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on November 7, 2003
This book is not about baseball, and it is not a sequel to "A False Spring," which was a classic in its own right. It is also not about dogs, cigars, fast cars or South Florida, although all of those things figure prominently in the book. Instead, "A Nice Tuesday" is a deeper, fuller portrait of an unusually talented guy living out his life as best he can despite a nagging feeling that he has failed.
That may not sound particularly interesting, but Pat Jordan himself is a far better subject than 99% of the atheletes he usually writes about. He is an intelligent guy, with a wide range of interests. His writing captures that struggle we all go through of being able to perceive our shortcomings and only have limited success trying to change them. But, at least he does try. In this book, he's completely unafraid to reveal himself through his writing.
Beyond this, Jordan is a very skilled writer. He has a great sense of judgment as to what will capture and keep the reader's attention. He doesn't abuse this gift by lingering on his stories too long. There are dozens of memorable scenes and vignettes in this book, but it does not come off as being choppy or disorganized. The connections make sense to Jordan, and he convinces the reader that they should make sense.
Although this is non-fiction, the book "A Nice Tuesday" resembles most closely is "The World According to Garp" by John Irving. I mean that as a compliment; Garp is one of my favorite books of all time. For me, the similarities are in how Jordan and Garp are both fascinating individuals who have improbable life experiences -- much more interesting than the rest of us -- develop a unique way of looking at life, surround themselves with unusual, even quirky companions and still manage to come off as average guys. Just as John Irving novels have wrestling, dancing bears, New England prep schools and scenes in Vienna, Austria, Pat Jordan's life has baseball, dogs, cigars and Florida. We can relate to these elements, but the books are more than the sum of the elements. Neither Irving's novels nor Jordan's memoir are about these things. They just give the writer an excuse to display talent, skill and a unique way of looking at the world.
"A Nice Tuesday" also conveys Jordan's sense of inevitable doom -- this obviously comes from the heart -- which reminds me of the "Under Toad" in Garp. Jordan knows that he always drives the people he loves away from him, but can't figure out why and can't seem to stop the process. How honest and uncommon to admit this secret fear that so many of us have.
A Nice Tuesday is an excellent choice for any adult reader, male or female, young, middle aged or old. It has humor, insight and poignancy. It is much more rewarding than any sports book I have ever read and should not be cheapened by that label. It would have been just as good a book if he had not pitched in the minor league game.
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on January 6, 2011
This was a well-written memoir, up to a point, by a well-known jerk. The author cruelly betrays the confidences of the teenager he hires to catch him. He thinks about noone but himself.

Nevertheless, the book is very readable until his emotional breakdown in the closing chapters: after exhibiting a near-complete disregard for most of the human beings he encounters, he completely falls apart at the death of his dogs, dissolving into near hysteria.

What a mess. What a jerk.

Stick with A False Spring, which also shows Jordan up as jerk, but remains a classic nonetheless.
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on June 22, 1999
This is a wonderfully intimate look into the life of a failed baseball pitcher who comes to embrace life's reversals and use them to his advantage. Without fully realizing the success he had become, author Jordan sought, after thirty years, to find his lost baseball career. Instead we read how he comes to find peace in his family, friends, and pets. The author's sensativity is not eclipsed by his gruff personality - it is enhanced. He is nothing if not a contradiction. Child pitching star and professional baseball failure. Father to five children who do not speak to him, and patriarch to a group of loving "usual suspects". A husband of questionable value to his first wife, but of ultimate worth to his second. A dog-owner who through a lack of sensativity allowed his childhood pet to die of lonliness, but who in his middle age devotes himself to a pack of noble hounds who teach him more about life than his parents were able to do. Author Pat Jordan takes us into places most people would not invite us to visit. We learn more of life than of baseball in A NICE TUESDAY. A pitcher's tunnel vision, his ability to focus only on the throw, was something lacking in Jordan's sports career - he saw too much. What was a flaw for him as a pitcher is what makes him a great author. This story has as its backdrop the game of baseball. But at its core it is a story of a man's journey through life and all the pains and pleasures that life brings. This book will appeal to baseball fans, but its reach is far broader.
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on June 7, 1999
This book sneaks up on you. Jordan writes not just of baseball, but of life, death, failure, dog-packs and teenagers, cigars and smugglers, estrangement and reconciliation. One paraphrase stays with me about his life...when signed for a $50,000 bonus in 1959, Jordan cried because he did not break a record for bonus signings. Nevermind that the amount was more than either his father or brother had seen in a lifetime! He says in retrospect, "I never appreciated the gifts I was given, because I was so busy paying attention to the gifts I wanted!" At 56, and considerably more humble, Jordan writes of a life that is about redemption, and has a message for all of us. His writing is raw, but resonant. Read this if you are a fan of baseball, love it because he is a true storyteller.
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on March 18, 2004
I don't think I can add much to the praise bestowed upon this book by the previous reviewers, other than to mention two things I found special about this memoir (come on Amazon proofreaders, get it right!).
1. I found the book an incredibly interesting portrait of a man that is eerily DISsimilar to myself, yet I could relate and empathise with his life and dreams.
2. Chapter Three, which is a self-deprecating look at a typical day in the life of a man "...rooted in his routine." is one of the best individual chapters of any book I have read recently. He describes an unremarkable S. Florida day with such clarity and humor that I found myself thinking as I read, "yeah, and then what did you do?"
I am moving on to A False Spring with anticipation...
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on September 29, 2015
I've always been a big fan of Pat's work, and "A Nice Tuesday" is right at the top. Any serious writer trying to understand the essence of creative nonfiction –– or fiction, for that matter –– should read ANT. As with "A False Spring," it transcends baseball. It is a great story well told. and who can ask for more than that?
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on August 5, 2015
Pat Jordan is the foremost sports writer in the U.S. Author of the critically acclaimed A FALSE SPRING this sequel tells the story of Jordan returning to CT to pitch in a minor league game at age fifty-six. Jordan is willing to talk about things that he could claim are private but he tells us about the people in his life with humor honesty and compassion. I laughed and cried while reading this boiling highly recommend it
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on July 13, 1999
A really enjoyed 'A False Spring' so much that I have read it over and over again since I bought it 25 years ago. I liked 'A False Spring' so much that I bought 'A Nice Tuesday'dispite the fact that I read a blistering review of it in my local paper. Even the silly idea of a ONE INNING CLASS A 'comeback' at the age of 56, the basis of this book, could not prevent me from trying to find more of the magic of 'A False Spring.' But this book has no magic. It's raunchy, its silly, - its nothing that I was hoping for. Jim Bouton is quoted on the book's cover as calling Jordan "painfully honest" - that is a very accurate assessment; Jordan tells us all of the intimate details of his sex life AND his parent's! What does this have to do with a baseball 'comeback' book? For a good story of a REAL baseball comeback read Terry Pluto's 'The Greatest Summer' which tells the story of Jim Bouton's amazing comeback. If Jordan really was trying to fulfill his lost promise, why didn't follow Bouton's example. Even Garth Brooks got to send spring training with a major league team. But Jordan's comeback is nothing but, playing catch for months with a high school player, never facing batters, runners, fielder's errors, umpires; the whole baseball experience. As far as the rest of the non-baseball part of this book, (which is the majority of the book, by the way) Jordan is so focused on his own fantasy that he never even learns the name of any of his ONE INNING team-mates. But they shouldn't feel too bad, Jordan never even gives the names of his 5 children. This is how he writes of them on page 222: as "my oldest daughter, my 26 year-old son." Oh, how I wish Jordan would have written more about soome of the memorable people from 'A False Spring', people like Sally, Lois Steinecke, Ron Hunt, etc. I wish he would have returned to McCook, Davenport and Eau Claire. But instead he chose to write about his life of sex, cigars, magazine writing, and living with a pack of dogs. No thanks, sorry but was not interested.
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on May 17, 2012
Pat Jordan still thinks of himself as a pitcher who happens to write rather than merely a writer. But his memoir is about more than just baseball. We learn much about Jordan's private life from his two marriages, his estranged kids, his dogs, and his attempt at age 56 to retake the mound in a minor league game.
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on June 25, 2002
It must have been my lucky day when I found this gem in a remainder bin. I picked it to peruse from idle curiosity about the cover and title, not because I knew anything about Pat Jordan. Boy, was I ever ignorant.
I read a sentence, then a paragraph, then a page, and when hypnotized, I didn't want to stop there; so I bought it for the quality of its prose. I couldn't wait to start reading from the front and found it as funny, and occasionally profound, as it was well written.
First off, this is a memoir or autobiography written by someone that knows a lot about baseball, not a baseball book per se. Only the extremely obtuse would read it solely in the context of some imagined "baseball comeback" genre. The "Nice Tuesday" of the title is the day the author works towards in all his life paralleling the personal stuff.
Jordan reflects on his Connecticut childhood, brief baseball celebrity, drag racing, gambling, father/son, brother/brother, dogs, Florida, writing, aging and yes, pitching with this engaging narrative. Above all else it is a book about how a man works out how to handle himself within the context of family (for better or worse) and career. It's a book about how to write the script of your own life. I don't know whether I'd get along with Jordan, the man, but he is a gifted, intelligent, honest writer.
In spirit, a Cross between Jim Bouton's classic 'Ball Four' and a novel by Hemingway of Salter. As soon as I finished this book I ordered his earlier work "A False Spring" and forced a close friend to read my copy of "A Nice Tuesday." Don't be afraid to pay full price, it's worth twice the cover!
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