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on April 16, 2016
I like the author's ambition and the writing continues to rattle around in my head days later, which is usually a sign of strong writing, but I'm really not sure what to think about his book. Some of the passages are so charmingly, insightfully written--about southern American culture, baseball, love, prison, aging. Too many passages, however, go on too long or dig too deep or are too plain indulgent. The amount characters, subplots, and detours overload the work.

Don't read this book if you don't love or like baseball. Even in it's best literary moments, it doesn't transcend the sport.
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on December 25, 2013
This novel is a wonderful story of a man who decides to let love in his life, mixed with a great story of minor league baseball. Don't miss his discussion about liking beginnings and endings.
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on October 5, 2011
I am not going to repeat all the reasons this book was a great read. Previous reviewers here have done that admirably. I highly recommend this book to any avid reader, and if you are a sports fan who likes to read then order it now. I must say as a consertative that I am surprised that none of the other reviewers actually came out and said that this book seems to be a metaphor for the glory of communism. This in no way diminish's the book as far as entertainment and intelectual excercise. It is quite obvious. The fact is that it seems to me that old boy is using a great minor league baseball story to try to sell me a system I will never, ever buy. I only posted this because most if not all the reviewers were obviously educated and intelligent enough to have seen this, it does not require Sherlock Holmes to decipher "the reds" coached by "lefty marks(ist)" might be a little FAR left at the center.....None of the others seemed to be able to bring themselves to say it..........Loved the book-but not drinking the kool-aid
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on March 13, 2002
What else can I say? Hog Durham's narrative is simply brilliant throughout the entire novel. Not only a great work of fiction, but very accurate with its baseball details as well. Not a novel for the thin-skinned.
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on May 24, 2001
Nothing is sacred. Donald Hays manages to offend everyone in this book about minor league baseball in the deep south. If this book doesn't make you laugh, you're dead.
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on July 9, 2002
As the others have said, I think this is just about the best fictional baseball ever written. The characters are brought to life by Mr Hays. These are some of the most memorable characters I have ever come to love in fiction. I do not agree in the slightest with the politics and world-view of Mr. Hays; however I must say that he presents his view of the world in such an engaging and humanistic way, that I find myself totally enthralled by these characters and thier trials and tribulations.
The main character "Hog Durham" is an ex-con who is given one last chance by society. After having spent the last few years in the Oklahoma State Prison (I can't spell penitentiary) he is released to the care of the the Arkansas Reds. A minor league team mangaged by the oh so subltly named "Lefty" Marks.
Lefty has assembled a team of has beens and wanna be's that by thier sheer oddness you just know that they will set the league on it's ear. The plot is predictable but the characterzations and humanizing of the players is incredible.
The team consists of the ex-con Durham, along with Jeremiah Eversole (a Panamanian Native American, that psyches himself up by reading a history of how the Whites' raped Central America.) Bullet Bob Turner (A biggoted redneck has been major league relief pitcher) and the most important other character Lefty Marks himself.
These charaters and many others bring this story alive. They are alive, aware, human and earthy.
The language will offend some, but it is the language of ex-cons, and the down-trodden. A language that is rich in description and explitives.
Do yourself a favor, read this book. If you are a fan of baseball, or a fan of the down-trodden masses, this will reach your heart and make you laugh and cry.
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on December 3, 2013
Hay's "The Dixie Association" is a delightful read. It is hilarious, insightful and revealing. It's a picture of Southern life -- warts and all. Hays compares well with the late great Harry Crews as an accomplished writer of the distinctively Southern novel. If you love baseball and your culinary heritage features red-eye gravy, RC cola, grits and purple-hull peas, you'll enjoy "The Dixie Association."
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on February 10, 1998
The Dixie Association not only depicts the racial tenacities and gender issues, but it generalizes a time of ignorance, confusion, and a time to still see the fun and humor in things regardless of what ever else was occurring.
The book has an amazing continuity of descriptive words that flow from one page to another. I have yet to finish the book, but I know it will keep me entertained.

I find that Hog is wanting to fall in love, yet he's everso scared of what and how it might feel to be loved by someone else. It is quite interesting to see how he is in fact growing up.I also see that the other characters are just trying to find themselves and have a freedom to speak their own minds, however, doing this can get them in a little bit of trouble.
Unfortunately, the book depicts the rascism at such a point that a classmate of mine refused to read the book because the words were extremely racial. As a Hispanic and a woman, I find this book to be somewhat degrading, however, I understand that the author is portraying a time in which people felt and thought that it was normal to act violently towards people not of their own race.

All in all, I know that people will be able to understand more fully of how different people were being treated and how those particular people handled their situations.I hope that other people reading this book can just simply imagine how those particular times were and maybe realize that it isn't morally right to be so hateful towards their own people- we are all human beings.This book has opened my eyes a lot more. I knew a lot of the racial struggles that occurred during that time period, but I can now see things in a different light! I can't wait to finish the book.
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on March 15, 1998
If you are a baseball fan, player, or lover of the game, "The Dixie Association" is excellent reading material for enjoyment or inspiration. Donald Hays, author of the novel, enlightens the reader with a tale portraying a misfit baseball team in combination with the social issues surrounding this particular time. He used a variety of writing techniques to capture the focus of the audience and essence of the novel. The book gave an excellent account of an athlete's emotions or feelings toward their sport. For example, when Hog said, "I could've hit till dark," he expressed a love that all athletes share with their game. Some athletes feel their sport is life. Bullet Bob possesses this same feeling recognized in a quote saying, "Baseball mattered to him. Life on the other hand, was just something he had to tolerate between games." It also shows the athlete's warrior-like attitudes--"Eversole never gave up without a fight." I did not like some of the rude comments referring to Christianity. Obviously the author had a bad experience with religion or was not very religious in the first place. I felt some of these comments were unnecessary. I also felt that certain points of the book dragged. Some unnecessary information could have been excluded to keep the reader's undivided attention.
The battles the characters in this book faced were both on and off the field. Society turned against them and their only source for self-assurance was from the team and their belief in themselves. Most players seek the fame and glory; however, the majority of the Reds sought the love for the game. Their love for the game was their escape from society.
Overall, Ifeel it is a very enjoyable and entertaining book. The author did an excellent job with beautiful description illustrating a vivid picture for each scene of the book. If you are a sport fan or athlete you definately must read this book.
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on June 7, 1997
Hays' _The Dixie Association_ is by far my favorite baseball novel. The Reds (pun intended) are an Arkansas farm league team owned by a one-armed socialist and populated by ex-cons, American Indians, rednecks, Cubans, and fallen cheerleaders. Their battles are played out both on the field and in the streets, as the Religious Right tries repeatedly to run them out of town.

While many baseball books are concerned with the glory of America and the game that has come to be held as its symbol, _The Dixie Association_ shows us the underbelly of that image. The members of the Reds, despite their fistfights, yelling matches, and general cranky demeanor, have one thing in common: each has been kicked around by America and left for defeated. Hays will have us know that baseball is for all Americans, as the Reds find salvation and self respect through the great game.

_The Dixie Association_ is one heck of a book, about baseball, yes, but mostly about the subversive spirit of any country's people and the doors that a sliding fastball can open. Kinsella's _Shoeless Joe_ could be considered the National Anthem of baseball novels. Fine. _The Dixie Association_ is the taunts and jeers from the drunks behind the left field foul line. Much praise to LSU press for re-issuing this fine novel.
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