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Shilstone, Steve

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ISBN 10: 155821450X / ISBN 13: 9781558214507
Verlag: Breakaway Books, 2000
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Hardcover
Verkäufer Robinson Street Books, IOBA (Binghamton, NY, USA)

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155821450X Near fine in near fine dust jacket. First edition Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers BING81711194

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Chance

Verlag: Breakaway Books

Erscheinungsdatum: 2000

Einband: Hardcover


Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Auflage: 1st Edition

Über diesen Titel


Wondering whether Nabokov might have left any unpublished manuscripts behind and if so, did they have baseball themes? If anyone reading this knows the answer, please check the files to see if there's a manuscript for a novel named Chance. . . . It's a very good one, full of wit, good humor, and baseball. And if you don't care about the latter, take the advice the book offers in its first paragraph and 'Read it anyway. There's other stuff in it, too.' -Allen Barra, The Palm Beach Post

An excerpt

Okay, here's the deal. This is a book about a baseball player. Do you care? If you don't care, read it anyway. There's some other stuff in it, too. Chance Caine. Recognize the name? Well, he wants me, an old weird guy poet, to write his story. Why? I'll tell you why. He has made rhythmic marks on paper himself. Some of his efforts aren't even dreck. You can judge for yourself in a minute. He took a class. I gave him an A. So one day he comes to me with a load of scrapbooks, diaries, videos. He says, "Here's my life. How would you like to write my book?" I say, "The thing I make will be the thing I make." I talk like that on purpose sometimes. Art is a conscious attempt at nonverbal communication. Okay? Okay. I lie to convey truth. I lie to make the story better. I am a lying guy. What can I say? I want to write this story. There may be money in it. Why lie? Okay, there's another reason. I gave my students an assignment to write a short short short story no longer than ten sentences. Mr. Caine wrote:

The Angry Fish

The fish hurled himself into the boat slashing left and right with fins, teeth, and daggers. Blood spurted from the severed limbs of the screaming crew. The fish turned a final somersault, stood on its tail on the rail, and shreiked in trembling rage, "Vengeance is mine, haa ha haaa ha! ! !" Then he dove under the waves and was gone.

The End

What the??? I graded it A and from then on leaned back a little in my chair when he walked by. I leaned back further after I had read his science fiction slash fantasy effort a few weeks later. You'll see that one, too, in time. Who is this guy? Let's see if I can answer that question.

So what

From Kirkus Reviews:

An effectively sly, pleasantly diverting send-up of vacuous sports-star biographies, courtesy of first-time author Shilstone. The narrator, a self-confessed master of deceit, is attempting to fulfill an offhand commission to tell the life story of Chance Caine 25 years after Chance's retirement (at age 40) from professional baseball. He handles the assignment in episodic fashion, offering commentary from teammates, boyhood friends, and others, as well as from his subject (who has a bit of the poet about him). The unnamed Boswell also includes a full measure of his own antic observations on the diamond game--odd bits and pieces that gradually coalesce, yielding a remarkably clear picture of a likable, even admirable, character. Chance, the son of a bookish professor and an athletic mom, was a natural from the beginning. Turning pro after high school, he was eventually voted into the Hall of Fame for his brilliant play at shortstop over a 22-year span with the Lions (a National League franchise in an unidentified American city). All told, Chance made it to the World Series three times (without ever playing for a winner), batted .402 one glorious season, earned golden gloves galore for near flawless fielding, and was a perennial All Star selection. The press and his adoring fans were always more upset by the Lions' failure to capture a Fall Classic than Chance was. He played for sheer love of the game--but, still, he leaves it without a qualm when his skills decline; moreover, after surviving a murderous appreciation-day assault by a crazed sportswriter, Chance marries a beautiful model who loves him for his soul and gets on with a fulfilling life. At the close, there are some agreeably twisty revelations offering a sense of the continuity that is a hallmark of the summer game. If not yet in a class with Robert Coover, Ring Lardner, or Bernard Malamud, newcomer Shilstone makes a fine, affectionate job of spoofing the national pastime's enduring charms, mores, and myths. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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