I was attracted to this novel because for a couple of reasons. First, I am a huge baseball fan. And second, I thought the story looked a little quirky, but interesting. Definitely interesting.
I give the author credit for a novel idea, but after reading the book, I have a few notes to share.
There was no way to guess the author's target audience. The writing style is basic but clear. There are references to a mature adult relationship (although nothing at all explicit), lots of alcohol consumption, and several f-bombs, but the dialogue was written in a strange manner. It wasn't conversational at all and was written as if the readers were mid-level eLA students.
Like I said, I am a baseball junkie. Although the baseball part of the story takes place a handful of years from now, the baseball references were very much off.
* high school draftees do not go straight to AA baseball. It just doesn't happen. But...I suppose that's part of the plot with Hal being The Golden Boy, so I get it.
* MLB rosters no longer expand to 40 on Sept 1. They expand from 26 to 28.
*Rookies, or any other player, do not sign half-year contracts and renegotiate after 81 games. It's never worked that way in MLB history. Rookies have a base salary, non-negotiable at the MLB level, and are paid a pro-rated amount for each game they are on the MLB roster.
*The Mets are never leaving the biggest baseball market in the country for Jacksonville, Florida. That is just nonsense.
*It's Citi Field...not Citifield for heaven's sake.
*Players can't be sold for cash. Charlie Finley tried that in the 70s when he owned the Oakland A's. It was not allowed. The owner's kids being in-debt gamblers should be changed.
*If memory serves me correctly, Hal's 80-year-old grandpa was catching 90-mile-and-hour fastballs with an old catcher's mitt near the barn. Glad he didn't die.
The basic way baseball operates will not change 5 years from now. The way MLB operates has to be, even in a world of fiction, based on some sort of fact. People will read this book five years from now and it has to be reasonable.
I don't mean to be too critical of the author here, but baseball in the future will be based on baseball of the past...that's why we still love Babe Ruth.
Okay. I enjoyed the book other than the baseball stuff that hit off the mark. It's an easy read and, for the most part, a fun read. Thanks for letting me read an advanced copy, NetGalley!
I enjoyed this book. Henry Hack does a great job articulating the shortfalls of the human race in this novel. It's a well written novel.
I couldn't get into this book because the writing felt immature/out of touch, i.e. on the first page teenagers were talking about "making love" - that's more of a boomer term! The description of the book intrigued me but I just couldn't get past the first couple pages.