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I was so disappointed when I began listening to this audiobook. The narrator was so bad I couldn't follow the story. His voice kept grinding my nerves. It seemed like he was trying to hard but actually over-dramatized the narration. I kept wanting to put it aside and just listen to another audiobook but I was committed to getting through it. Finally I got the idea to speed it up (Thank you Audible for having that option!). I was able to finish listening to the entire story with the speed set at 1.5x.
The story itself was pretty good. I would have definitely enjoyed it more if I had read the book myself. I usually listen to the samples first to see if I like the narrator. Evidently I failed to do so this time.
My review probably reads like a "1" rating but since the negatives were solely due to the narrator, I still gave this audiobook a "4".
... but baseball isn't too prominent overall. This is a 'people' story, with the baseball field, the practices. the highs and the lows of the game, all part of the backdrop ... the setting of this story.
I enjoyed this book, for the most part. The characters were real. The situations, they found themselves in, were real. This story could have happened in real life ... no need for the " ... suspension of disbelief ..." which the listener/reader must always keep close by, with any fictional story.
I had one complaint, a personal preference ... make that insistence upon, for my reading materials. DO NOT PREACH TO ME. As a practicing Christian, I have no issue with a character, or a number of characters, taking the reader/listener into personal feelings relating to religion. This occurred occasionally during the first three quarters of this story. No problem ... very realistic ... considering some of the supporting characters ... and the small rural area of the major portion of the story. In fact I was suitably impressed with how the author brought in certain aspects of an individual's beliefs and values, getting the impression and understanding across to the reader/listener, without overdoing it.
However, in portions of the last part of the book, this came through with a much heavier hand and, to my way of thinking, became preaching. I was disappointed that the subtle approach, to the characters' religious beliefs, suddenly began to hurl off the page, like the baseballs that a drunken Michael Brand used to pitch to his eldest son, Cory Brand, the story's protagonist.
This, of course, represents my personal reaction to a book that has any portion of it seeming to step out of sync with the rest of the story. However, all in all, I found it an enjoyable and interesting read. There is enough baseball within the story to keep the title honest.
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