute child with a mysterious background. Like Nathaniel, Lucky is a gifted natural athlete with a sweet smile. Gradually, Bill finds himself drawn into Lucky's mystery--a father no one has ever seen, school records that can't be found, a series of sinister accidents that point to Lucky as the possessor of strange powers. Indeed, as the book progresses one fears that Bohjalian will cheapen its very real insights into grief with a faux -Stephen King supernatural plot, but he is a better writer than that. The book's final revelations, while a trifle mechanical, take it in vastly more profound direction altogether. Bohjalian has a fine feeling for emotions, and draws his characters with real affection. Eschewing predictable melodramatic violence, he has created a moving portrait of some decent people trying to cope with the powerful forces of grief and loss, which he leavens withdb (too many some's) very funny recollections of life in Little League. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Bill Parrish coaches the little league team that his son would have starred on, had he not died of leukemia over the winter. A strange young boy--mute, motherless, living with a father Bill never sees--joins the team. He spooks everybody, including the coach, especially since bad things happen to people who cross him, but his neediness appeals to Bill's wife. When the child is completely abandoned, Bill realizes that he has been manipulated: the league director intended all along that the bereaved coach and his wife would replace their lost child with this waif. Although Bohjalian ( A Killing in the Real World , St. Martin's, 1988) sets up tensions and expectations he does not fulfill, this is an engrossing story of loss and recovery. Recommended for public library fiction collections.-- Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.

Product Details

Avalon Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st Carroll & Graf ed

Meet the Author

Since the selection of his fifth novel Midwives for Oprah’s Book Club back in 1998, bestselling author Chris Bohjalian has enjoyed success for his powerful storytelling about ordinary folks in wrenching circumstances. Twice Bohjalian, who is part Swedish, part Armenian, has turned to history as a source of inspiration: the Armenian Genocide by Turkey was the backdrop for The Sandcastle Girls, and World War II for Skeletons at the Feast. Both books received widespread critical acclaim.

Brief Biography

Lincoln, Vermont
Date of Birth:
August 12, 1961
Place of Birth:
White Plains, New York
Amherst College

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Past the Bleachers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
He is a great writer! This is a good book. Great story!