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No one can write about baseball with the same brilliant combination of mysticism and realism as W. P. Kinsella. Lovers of the game and lovers of fine writing will thrill to the range of the eleven stories that make up this new collection. From the magical conspiracy of the title story, to the celestial prediction in The Last Pennant Before Armageddon, to the desolation ofNo one can write about baseball with the same brilliant combination of mysticism and realism as W. P. Kinsella. Lovers of the game and lovers of fine writing will thrill to the range of the eleven stories that make up this new collection. From the magical conspiracy of the title story, to the celestial prediction in The Last Pennant Before Armageddon, to the desolation of The Baseball Spur, Kinsella explores the world of baseball and makes it, miraculously, a microcosm of the human condition....

Title : The Thrill Of The Grass
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140073867
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Thrill Of The Grass Reviews

  • Caroline
    2019-03-30 04:34

    A compendium of short stories about baseball by W.P. Kinsella, who wrote the book Shoeless Joe, upon which the movie Field of Dreams is based. To say that these stories are all exclusively about baseball would be incorrect. Instead, they more or less use baseball as an angle of approach. This is a smart way of doing things, and, I think, speaks highly of baseball's almost-universal applicability to matters of life and family.There's no way to rate this story by story, which is a shame. If I could, however, the title story "The Thrill of the Grass" would be getting 5 stars and made all the rest of them worth reading. The language is absolutely beautiful, and it made me want to declare a guerilla war on astroturf, just like the one undertaken by its narrator. Other stories, I enjoyed less. In many of them, I got the impression that Kinsella is not exactly a fan of women, which dampened my enjoyment a little bit. There also seemed to be some unnecessary vulgarity in others.Basically, baseball fan or not, pick this up for "The Thrill of the Grass." If you're a fan of the game, you'll want to go find a baseball diamond and lay down in the middle of center field and just rejoice. If you're not, it may shed some light on what this game means to the rest of us.

  • Kathy
    2019-03-26 03:32

    If you love baseball and a good short story, this will be a walk in the park. Slightly weird at times, and maybe a bit dark around the corner, but definitely worth the trip. You will find something as pure as baseball turned into an allegory for life.

  • Jeremy
    2019-04-03 04:44

    I loved "Shoeless Joe" (which would later become "Field of Dreams") and his later collection of baseball stories (can't remember the name, something about Iowa...of course). I didn't really care for much of this one. It was like reading a collection of stories that didn't really have any direction ("Bud and Tom", especially, but also "Nursie" and a few others). "The Last Pennant Before Armageddon" was so stereotypical and two-dimensional that I was pissed off at the end. I mean he took a great premise (an angel that calls in to a sports radio program) and Armageddon hinging on the Cubs winning a pennant and completely jacked it up and made me not care. It wasn't as convincing as "Shoeless Joe" was.What I love about Kinsella is that he mixes the supernatural with baseball (see: "Field of Dreams") to an extent that baseball becomes a symbol for so much more than just a sport where grown men wear ridiculous uniforms. That's also what I liked about his other collection, the one about Iowa. Many of the stories here were simply about baseball, or worse about shallow, unlikable, spent ex-athletes or soon to be ex-athletes behaving so stereotypically that I couldn't invest in their stories. The stories I did feel compelled and invested in ("The Night Manny Mota Tied the Record", "The Firefighter", "The Battery", "The Thrill of the Grass") were REALLY good because they spoke to something more, something aching about the human condition symbolized by baseball. My favorite was "The Battery", a mythical piece that compares favorably with a David Foster Wallace story along the same lines that I read recently ("Another Pioneer").Granted these were all written before "Shoeless Joe" or his later collection, so I guess I should cut him some slack...maybe it's just a talented writer trying to find his voice.

  • Kip
    2019-03-30 08:47

    All of the stories in W.P. Kinsella's "The Thrill of the Grass" are about baseball. That's unsurprising, given the author's bibliography. But like his famous novel "Shoeless Joe" and the less prominent "The Iowa Baseball Confederacy," the sport is merely a vessel for exploring different human emotions in each of the collection's stories. Some are just as fantastic as the novel that spawned "Field of Dreams." "The Battery," a story about a pair of Dominican twins who take the majors by storm with the assistance of a hot-air-balloon obsessed wizard, is particularly fanciful. "The Night Manny Mota Tied the Record" toys with themes of mortality and sacrifice with just enough macabre sensationalism to rocket it out of the real world. But other selections are more mundane. The title work is simply a story about obsessed fans trying to prepare the local field for the return of players after a strike strips them of their summer pastime. "Barefoot and Pregnant in Des Moines" and "Driving Toward the Moon" are both stories that explore the passion of young love within the context of the grind to get through the minor leagues. Still others aim only for the slapstick. "The Firefighter," in particular, renders baseball as background noise to a brilliant character study of rural America.In short, "The Thrill of the Grass" is an exercise of a writer fascinated by the narrative possibilities that arise when baseball is merely a prism for the human condition. It's an excellent, light summer read for the beach or the bleachers that any fan of the sport or Kinsella's work should check out.

  • matteo
    2019-03-22 06:51

    I was not happy with this book. I had read it years and years ago... and as with most things I remember from back in the day, it had a fairy tale-esque tint. I remembered it being more romantic and magical. Maybe I just did not get it then. Or maybe the stories do not age well. While a few of the stories did rekindle that baseball romanticism, I was left with more of a taste of bitterness, chauvinism, and unhappiness. These stories were not full of hope. They were about failure and wasted lives. I wish I had not read it again.

  • Mark Geisthardt
    2019-04-08 03:46

    W. P. Kinsella is best known for his book 'Shoeless Joe' which was made into the movie 'Field of Dreams.' 'The Thrill of the Grass' is a collection of his short stories, all about baseball in one way or another, and all fun to read. I'd read this book years ago but picked it up again this summer to revisit its stories and Kinsella's writing. The stories are primarily about minor league players and the struggles they have but as it comes to the end the stories are magical. This is a fun good read!

  • Nicholas
    2019-04-16 04:37

    W.P. Kinsella is probably the prose-laureate of baseball. He has a consistent voice in this whole collection of short stories, some very realistic, some very fantastic. He never forgets that almost all baseball is played by children and those in the minor leagues, but that those players always look toward the top level, and that the love of baseball is in the fans as much as the players. On a personal note, this is a book my father would love, because even the fantastic stories feel real enough for baseball, which holds magic to him even now.

  • Mark
    2019-04-18 09:37

    The Thrill of the Grass, by W. P. Kinsella, 1984. Though I had read these short stories by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella before, I was amused when I found myself opening the pages to the first story, “The Last Pennant Before Armageddon”, as it revolves around the Chicago Cubs winning the pennant. Nice reading in 2016. Overall, these stories are well-written, funny, occasionally poignant. I love baseball, so I liked the baseball tie-in in each story, though it was not usually the center of the story. Worth reading, if you like good stories with a whimsical feel.

  • Jody Grant
    2019-03-30 05:32

    Kinsella who can write the poetry of baseball in the language of a man. Many years ago my father, wanting I suppose to influence my education, gave me copies of Metamorphosis and Shoeless Joe. So perhaps I have a distorted view of the greatness of Kinsella by the early company he kept on my bookshelf; or maybe I just like him because he reminds me of my dad. Still, the reader in me knows he's a wonderful storyteller even if given to the kind of fancy we so often (maybe too often) dismiss as trite.

  • Brandon
    2019-04-02 11:37

    Kinsella's male characters are always so deep and interesting. His female characters can be shallow and prop-ish, but they also have some mysterious nature that keeps them from being completely stereotyped. In the end, it is Kinsella's fearlessness with narrative that makes him so readable. Who else would write a short story about a baseball manager who believes his team may be bringing about armageddon? It's just great stuff.

  • Ellen
    2019-04-09 05:51

    Kinsella is known for magical realism but only two of these stories were written in this style. the rest were more or less about troubled relationships, mysterious or angry women, and the men whose lives are anchored to baseball. These were uneven so my rating was 3 stars. "How I got my nickname" and the "thrill of the grass" we're my favorites though the former appeared to be autobiographical.

  • Jeff
    2019-04-17 04:37

    While I feel that I am damning with faint praise a bit, this is a nice collection of stories. Kinsella has an unfussy prose style that still manages to be poetic when it needs to be. Some of the stories fall in line with the magical realism of his novel "Shoeless Joe", and they are fun. I actually liked the more realistic and rueful stories about minor-leaguers, some hopeful, some down-on-their luck, a little more.

  • Kim
    2019-03-24 11:47

    Some of the short stories in this book were heartfelt and gratifying, but I became annoyed with Kinsella's overuse of the "awe shucks" good guy willing to do anything for a hard to control ungrateful girlfriend/wife. Kinsella is great at eliciting emotions when writing about devotion to the game of baseball, but his limited range concerning romantic relationships left me less of a fan of his writing.

  • Billhotto
    2019-04-15 06:43

    Baseball has certain mythic qualities and they're most obvious during the languid evenings on tank town fields,in the sunny memories of sandlot pickup games and under the shadows of long departed ballparks. Let us hope that the rehab of Wrigley Field does not chase the ghosts away. Kinsella raises the question, could a Cub pennant bring on the Apocalypse?

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-23 10:53

    I adore everything I've ever read by WP Kinsella. Magical realism + baseball = great opening week reading. I know I haven't finished it yet, but I'd be confident recommending it anyway! REV: Not his best work, but some nice moments. Good "library" reading. The Dixon Cornbelt League is a more magical short story collection for sure.

  • Paul Carr
    2019-03-31 04:49

    With books like Shoeless Joe, W.P. Kinsella captures the magic and the mundane of baseball like few others, and this collection of short stories is no exception. He understands the sport's mystical allure, and he finds numerous ways to express it. If you're a baseball romantic and/or enjoy beautiful, lyrical writing, this is highly recommended.

  • Agatha Donkar
    2019-04-03 06:29

    I don't find all of the stories in this book compelling -- but the six or seven I love, I love without abandon. Particularly "The Last Pennant Before Armageddon" and the title story, which are about as purely about baseball as you can get in fiction.

  • Jon Koebrick
    2019-04-10 06:50

    There are several wonderful stories in this book. I most appreciated the universal themes of relationships presented in the baseball context. I held on to this book for 24 years through too many moves before I finally read it. It was worth the trouble of keeping this book.

  • Theo Logos
    2019-04-08 08:38

    Three and a half stars. Easy, breezy reading; a game day hotdog of whimsy served with a schmear of magical realism mustard with an aftertaste of melancholy like a game lost one to nothing in the ninth.

  • Guy
    2019-04-16 09:43

    I read this after hearing a great deal of praise for Kinsella's writing from various sources. However I found the writing to be flat and unengaging. Neither the stories or the characters interested me.

  • Terry
    2019-03-27 09:56

    If you love baseball you will love this book! Yes this book is short stories and yes some are taken form other Kinsella novels, but they are all still awesome stories!

  • noisy penguin
    2019-04-13 09:44

    More baseball stories from Kinsella. The Thrill of the Grass alone (the short story, that is) makes this book worth checking out. It made me all misty.

  • Robert Kaufman
    2019-04-08 07:41

    Once again he takes something as pure as baseball and turns it into an allegory for life! Although usually a slightly weird life.

  • danielle
    2019-03-25 10:51

    i love this book. it's an analysis of baseball, love, and life, all steeped in americana. love.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-17 09:44

    I enjoyed "The Last Pennant Before Armageddon" but could not get into any of the other stories in this collection, and gave up.

  • Ray Charbonneau
    2019-03-29 09:31

    Baseball is the perfect sport for Kinsella's dreamy musing on life's absurdities.

  • Tomacito
    2019-04-05 11:57

    3.5 stars