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33 Summers [Kindle Edition]

Darren L. Pare
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.50
Kindle Price: $0.99
You Save: $23.51 (96%)

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Book Description

What does it take to make it in baseball? Jack Mathis shares the dream of many a young boy: he wants to be a major league baseball player. Jack possesses loads of talent and dreams of one day wearing the pinstripes of the New York Yankees. But his dream throws him some curves when he has to overcome family problems, trouble with the ladies, alcohol and drugs. Jack’s father was a former minor leaguer whose career ended in injury. A control freak, he lives vicariously through his son. Does Jack have the will to overcome his problems and realize his dreams, or will he be just another jock who never makes the big time?

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Product Details

  • File Size: 293 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Eloquent Books (June 23, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003FGXL9S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,082 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American Dreams & Harsh Realities April 21, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For so many kids growing up in America, chasing the dream of becoming a major league baseball player is usually a fleeting one; reality typically interferes with the dream by the end of high school. For one fictional character, Jack Mathis, his dream is realized, but at a high cost - a dysfunctional childhood with an overbearing and mean-spirited father who seemed to thrive on verbally abusing Jack's mom; and a substance abuse-filled playing career, with more demons than home runs.

As the Mathis character is looking back on "33 summers", he is bringing to life many broader memories; some good and some bad; but mostly, vivid, as our culture gradually transformed over the decades. In the end, baseball is still an American dream, but the harsh realities of everyday life often disrupt the happy endings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Baseball and Demons March 3, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Darren Pare does the impossible: he captures 33 summers in the life of a professional baseball player--Jack Mathis--in a mere 174 pages. The author has pared away any unnecessary details and weaves a story that gives the reader a good look at a young man's struggles to make it to the big leagues, and how nothing in his life can prepare him for the pressures and temptations that present themselves as he strives for the top. It's even harder when he has a couple of strikes against him, such as being raised by a father who should have taken an intensive course in anger management before he had kids, and having inner demons that fight to prevent him from living his dream. This highly emotional tale will move all baseball fans, and anyone who has lived life to its fullest, especially when one does it in the public eye. You won't be able to put it down once you start reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read August 23, 2009
Format:Hardcover
My husband and I got this book because we know the author, and even though I'm not a fan of baseball, the story behind the main character sounded interesting. It was a quick read, and once I start a book, I don't like to put it down, so I read it in one afternoon. The story behind Jackie was sad and I wanted to know at every page turn what was going to happen next. The author links all of the parts of Jackie's life with major occurrences in baseball, and with breaking news of the time period. It brought back memories of the Gulf War, Presidential races, and 9/11 among many others. I probably wouldn't have read this book for any other reason than we know the author, but I am glad I did, and recommend it highly!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more than baseball July 31, 2010
By BigAl
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good way to view "33 Summers" might be as a memoir or autobiography of a professional baseball player named Jack Mathis. It has all the elements of these. Were it not fiction you might expect it would be a hot topic on ESPN or getting a mention during the sports segment on local TV news.

Each chapter covers a year in Jack's life. The emphasis is on baseball, the only way Jack can connect with his abusive father. His perception of each year is colored by his own performance on the ball field and the success (or lack thereof) of his beloved Yankees. The real lessons to be learned from "33 Summers" do not, however, have much to do with baseball. With his dysfunctional family lacking in examples of how to live his life Jack looks to happenings in the world, trying unsuccessfully to learn from the mistakes of others. He provides object lessons in the dangers of obsession or lack of balance in life. He shows us why friends and family matter. And last, he takes us on one heck of a ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Think Josh Hamilton's story, only darker. June 23, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
What would you get if you took a fictional Josh Hamilton type of character, mix in a dark plot line ala Bad Blake from Crazy Heart, and set the entire story to a multi-decade timeline using both historical events and a musical sound track. You get a really good story by first-time author Darren L. Pare.

33 Summers is a baseball novel. But make no mistake, the book is more about family relationships (mostly dysfunctional), disappointments, personal turmoil and regret. It follows talented player Jack Mathis from his earliest baseball memories playing little league in the 70s through college and pro ball all the way to the book's surprise ending on Opening Day 2008.

The book, which is told in the first person narrative style, starts with Jack's first memories of playing catch with his father, himself a frustrated jock.

"Jackie, if you listen to me, we can go all the way to the majors," he would say. "I can see you in pinstripes now."

The foreshadowing of an overbearing father figure combined with a submissive, but loving mother create a toxic familial environment for Jack as he grows up. Jack struggles with shyness, relationship problems, and drug and alcohal problems while, at the same time, rocketing through the college ball at Mississippi State all the way to the big leagues.

During his pro stint, Jack struggles mightly to overcome his personal challenges. His talents are diminished and, not surprisingly, he is shuttled between moribund teams Royals, Rays, Mariners, and Brewers. At each stop, his "potential" label opens another door only to have his personal demons kick it closed.

One of the devices Pare uses in Summers is a historical timeline.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 Summers was a great, quick read
33 Summers was a great, quick read. It is written in a non-traditional way: no chapters, double spaces throughout, not much dialog, a few missing words and typos. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Stark
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Believable
I bought this book because I like baseball and it was inexpensive. My expectations weren't very high. Read more
Published on December 15, 2010 by J. Ertel
4.0 out of 5 stars No strike out here - this is a homerun
This is an amazing novel. Darren L. Parre takes us through 33 years in the life of Jack Mathis. As a boy Jack dreamed of becoming a baseball player. Read more
Published on November 5, 2010 by blondie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book about a wasted life.....
This was a good book about a baseball player who is also an alcoholic and drug addict. The author takes us through each year of the athlete's life, giving great backgound about... Read more
Published on September 2, 2010 by kindle addict
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!!!
I am usually a romance reader, or a bit of suspense. 33 Summers was a bit out of my box but after having bought the Kindle, I discovered that I had so many more options that I... Read more
Published on August 26, 2010 by Lucinda Dunn
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of woe like no other
Written memoir-style, 33 Summers grabs you right away. Jack Mathis wants to be a ballplayer, but growing up in 1970s Rhode Island, he had to deal with an over-abusive father. Read more
Published on May 28, 2010 by Sean M. Sweeney
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