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Ten stories deal with a farmer who loves baseball, a carpenter repairing a broken doll, a clever prostitute, and a wandering salesman
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Kinsella, best known for The Iowa Baseball Confederacy (1986), here offers his third collection, originally published in 1980 in Canada: a grab-bag of old stories and oddities, most notable for the piece out of which grew a novel and then the movie Field of Dreams. The settings include Iowa, of course, as well as Canada and San Francisco. The title story later became Shoeless Joe and then, even later, the Kevin Costner movie. In it, a baseball announcer's voice very clearly says to the narrator, ``If you build it, he will come.'' He does (Shoeless Joe Jackson, that is) and says, looking around the ballfield, ``This must be heaven.'' ``No, it's Iowa,'' the narrator replies. At this point, the story is a curiosity more than anything else, its significance archival more than aesthetic, but it is the piece that will draw readers to the collection. ``Fiona the First,'' the opener, is about a pickup artist, an aluminum-window salesman who pretends to be whatever works; the story reaches for a kind of fabulism but falls flat--despite some clever repartee. In ``A Picture of the Virgin,'' some guys go to a famous whorehouse in Edmonton, and the narrator, ``somewhat of a virgin,'' ends up telling a long--and predictable, even tedious- -shaggy-dog story. Last, in ``First Names and Empty Pockets''--the most original tale here--the narrator fantasizes about meeting Janis Joplin and becoming her savior, keeping her from her own worst vices. Only for fans who want the entire oeuvre; others would do better to go to Kinsella's baseball novels to discover his most notable work. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Most of the stories in this collection by Kinsella are about men grappling with significant life choices and often blurring the line between fantasy and reality in the process. An aluminum-window salesman who routinely picks up women while traveling on business, inventing new identities for himself and for them during whatever time they have for escaping from everyday life, meets someone who instinctively knows how to play the game, and his ordered existence is threatened. A widowed father, visited by a childhood friend with rapidly dissipating magical powers who needs his help for one last trick, commits a series of small crimes and ends up in the J. Walter Ives Institute for the Emotionally Disturbed, trying to convince the staff he really is crazy. These tales (the title story grew into the novel Shoeless Joe , which in turn was the basis for the film Field of Dreams ) are best when they venture into the fantastic and the narrative supersedes heavy-handed description and shallow characters. Most compelling is the story of the appearance of Sister Ann in an Iowa cornfield; she claims she's waiting for a miracle. She is revered and feared until she melts a foolhardy boy who exposes himself and the villagers come after her.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Southern Methodist Univ Pr, 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0870743554
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # S-0870743554
Book Description Southern Methodist University Press, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0870743554