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The Entitled Hardcover – May 16, 2007

38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sportswriter, screenwriter and author Deford (Alex: The Life of a Child; Everybody's All-American) scores another hit with this novel of athletes behaving badly. After a career spent knocking around in the minor leagues as a player and manager, Howie Traveler has finally made it to the majors as manager of the Cleveland Indians. The team, however, is struggling, and Howie's job is in jeopardy when the team's star player, Jay Alcazar, is accused of rape. Though Howie's playing career stalled out in Triple A, his big league management career depends on how well he can handle Alcazar, heralded as "the best player in the game." Alcazar insists he's innocent—perhaps even believes it—but Howie suspects otherwise, having witnessed a troubling scene involving accused and accuser the night of the alleged rape. Now, Howie has to choose between his conscience and his dream job. The resolution won't please everyone, but Deford tackles timely and provocative issues without flinching. (May)
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From Booklist

Howie Traveler is the manager of the Cleveland Indians, and Jay Alcazar is his star player. Never quite good enough as a player, Traveler spent two decades in the minors as a coach and manager, building his resume oh so slowly. Alcazar, on the other hand, is the son of a wealthy Cuban immigrant. Even if he hadn't become a baseball star, he would have enjoyed myriad opportunities. The pair share a mundane player-manager relationship until one night Traveler inadvertently spies Alcazar in a physical dispute with a woman trying to escape the star's hotel room. When the woman comes forward with a rape charge, Traveler must balance his career against doing the right thing. In a parallel plot, Alcazar tries to unravel the mystery surrounding his real parents and his birth in Castro's Cuba. Veteran sportswriter and best-selling author Deford creates two fascinating characters in Traveler and Alcazar, but the pivotal rape crisis seems contrived and is resolved very oddly. Deford has done much better, but expect interest based on his reputation. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; 1 edition (May 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402208960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402208966
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rick Mitchell VINE VOICE on July 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am a baseball freak. However, I do not generally read books about it (never read a Halbertsam). Reading "Entitled" still keeps me baseball book free, because only the setting is baseball. The book is about far, far more - culture diversity, natural talent as opposed to blue collar talent, public images and their accuracy and a bit of a mystery to boot.

The main character is the blue collar manager who worked his way up through the minors to get a major league managerial job. He has a super-superstar that reputedly really runs the show.

One of the joys of this book is that these stereotypes are shown to be just that - shallow images propagated by those who do not know the characters better. As the former editor of Sports Illustrated, Deford has an insider's knowledge about what makes images in the public's eye and how hard it is to shift them. He also shows the baggage and prejudice that comes with each image.

The superstar, who appears to be a shallow, self-centered prima donna surprisingly, may not be, or...maybe he is. The last quarter of the book tumbles with surprises and twists and turns when it is shown that nothing - seemingly - is as it seems. There is a bit of a mystery plot, but the thrust of the novel is the characters, their characterizations and how they both differ and are true to those characterizations. It is a wonderful character study.

One word of cauation. If you are a sports page reader, many of the descriptions of the workings of baseball franchises will be old to you. However, they are necessary and make the book very readable for those not familiar with baseball; much as if the book were set in a mining town or in some specialized industry.

The bottom line is that this is not a book about baseball.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel O'Rourke on June 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought the book on Tuesday and finished it on Thursday. Deford drew me into his baseball world and I didn't want to leave. The author is a gifted writer who has seen, heard, and thought about the game of baseball from its roots to its present day incarnation. Sport can present as sorted a drama as any political or criminal case. Deford recognizes that baseball players (like other celebrities) are "Entitled" because players, coaches, owners, the media, and, ultimately, we fans "curse" them with this affliction. The joy in this instance is that Deford shows us the process and the humanity behind the creation of a baseball superstar. I dare any regular NPR listener to read the words of the sage sportswriter Mickey Huey and not hear the voice of The Sport Curmudgeon, Frank Deford. Thank you Mr. Deford for a delightful summer read.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By CB Ryder on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I love baseball, and I enjoy listening to Frank DeFord on NPR, so this book looked promising. When it comes to a great insider's knowledge of baseball, the book delivered on its promise. It was also a great character study of Traveler, the manager, and his relationship with Alcazar, the star player.

Where the book goes horribly wrong is with the rape plot. What woman who has been raped would hunt down the only witness and tell her story matter-of-factly? What lawyer would let her? And worse -- what second woman who had been raped in the past and not told anyone about it would go talk to the accused rapist unemotionally -- and believe him to the extent of convincing the only witness not to tell the cops what he saw in return for an old-boys wink-wink agreement that gets witness a job? It is astounding to think that someone of Frank DeFord's depth of observation about men in sports would see this plot as legitimate. And why does every major female character in the book have to be a victim of rape? Yes it happens, but come on, this is a big cliche.

I wish the plot had been different because I really did enjoy DeFord's knowledge of baseball and all the male characters (like the pitcher who speaks of everything in terms of the weather, and the team owner who subjects everyone to his complaints about being tall). But the rape plot and treatment of female characters was so ludicrous as to be patently offensive. I simply couldn't get past this enough to enjoy the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jenny again on June 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't bear to be away from baseball, so I picked up this novel by the great sportswriter Deford. The dust jacket proclaimed it to be "a novel of modern baseball," and that's about right. There's a megastar and his manager and each of them has a life which we get to peek into. The writing is solid and good, the prose isn't too purple (the baseball writing is great), and the characters really do come to life in their nuanced struggles. I especially loved the baseball-insider perspective, and I loved the insights into the game (which much be Deford's own pawned off on his characters). I really and truly enjoyed this; a great summer read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rkel on May 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've always loved baseball novels and, with this one, Deford proves he is a master. This has all the detail of major league life - the scenes behind the thrilling games highlighted with biting wit and great originality. Set amidst accusations of a horrible crime, Deford's characters tactfully weave through the intracacies of a moral dilemma in a brilliant manner. I highly recommnd this book.
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