Butterfly Winter

W P Kinsella, Author
W.P. Kinsella. Steerforth (Random, dist.), $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-58642-205-9
Reviewed on: 12/10/2012
Release date: 03/05/2013
Open Ebook - 191 pages - 978-1-58642-206-6
Hardcover - 300 pages - 978-1-926531-16-8
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At 76, Canadian writer Kinsella (Shoeless Joe) emerges from a 15-year literary hibernation with this grim, violent novel of twin brothers and the sport that binds them. The narrative is relayed through an interview between a sage, elder “Wizard” and a spry “Gringo Journalist” eager to pen a true history of Courteguay, a fictional baseball-loving country on Hispaniola. Amid details of political melodrama, the Wizard reveals Courteguay as the home of two baseball players who took the world by storm: Julio and Esteban Pimental. Julio, a virtual star from birth, can only pitch well if his brother Esteban is catching, a crutch that will haunt his stellar career. Courteguay, meanwhile, elects the Wizard president, who is soon overthrown by the malicious politician Dr. Lucius Noir, who, in between torturing citizens, bans baseball. In America, the boys excel in the sport and though Julio becomes the “greatest pitcher ever to play in the Major Leagues,” his heart is broken when his first love, Quita, is tortured and killed by Dr. Noir. Kinsella incorporates fantastical elements, but the novel’s light and dark themes don’t mesh well, nor do the shifting perspectives and narrative techniques serve the author’s grand imagination. Agent: Caroline Swayze, Caroline Swayze Literary Agency Ltd. (Mar.)
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