What if a major league baseball team began the season with a woman in the starting lineup? The time must be at hand, since two novels with this basic plot have just been published. Both are light, whimsical treatments of a serious social issue, and similarities abound: the heroines are self-possessed women in their early 20s, discovered by scouts while playing in the boonies. Both are catapulted to instant superstardom, and handle the media well; so well, in fact, that they both fall in love with "serious" sports columnists. Both are less skillful at dealing with teammate and fan prejudice. Bowen, whose slick style is similar to that of Dan Jenkins, is a master of play-by-play. Baseball itself is his real main character. The players (though sketched with originality) are vehicles for clever conversation and social commentary. Gregorich, a less-polished fiction writer, emphasizes romance perhaps more than ballpark action. Her novel is shorter and more simply plotted, relying on melodrama. Characterization is somewhat stereotyped (the feisty heroine, the narrow-minded manager), but the reader nevertheless becomes fond of the good guys and boos the villains. Bowen's novel will appeal to most adult baseball fans, men as well as women. Gregorich is more likely to be read by women and young adults. Small public library collections will get more RBI's out of Bowen; larger libraries will want both. Joyce Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harpercollins, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0060157178
Book Description Harpercollins, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060157178
Book Description Harpercollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060157178 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1888885