- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (April 19, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765380005
- ISBN-13: 978-0765380005
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The House of Daniel: A Novel of Wild Magic, the Great Depression, and Semipro Ball Hardcover – April 19, 2016
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"The House of Daniel is pitch perfect. Harry Turtledove crafts a richly detailed portrait of barnstorming baseball in the 1930s, stitches it around a supernatural orb, and smashes this quintessential American story over the fence for a home run. Read it!” ―Scott Simkus, author of Outsider Baseball: The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe (1876―1950)
"In a loving callback to the early days of a quintessential American sport, Turtledove (We Install and Other Stories) takes readers on a scenic tour of the highways and byways of an alternate United States in 1934...ideal for baseball lovers.” ―Publishers Weekly
"Turtledove has proved he can divert his readers to astonishing places...I know I'd follow his imagination almost anywhere.” ―San Jose Mercury News
About the Author
Harry Turtledove lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, the novelist Laura Frankos. He is a winner of science fiction's Hugo Award and of the Sidewise Award for alternate history. His many science fiction and fantasy novels include The Guns of the South, the "World War" series, and The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump.
Top customer reviews
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The book has its flaws, however. Mr. Turtledove's mega-popular fiction relies on taking real events, changing a critical moment, and then seeing where it leads. Here, perhaps recognizing as his narrator acknowledges at one point, an endless series of stops in small, similar cities to play baseball does tend to run together, so what is the twist in this reality? Rather than turning his attention to finding the drama inherent in his chosen time and place He has injected something like magic into his tale, with zombies, vampires and voodoo running in the background. This is all sort of odd because none of those things actually figures importantly in his story, not as a cause of the Bubble, not as a driving engine behind Spivey's flight from Enid, OK, or how he ends up. It's just atmospheric, and there are obvious dramatic possibilities that could have been explored. Satchel Paige joins the team for a tournament in Denver and there are references to racial attitudes, but nothing really happens. The zombies and the like could have been much more prominently featured, if they had to be included at all, but apart from one event (which itself was not fully explained). And the Dust Bowl seems to have been absent from this version of the Depression in the Southwest.
All that said, there is little enough to read about that period's semi-pro travelling teams. Bingo Long comes to mind, as does Timothy Gay's "Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert" in non-fiction. So, despite Mr. Turtledove's aversion to real dramatic invention, this is a welcome book that I enjoyed.
The sex and violence is virtually non existence but is there now and then and should not affect your enjoyment of the book.
Last week, I decided to read it again, but this time I had a road atlas open to the various states that the team visited. Identifying the towns and routes that Jack Spivey, the narrator mentions made the book a much more enjoyable read.