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Since the Big Bubble popped in 1929, life in the United States hasn't been the same. Hotshot wizards will tell you nothing's really changed, but then again, hotshot wizards aren't looking for honest work in Enid, Oklahoma. No paying jobs at the mill, because zombies will work for nothing. The diner on Main Street is seeing hard times as well, because a lot fewer folks can afford to fly carpets in from miles away.
Jack Spivey's just another down-and-out trying to stay alive, doing a little of this and a little of that. Sometimes that means making a few bucks playing ball with the Enid Eagles, against teams from as many as two counties away. And sometimes it means roughing up rival thugs for Big Stu, the guy who calls the shots in Enid.
But one day Jack knocks on the door of the person he's supposed to "deal with" - and realizes that he's not going to do any such thing to the young lady who answers. This means he needs to get out of the reach of Big Stu, who didn't get to where he is by letting defiance go unpunished. Then the House of Daniel comes to town - a brash band of barnstormers who'll take on any team and whose antics never fail to entertain.
Against the odds, Jack secures a berth with them. Now they're off to tour an America that's as shot through with magic as it is dead broke. Jack will never be the same - nor will baseball.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Charles M. Foster on 09-26-17
Surprisingly Cute and Fun
This is a very, very odd book. If you're looking for crazy whackadoodle magic and dragons and witches everywhere, this is not the sort of book you're looking for. 95% of this book is a straitlaced normal baseball story. Every once in a great while there will be a supernatural interlude, like a player getting attacked by a werewolf on his way back to his hotel for instance. But almost none of the supernatural stuff intrudes upon the baseball. Luckily, I like baseball. I can't imagine what this book would be like if you didn't like baseball. Probably not very fun. But this book was fun for me. Most everything I've read of Turtledove concerns pretty dark subject matter, war and mass murder etc. This is an easy going slice-of-life baseball story. Who was this book written for? I have no idea. I can't imagine there are a lot of people who are both fans of magical realism and semiprofessional baseball in the 1930s era southeastern united states. But even if this wasn't exactly written for me in mind, I still enjoyed it a good deal. The narration is good. The reader sounds like he's reading the lines for the first time as he says them. That sounds like a bad thing. But since this is ostensibly supposed to be the recollections of a salt-of-the-earth mediocre baseball player, the awkwardness actually works to enhance the story. The narration shouldn't be eloquent, the POV is a hayseed, low on sophistication but high on enthusiasm, and Joey Collins plays that part to a T in this.
By GB on 05-27-16
A funny thing happened while listening to The House of Daniel, it turned out to be fun. Fun as in listening or watching a baseball game. The story is seem less, although the only potential drawback is the magic elements but hey they were also funny sidebars. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot better than other Harry Turtledove offerings. Thank You, Mr. Turtledove.