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Synopsis: Fresh, original, and peopled with a rich cast of colorful characters, Castro's Curveball captures the passion of baseball and the vibrant flavor of Cuba in a grand-slam work of fiction.
Whether you believe in fate, the stars, a Supreme Being, or Mr. Coincidence, you can always count on one thing--life will throw you a wicked curveball or two. Billy Bryan has seen his share. A former minor-league catcher for the Washington Senators, Bryan is now a retired high school teacher, widowed with a grown daughter, and ''coming to the end of many things.'' Then a long-forgotten scrapbook stirs memories of a distant past--and beckons him on a reluctant journey to relive his own extraordinary role in history. . . .
In 1947, Bryan is playing winter ball in Cuba, immersing himself in the decadent nightlife of Havana, and dreaming of someday ''making it'' to the majors. But his future on the diamond is as uncertain as Cuba itself, a country where rumblings of revolution hang in the air like a high fly ball to left. Then one fateful night Bryan witnesses a young student radical named Fidel hurl pitch after amazing pitch. So begins Billy's tug-of-war with destiny--to score a victory for the game he worships, win the heart of the woman he loves, or make his mark in a world racing toward revolution. . . .
Review: Everybody has a past; some are more intriguing than others. When retired schoolteacher Billy Bryan's daughter begins cleaning his house a few days after his wife's death, she finds in the forgotten pages of his dusty scrapbook part of a past she's never known. The memories they invoke send the grieving Billy--"I think God has fed me a breaking ball to keep me off balance"--and his daughter on a remarkable journey back to his youth, where, as a major-league hopeful, he played winter baseball in Cuba half a century ago. It was there that his life changed when he crossed paths with a young student radical with a dynamite curve and a revolutionary's fire named Fidel Castro.
Wendel's lustrous prose and imaginative storytelling paint a vivid portrait of a life not just lived, but inhaled against a backdrop of a nation mad for baseball and not far from political and social upheaval. Having caught Castro's extraordinarily feathery curveball in an exhibition, Billy befriends the future leader, falling under his charismatic spell and enormous dreams for a new nation. Billy also falls, deeply, for a beautiful Cuban photographer who is so caught by Castro's visions that destiny deems the strands of their lives can never twine. "Castro was a hurricane unto himself," Billy recalls. "When I first met him, that side of him seemed refreshing, almost funny in a strange way." But the closer he got to Cuba's future leader, the more that would change. Just how much--and at what personal cost--is the secret that Billy, now an old man on a return trip to his past, must confront as if it were a fastball down the heart of his life, and make his peace with it at last. --Jeff Silverman
Title: Castro's Curveball -
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: BRAND NEW
Book Description Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2002. Compact Disc. Condition: Brand New. unabridged edition. 8.50x5.75x1.25 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 0786199385