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Prospect by Bill Littlefield


by Bill Littlefield

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For all Littlefield's struggles to avoid being lumped in with those that claim "the game" used to be better, the tone of the book is exactly that, with all the sepia-toned nostalgia for baseball's status as the national pastime that feels so impossibly dated in the modern era. Sadly, that's not even the worst of this book's sins.

His characters are so stereotypical as to be almost offensive, and the plot, what little of it there actually is, moves so slowly and so obviously towards its end, that it seems some strange miracle that I even bothered to finish it. It shouldn't take more than a couple pages for even the most obtuse of readers to realize that sassy black lady is going to push the old man who thinks he has no more to offer so that they can get the impossibly talented and humble young athlete into the big leagues.

On a more nitpicking note, Littlefield's decision to insert an imaginary team into the midst of all the real-world teams and players he references (endlessly) throughout the book smacks of utter cowardice. Was he really afraid of offending the lawyers of any baseball team in this disgustingly sloppy kiss on the ass of Major League Baseball? Just make the team the Red Sox, since you so obviously wanted to do so, and quit playing coy. ( )
  jawalter | Nov 18, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395491681, Hardcover)

Like W. P. Kinsella's SHOELESS JOE and Michael Shaara's FOR THE LOVE OF A GAME, PROSPECT is a "gentle, big-hearted" (Kirkus Reviews) novel steeped in the lore and mythology of baseball. At its center stands Pete Estey, a lifelong baseball scout who finds himself divorced, retired, and prematurely consigned to a retirement home, where his only diversions are the nightly ballgame on the radio, his memories, and his droll observations of his fellow pensioners. When an attendant at the home presents him with one last prospect for the major leagues, though, Pete discovers it to be the most important of his career.
"Perceptive and engaging" (Los Angeles Times), PROSPECT tells the story of an unlikely kinship and an even more unlikely success and explores the boundless possibilities for rebirth both on and off the field.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:38 -0400)

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