34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
So much more than an underdog story,
This review is from: One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season (Hardcover)
Everybody loves an underdog story. Chris Ballard's One Shot at Forever provides all of the nail-biting excitement characteristic of the David and Goliath tales of the sports world. I am sure that many will make comparisons to Hoosiers -- with its local color (Hickory - Macon, IL), star athlete (Jimmy Chitwood - Steve Shartzer), and controversial coach (Norman Dale - Lynn Sweet) -- and justifiably so. But One Shot at Forever is so much more.
This book transcends the sports genre. It is a character-driven page turner that will appeal to sports fans and non-sports fans alike. It offers a layered and nuanced portrait of Coach Lynn Sweet, the unforgettable protagonist whose unconventional approaches will captivate most readers just as the Robin Williams character did in Dead Poet's Society. And it pays careful attention to temporal characteristics and weaves them into the story in subtle fashion, much like Matthew Weiner does in Mad Men. Readers will feel transported to the early 1970s whether they lived through the era or not and will have a hard time not feeling nostalgic, as if they were part of Macon Ironmen themselves.
Ballard is a gifted writer who draws on his superior reporting and keen attention to detail to paint an intricate picture of a group of boys--bound together by America's game--coming of age against a small town, Vietnam era backdrop.
I couldn't put it down.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 5, 2013 6:46:02 AM PDT
Gerald J. Mann says:
The review is a homerun. Great review of a great book.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2014 7:56:26 PM PST
Middle Pig says:
You said it. You both said it. Great stuff.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›