Dixon Cornbelt League and Other Baseball Stories

Dixon Cornbelt League and Other Baseball Stories

by W. P. Kinsella
     
 

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An irresistible collection of magical baseball stories from the acclaimed author of Shoeless Joe--the basis of the award-winning film Field of Dreams.

Overview

An irresistible collection of magical baseball stories from the acclaimed author of Shoeless Joe--the basis of the award-winning film Field of Dreams.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once again blending magical and spiritual themes with a baseball setting, Kinsella (Shoeless Joe; Box Socials) takes a light, breezy approach in this mildly satisfying but somewhat redundant collection of nine tales. The plot pattern is remarkably similar from story to story, beginning with the introduction of a seemingly incredible, silly or trivial anomaly that often conceals a darker conflict. A gentle spoof of magical realism, ``The Baseball Wolf,'' raises the issue of our animal nature through a slick-fielding shortstop in an obscure Latin-American league who tries to jump-start his career by undergoing a mystical lupine transformation. The title story follows a parallel trail, introducing an ominous, barely known Iowa minor league that actually functions as a vehicle for repopulating the dying farm towns in the region. ``Eggs'' deals more directly with a serious theme, its protagonist a pitcher who struggles with rural isolation when the loss of his fastball forces premature retirement to his opulent Alberta home and a wife who is unsympathetic to his desire to return to the game. Kinsella clearly is steeped in his sports motif, churning out stories that read like lightning and tantalize the reader with fascinating scenarios. But, like a meal that consists of nothing but appetizers, the similarity of tone and structure ultimately becomes tiresome, and Kinsella's reluctance to plumb the depths of his characters' struggles may leave readers hungering for some meatier material. (Feb.)
Library Journal
More baseball stories from the master of the genre.
Dennis Dodge
Kinsella's short stories grow out of baseball, in which they are firmly rooted, but they grow extravagantly. In the first paragraph of the first story, the shortstop turns into a wolf. It's unsettling, at least to the narrator, a newcomer to the team who is the wolf/shortstop's roommate, but what finally comes of it is the narrator's recognition of his own yearning to transform his life utterly. Similarly surprising developments occur in almost every story. Christy Mathewson appears in the form of a voice on the bullpen phone to advise a cynical major-league manager. Roberto Clemente washes up on a tropical beach, 20 years after he was presumed dead but not a day older, wishing to resume his career. And an ambitious prospect is assigned to a minor-league team without opponents. Those looking for a baseball fix after an aborted season won't find what they expected here, but neither will they be disappointed. Kinsella, author of "Shoeless Joe" (1982), on which the film "Field of Dreams" was based, uses baseball not so much as a metaphor, but as a familiar starting place for exploring, with pinpoint control, the human psyche.
New York Times

"[Kinsella] defines a world in which magic and reality combine to make us laugh and think about the perceptions we take for granted."—New York Times
Calgary Sun

"His short stories about baseball are wistful things of beauty which serve to remind us how the game should feel—the innate glory of a diamond etched in the minds of Americans."—Calgary Sun
Booklist

"[Kinsella] uses baseball. . . . As a familiar starting place for exploring, with pinpoint control, the human psyche."—Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060171889
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/29/2000
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.11(w) x 11.11(h) x 1.11(d)

Meet the Author


W. P. Kinsella is the author of more than two hundred short stories and fifteen books, including The Iowa Baseball Confederacy and Shoeless Joe, which became the basis for the film Field of Dreams. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Kinsella has been honored with the prestigious Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship and has taught writing at the University of Victoria.

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