The Fly Swatter ) brilliantly takes the reader through his journey of childhood struggles in this moving memoir. Uprooted from Washington, D.C., at the "/>

The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness and Baseball

Nicholas Dawidoff, Author . Pantheon $24.95 (271p) ISBN 978-0-375-40028-5

Dawidoff (The Fly Swatter ) brilliantly takes the reader through his journey of childhood struggles in this moving memoir. Uprooted from Washington, D.C., at the age of three, Dawidoff moved north with his sister, Sally, and mother to begin a new life in New Haven, Conn. There, the author reveals the beginning of his love affair with baseball, first with the New York Mets before changing his allegiance to the Boston Red Sox. The national pastime provided Dawidoff some of his happiest moments growing up, amid a world of pain—most of which evolved from his father’s debilitating mental illness that made weekend visits to Manhattan unbearable as he grew older. Other struggles from his boyhood—from the typical adolescent bullying and first experiences with love to the devastating death of his beloved Aunt Susi—are told in vivid and heartbreaking detail. Simultaneously, Dawidoff paints a picture of his remarkable mother, who selflessly provided for him and his sister. It’s the Red Sox—baseball’s then longtime losers—that provide Dawidoff the most happiness, because of the parallels he draws with his own life: “I was grateful to the Red Sox for taking me out of myself, giving me something to anticipate, for not being too happy themselves.” (May)

Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
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