Heart of the Order

Tony Ardizzone, Author Henry Holt & Company $0 (314p) ISBN 978-0-03-008503-1
Like The Natural and Shoeless Joe, this intriguing first novel uses the game of baseball for more interesting ends. The heroic ballplayer of the book is Danny Bacigalupo (""Kiss of the Wolf''), raised in the alleys of Chicago's North Side where, in a neighborhood baseball game, he accidentally kills Mickey Meenan with a hard line drive to the Adam's apple. A straightforward narrative to a pointas Danny describes his Italian family life and Catholic school education with its emphasis on guilt and retributionthe plot takes a radical turn when Mickey's spirit enters Danny's body, and the guilt-ridden ballplayer agrees to let Mickey live through him. In the second half of the book, Danny (with Mickey) embarks on a pro career starting in the Deep South. Though much of the tale's early drive and energy flags in the later sections, this is still an exciting, unusual book by a talented and challenging writer. (August 11)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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