Havana Heat: A Novel

Havana Heat: A Novel

by Darryl Brock


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A former star hurler for John McGraw’s brawling Giants, Luther “Dummy” Taylor was also one of Major League Baseball’s first deaf players. Havana Heat follows Taylor’s life and fortunes when, after a strong season in the bushes in 1911, he comes to believe that he has one last shot at returning to his old dream.

He works his thirty-six-year-old arm into shape by pitching to his brother in the evenings and, after wrestling with the decision to leave his wife to pursue his dream, becomes determined to hunt down McGraw and ask for another chance.

Allowed to accompany the Giants on a barnstorming trip to Cuba, Taylor gets far more than he has bargained for as he faces the renowned Havana teams and a profound challenge thrust upon him by a deaf Cuban youngster. During quieter moments in the trip’s turbulent course, Taylor takes a long look at his career, his marriage, and his life. As he meets unexpected trials on the island, Taylor gains insight into what he can still offer the world besides his pitching arm.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803235892
Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Pages: 322
Sales rank: 1,117,759
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Darryl Brock authored the highly acclaimed novel If I Never Get Back, as well as articles on Mark Twain, baseball, and other subjects in numerous publications. Havana Heat won the Dave Moore Award for the most important book on baseball in 2000. Brock lives with his wife and daughter in Berkeley, California.

Table of Contents

[no TOC; 20 numbered chapters]
Part One: The Sign
Part Two: The Motion
Part Three: The Target
Part Four: The Delivery

What People are Saying About This

Larry Ritter

It would be hard to top Darryl Brock's If I Never Get Back but he has succeeded with Havana Heat. It is a lovely book that will live forever.
—(Larry Ritter, author of The Glory of Their Times)

Keith Olbermann

Once again, Darryl Brock masters baseball as a literary device to make an entire period of time, in this case the era of John McGraw, stand up out of the history pages, vivid and true. Havana Heat is warm and evocative—and reads like a rocket.
—(Keith Olbermann, FOX Sports)

Hank Greenwald

Darryl Brock magically transports us back to an era and a place we could not have otherwise have know. You won't want to take time for a seventh inning stretch when you read this book.
—(Hank Greenwald, Former Giants and Yankees Broadcaster)

Larry Dierker

Only Darryl Brock would attempt a narrative told by a character who can neither speak nor hear. From this blank slate, a tale of color and noise emerges in Havana Heat, fresh and naïve, primitive, uplifting and finally bittersweet. Just as in If I Never Get Back, I was drawn effortlessly into the historical setting and lives of the characters. What's more, the baseball writing is on the money.
—(Larry Dierker, Manager, Houston Astros)

Customer Reviews

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Havana Heat 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting tale based losely on the facts and a lot on imagination.It is a good story about baseball and about life.The characters are colorful and the story keeps a quick pace that keeps your interest.It is a comment on human nature and prejudice in the early part of the last century that involved baseball specifically but people in general.The baseball parts are also fascinating.The ending is bittersweet but honest.Overall a better book than If I Never Get Back.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is good, but it doesn't live up to the hype. I suggest getting it from the library, because, chanes are, this isn't one you'll want to read again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brock's Havana Heat is an incredible story of baseball, politics and history in the United States and Cuba. The story moves quickly and interestingly through many exciting places and plot twists. The characters are fantastic, too. Great book!