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For Love of the Game Audio CD – 1991

4.0 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 1991
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Books on Tape (1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736651950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736651950
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 6.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,574,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book, found in manuscript form among the author's papers after his death, is like an ode to the purity of the game of baseball. The protagonist, Billy Chapel, is a throwback to the old glory days of the sport, when players spent their whole careers with one team, and had annual meetings with the team owner to iron out next year's contract.
Chapel is about to take the mound at the end of his 17th big-league season, for a losing team, playing before 80,000 fans in Yankee Stadium (must have been the old, larger House that Ruth built) against a team desperately needing the win for a playoff berth. Amidst personal crisis (Chapel hears a rumor that he's been traded, and his girlfriend is destined to marry another), he tries to block out everything and go out in style, giving it all he's got for one majestic, final game.
The book is written like an internal monologue, and especially in between innings Chapel reminisces about childhood, about his chance encounter with the beautiful Carol and their amorous adventures together, and about his departed parents. The scene of Billy pretending to sleep in the backseat of his folks' car, while they marvel at his talent and discuss how special he is, was especially moving. Chapel is so introspective that he is essentially roused out of his reverie to take the mound each inning by his catcher and best friend Gus.
I liked the interplay between the baseball game and the dream-like flashbacks, although readers should understand that this is more than just a novel about baseball. Themes such as solitude, grace under pressure, camaraderie between the pitcher and catcher, and the recognition that Billy is an aging athlete playing what could be his last game are all explored in moving detail.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shutting out everything, concentrating on that one goal, time and time again. Why? All for the love of the game.
This little gem of a book was found by the author's son and published posthumously. Though it is no Gettysburg, it is a wonderful book from an author who left us too early before we got a chance to know him.
Billy Chapel is an aging major league baseball who once knew the pinnacle of greatness. But age has taken over, and he is on the verge of being put out to pasture--or as rumors roam--being traded. He is pitching his last game of the season, and as he pitches he ruminates over his life over a stream of conscienceless of thought. He knows it is the end of his career, but he is not going without a flash and begins to pitch the best game of his life. As he pitches, he begins to think back on his life, but as he does so he stays focus on the game--the perfect game. Why? For the love of the game.
There are no simple answers to his life. Nothing but memories, the future, and the love of the game.
A perfect little book from a great author.
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Format: Paperback
I read this novel for the first time two months ago. I am difficult to please, and I find most "serious" contemporary fiction mediocre or worse. "For Love of the Game" was outstanding in almost every respect, and reminded me of the joys of reading great fiction.
There are many things that truly impressed me about this novel: the compact, but rich telling of the two stories in the book -- the aging ballplayer's last game and his breakup with his girlfriend of four years; the compelling descriptions of the ballplayer's inner thoughts as the game progresses; the riveting description of the final play of the game; and finally, the moving end to the story.
This short novel is far more than a book for sports fans -- it is truly a work of art.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe this is the first time I have ever read a book that has been made into a movie, and thought the movie was better. In this case, I think the film with Kevin Costner is much better than this book. The film has a much richer story, filled out with more characters and a realistic environment. The book was a real disappointment, one-dimensional with no richness of story. Too bad the author's family didn't leave it in the files.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Billy Chapel is a major league baseball pitcher, a 17-year veteran, perhaps one of the bet to ever throw a fastball.

Here, in Michael Shaara’s FOR LOVE OF THE GAME, it’s the second-to-last game of the regular schedule – one to be played against the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are on the verge of winning a play-off spot and Billy is penciled into the line-up against them even though his own dismal team lost its chance at a post-season berth early on in the schedule.

Only hours before the first pitch, Chapel’s professional and personal lives sustain potentially psychologically crippling blows. The temptation for him is to just quit and return home to the mountains of Colorado.

Back in the 60s when I was a teenager, I followed every game of the Los Angeles Dodgers, ideally on my transistor radio small enough to dangle from the handlebars of my Schwinn. My heroes were “Dandy Sandy” Koufax and Don “The Big D” Drysdale. (Yes, there could then be, and were, heroes.) And if the two pitched back to back in a Sunday double-header, OMG!

I remember Vin Scully’s broadcast of the last inning of Sandy’s perfect game against the Cubs on September 9, 1965 as if it was yesterday. It was after “lights-out” at the private, boarding high school I attended and I had to discreetly listen under the covers. Yes!

I later lost interest in pro baseball when I entered my twenties and started working for a living; the enormous sums the premier players hold-out for don’t help me meet my budget. And, eventually, exposure to real life rubs the polish off all one’s heroes of whatever ilk.

But enough of my banal experiences. Let’s return to FOR LOVE OF THE GAME.
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