This Is Next Year

Philip Goldberg, Author Ballantine Books $9 (302p) ISBN 978-0-345-36647-4
A first novel by nonfiction author Goldberg ( The Intuitive Edge ), this is projected as the first volume of a trilogy. Narrator/hero Roger Stone is an 11-year-old who aspires to play shortstop for the Dodgers. He is at the center of the antics of his loving parents--his father a frustrated ballplayer and his mother waging a spirited anti-McCarthy fight in the local school--and two brothers in the baseball-mad Brooklyn of 1955, when the Dodgers obsessed the entire borough. Goldberg writes lovingly and evocatively of egg creams, stoopball, nascent rock 'n' roll and, most of all, the magical summer and fall in which the Brooklyn Dodgers finally won their one and only World Series. The book suffers from a surfeit of metaphor and a few historical inaccuracies (``C-Jam Blues'' is an Ellington tune not, as Goldberg has it, a Basie; Russ Hodges's famous broadcast of the Bobby Thomson homer in the 1951 playoffs was on radio, not television). On the whole, however, this work captures the joys and terrors of childhood in the period with wit, charm and intelligence. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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