In a loving callback to the early days of a quintessential American sport, Turtledove (We Install and Other Stories) takes readers on a scenic tour of the highways and byways of an alternate United States in 1934. The magic-infused country is recovering from the Great Depression; vampires haunt the night, zombies perform unpaid labor, and flying carpets exist alongside automobiles. When semipro baseball player Jack Spivey lands in trouble after refusing to do a bad thing for a bad man, he leaves his small Oklahoma hometown and never looks back. He wins a spot on the House of Daniel, a ball team that spends all of its time on the road (based on the real-world Israelite House of David traveling team). This lifestyle challenges his racist upbringing and criteria for happiness. Turtledove’s feel for historical accuracy brings Jack’s era to life and keeps an otherwise episodic travelogue from growing stale. However, one could strip out the fantasy elements without overtly affecting the story, making this ideal for baseball lovers but less so for genre fanatics. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/29/2016 Release date: 04/19/2016 Genre: Fiction
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