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If I Never Get Back: A Novel Paperback – May 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
And I also love baseball. (GO DBACKS!)
So when a friend told me about this older novel, I picked up a used copy. I'm glad I did, even though my feelings about the story are mixed. It has moments of absolute wonderfulness, but the storytelling sometimes seems as though the author painted himself into a corner and couldn't find a gracious way out. There are wet footprints through the plot, as a result. And the ending is unsettling.
However, the setup and the setting are outstanding. Our hero, Sam Fowler, is a San Francisco journalist who's coping badly with a divorce, and is called to Cincinnati to deal with his father's death. When his Amtrak has an unscheduled stop, Sam wanders away from the train... and into a fog. When he emerges, he's in 1869, with the members of the Cincinnati Red Stockings -- the first paid baseball team -- clambering onto their own train. With a bit of plot arm-waving (which is fine with me), Sam gets tied into the ball club's road trip... and into their lives.
If you're a baseball fan, it's probably worth the price of the novel just for the lesson in baseball history.Read more ›
Sam Fowler begins riding the rails with the fledgling Cincinnati Red Stockings and their trip around the U.S. to play other early baseball teams. It also goes into the atmosphere of the time, as in the description when the team played in New York City in a park that now is no more in these modern times.
Ah, but then it is also a love story. But is it unrequited love? Is it a lost love? And does Sam ever find her again?
Great baseball book and would make a great movie also.
Sam Fowler, (the central character of this historical fiction novel) is a down and out divorcee from the mid-1980's, finds himself suddenly transported back to 1869, where he happens to board a train carrying the very first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Fowler is befriended by a player of the team, and soon becomes an integral part of the Red Stockings franchise. This is an absolutely fascinating account of how our national pastime began! It certainly helps to be a baseball fan when reading this book, in fact, this book is REQUIRED reading for any true baseball aficionado, but that aside, even non-baseball fans will enjoy Fowler's adventures in post-Civil War America. Fowler meets his idol, Mark Twain, in his journey, and his conversations and interactions with him are delightful. Fowler gradually becomes aware that his transportation back in time is perhaps more a result of fate rather than circumstance. He meets certain people who reveal that they had a premonition that they were to meet him. As all this slowly and delightfully unravels, Fowler finds his life in danger from a group of Irish thugs, while at the same time, he falls madly in love with the sister of his newfound best friend. This is a book that will entrance you and delight you from first page to last. Great summer reading and a great treatise on how the game of baseball was first played and the men who played it. Top-notch reading!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"You'll love this! My favorite book, given to me by my son. Send it back when you are done." said my friend Jim during my recent trip to NE Georgia, handing me a well read... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Fred Forbes
One of my favorites... time to re-read this before I purchase the sequel. I'm not much of a baseball fan,but this book is a very fun read.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The perfect mix of fantasy and history. As a Cincinnati native myself, it makes me wish that I was Sam and could travel back to 1869Published 2 months ago by Benjaminr
To give you an idea of where I'm coming from, I first read this some 25 years ago. And I still have that copy, and I still re-read it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Tant
The perfect blend of historical recreation and baseball. An enjoyable dream that I didn't want to end...just like the main character, Samuel Clemens Fowler.Published 4 months ago by Mark R. Bowen
It was a very OK book. I love baseball and that part of it was interesting. I felt a lot of it was just so contrived. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Adam L. Rosen
Read this book a few years ago. I wanted to read it again on kindle. I'm a big Time Travel fan, and this is one of the best, next to Jack Finney.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer