Dean Duffy

Randy Powell, Author
Randy Powell, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $15 (169p) ISBN 978-0-374-31754-6
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Powell (Is Kissing a Girl Who Smokes Like Licking an Ashtray?) wraps up this nifty coming-of-age tale in a baseball story-yet not a single game is played. Although he's only just graduated from high school, Dean Duffy thinks of himself as a has-been. An agonizing and inexplicable slump has cut short his promising career as a ballplayer; once considered a shoo-in for any number of athletic scholarships, he is at loose ends until a longtime mentor arranges a baseball scholarship to an exclusive private college, to begin the following spring. Dean spends the autumn mulling over the offer: he takes a lot of long drives in his '63 Volvo, embarks on a wryly recounted romance with the strong-minded waitress at his favorite coffeeshop and wonders if he has the nerve to play ball again. Like a string of firecrackers, a series of epiphanies explodes as the deadline for Dean's decision draws near. The ambiguous yet upbeat ending provides a fitting climax. With his effortless-seeming writing, Powell creates a recognizable world and peoples it with characters who are remarkably sympathetic and complex. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
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