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Double play by Robert B. Parker
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Double play (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Robert B. Parker

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5151330,764 (3.45)11
Joseph Burke is hired as bodyguard to a spoiled twenty-five year-old woman. This story intertwines with the story of baseball player, Jackie Robinson.
Member:joeldinda
Title:Double play
Authors:Robert B. Parker
Info:New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2004.
Collections:Your library, Joel, eBook
Rating:****
Tags:mystery, baseball, ebook, kindle

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Double Play by Robert B. Parker (2004)

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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
For a well known author (or at least I guess he is) I expected a better read than what I got. The narrative sounded distant from anything going on. The dialogue contained many "he said, she said" after each line. In a two person conversation, I don't feel that needs to be noted as often as this author did.

I've never read this author before, but was intrigued by the back blurb, which indicated Jackie Robinson was part of the story. The story took too long to get to the part where he enters and by then, I was no longer interested. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Feb 24, 2017 |
While fighting at Guadalcanal, Joseph Burke is hit by five 25 caliber bullets from a Japanese light machine gun on the first page of Robert B. Parker’s Double Play. Though obviously badly wounded, he survives. His recuperation is harrowing (among other things, his cherished wife leaves him for another man), but Burke is tough—really, really tough, both physically and mentally.

Burke gradually regains his strength and tries professional boxing. Although he punches like a sledge hammer, he is not much of a boxer, and decides there are better ways of earning a living. He is very successful as a debt collector—his menacing appearance usually obviates resorting to violence. He gets a job as a sort of body guard for the daughter of a well connected but shady politician. His position becomes untenable when he becomes sexually, if not romantically, involved with his ostensible ward. Nevertheless, he has established his chops as a fearless, though not always wise, tough guy.

Burke’s reputation enables him to land a job in 1947 working for Branch Rickey as a body guard for the Brooklyn Dodgers’ rookie first baseman and first black major league baseball player, Jackie Robinson. Burke and Robinson are wary of each other at first, but they draw close as Burke shields the rookie from some of the worst behavior of white America.

The book is pure fiction, but plausible fiction. Parker writes movingly and realistically about Robinson’s ability and dignity in the face of racial insults. Both the real Robinson and fictional Burke achieve genuine heroism in Parker’s skillful hands.

One aspect of the book is a bit implausible. No real person, not even Jack Reacher (oh wait, he isn’t real either), is as tough as Burke. But that’s OK with me because Parker writes about macho confrontations about as well as anyone.

The book contains several chapters, all labeled “Bobby,” that are narrated by a young boy born in 1932. Bobby tells us what it was like for a pre-teen during the war growing up in all white Massachusetts. He also tells us what it was like for a young Dodger fan to follow the exploits of their talented, brave, and dignified rookie first baseman during the watershed 1947 season. Those chapters are undoubtedly autobiographical, and they add an extra dimension to a finely crafted novel.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | May 30, 2015 |
Read during: Summer 2007

I just loved this, I read it in about two days. Instead of Spenser, this is the story of the (fictional) man hired to be Jackie Robinson's bodyguard in his first year in the majors. He is a WWII vet, wounded at Guadacanal, and caring for almost nothing. His story is interspersed with memories of growing up a Dodgers fan in Boston. It only took me about 4 of those chapters to realize it was Parker's own memories. Although the love story with the spoiled daughter of a New York gangster was a bit of a stretch, the story of Robinson was great. Very well done and hard to put down.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
Storywise, I didn't find it that interesting - there are some great scenes, but that's all. However, in terms of character development (Burke particularly), the author did an amazing job. ( )
  Joel.G..Gomes | Apr 17, 2014 |
Parker found a way to meld his detective writing with baseball history, plus add his own personal reminiscences. Worth reading. ( )
1 vote TulsaTV | Dec 24, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert B. Parkerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Forster, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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