It’s been so long since I read any baseball fiction, but when I realised that there were many many many baseball books available on Kindle Unlimited, I was overjoyed! Especially since it seems to have been forever since the end of the baseball season, and spring training seems like so far away!
Since baseball isn’t popular in the UK, books of that genre aren’t publicised over here, so I had no idea what was good and what was bad. So I had no idea what I was in for when I picked this book at random from the list.
I came away with mixed feelings. I loved the plot and the excitement of reading my way through game after game. I didn’t think I would find it interesting, but it’s so easy to get caught up in what you are reading and pretty soon you’re playing the game in your head. The games themselves were so well written that I became completely absorbed and it was almost as if I’d watched the actual game. The scene was set so magically that you could smell the grass and hear the crowd cheering and the excitement building as the game progressed.
The main thing that I didn’t like about the book was that towards the start it seemed quite rambling and there were lots of side tangents which I found confusing. I think this is partly because I was listening to the start of the book while I was driving and the story seemed to drift off into another story without any warning. Maybe this would have been clearer if I’d been reading the book and able to see the formatting, and once I gave up on listening to the book and got further into reading it, it certainly didn’t seem to be as much of a problem.
The title character of Mickey Tussler was so beautifully brought to the page that you couldn’t help feel complete empathy with him. When you saw a situation he was in about to go south, you just wished you could stop it from happening because the bad things that happened to poor Mickey don’t deserve to happen to people with such good hearts.
The twisted nature of some of his teammates and the opposing team was just mind boggling to me, that someone could be so cruel and without remorse was just unthinkable.
I particularly loved being inside Murphy’s mind. The mind of a baseball manager is a strange place to be, but it was good to see the story from his perspective and through the ups and downs of this season with his prodigious new talent taking the team by storm.
The book ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger. It was completely unexpected, but when I realised that there’s a sequel, I was much happier with where it ended, knowing I was going to get more of a gripping story and find out what happens to Mickey.
A great book, definitely recommended for any baseball fan, but it does contain some adult themes and language, so it’s definitely not a book for the young or easily offended.