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Sometimes You See It Coming: A Novel
     

Sometimes You See It Coming: A Novel

3.5 2
by Kevin Baker
 

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Based in part on the life of baseball legend Ty Cobb, this book belongs in the pantheon of great baseball novels.

John Barr is the kind of player who isn't supposed to exist anymore. An all-around superstar, he plays the game with a single-minded ferocity that makes his New York Mets team all but invincible. Yet Barr himself is a mystery with no past, no

Overview

Based in part on the life of baseball legend Ty Cobb, this book belongs in the pantheon of great baseball novels.

John Barr is the kind of player who isn't supposed to exist anymore. An all-around superstar, he plays the game with a single-minded ferocity that makes his New York Mets team all but invincible. Yet Barr himself is a mystery with no past, no friends, no women, and no interests outside hitting a baseball as hard and as far as he can. Not even Ellie Jay, the jaded sportswriter who can out-think, out-drink, and out-write any man in the press box. She wants to think she admires Barr's skill on a ballfield, but suspects she might be in love with a man who isn't really there.

Barr leads the Mets to one championship after another. Then chaos arrives in the person of new manager Charli Stanzi, well-known psychopath. Under Stanzi's tutelage, the team simply falls apart. Then Barr himself inexplicably starts to unravel. For the first time in his life, his formidable skills fail him, and only Ellie Jay and another can help - if he will let them. Hanging in the balance are his sanity, the World Series, and true love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This uneven first novel about major-league baseball utilizes the sport as both a metaphor for real life and an escape from it. Hero John Barr, ``the greatest if not the most beloved player in the game,'' is equal parts Ty Cobb, Ted Williams and Roy Hobbs, a man with almost surreal natural ability, a deep secret and no friends. He plays for a New York Mets team composed of the sort of eccentrics who populate most serious baseball novels these days--a relief pitcher who attributes his success to the Cabala, and a half-Indian, half-Jewish, all-alcoholic hurler named Moses Yellowhorse being two of the more prominent examples. The book's point of view moves from that of Ricky Falls, the closest thing to a friend Barr has among his teammates, to those of other players and sportswriters and an awkwardly written third-person narration. Much of the material reads like half-digested reworkings of various as-told-to baseball autobios by stars of the late-1970s New York Yankees, including a crazy manager who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late Billy Martin. Baker displays flashes of genuine wit, as in his description of a slumping ballplayer who is ``draggin' himself around like his shoes had concrete laces,'' and he has an undeniable feel for the way men interact with one another. In spite of its shortcomings, the novel acquires momentum and builds to a genuinely satisfying, if predictable, climax. 50,000 first printing, ad/promo. (Feb.)
Library Journal
John Barr is the greatest ballplayer in history, winner of every possible award many times over, but nobody, not even his teammates, knows anything about this intensely private man. When the manager is busy messing up all the other players on the team, Barr is their only hope of repeating a world series win. So when Barr suddenly seems to forget how to play, a female sportswriter, along with one of his teammates, delves into his past to discover the trauma that has motivated him and now threatens to destroy him. The baseball action is knowledgeably handled, and the unbelievably perfect hero takes on depth and reality as we learn about his history. Recommended for general fiction collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/92.-- Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061736827
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
740,454
File size:
583 KB

Meet the Author

Kevin Baker is the bestselling author of the novels Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Sometimes You See It Coming. He is a columnist for American Heritage magazine and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Harper's, and other periodicals. He lives in New York City with his wife, the writer Ellen Abrams, and their cat, Stella.

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Sometimes You See It Coming 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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