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    "Sometimes brutal, often demanding and always complex, this novel will repay the reader who likes their assumptions challenged and is happy to walk away from a book with minor questions unanswered but the big ones definitely dealt with! It’s likely to satisfy those who enjoy Hammet and/or Philip K Dick and who like their fiction very noir indeed."   Kay Sexton

     

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Wednesday
Feb072007

Pafko at the wall... in Wisconsin

pafko.jpg It's February and it's mother-unbelievable cold - so I am thinking of baseball. Not spring training, or the upcoming season openers, but baseball in fiction. Baseball plays a large metaphorical part in my novel Correction Line. I find the game inspirational, fiction-wise I mean, even more than the actual watching of games. Hey, I've sat through a few 13 inning pitcher's duel bored out of my skull with some guying yelling "Get your Red Hots" about every ten minutes in my ear. It wasn't pretty.

But like my favorite fiction it is the undercurrent of the game that gets me. Maybe that's why I love listening to games on the radio more than watching them on TV. The sound seems to come from a great distance, maybe another planet. You can hear the rumble of the crowd and the echo in the announcer's voice.

Best of all, you have to visualize every hit, run and at the wall catch.

I still remember being stuck in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin, at a great-uncle's place, drinking Olympia beer and listening to the Brewers and the Reds. I don't remember who won, or even how we ended up at his place - but I can see the scene in my mind, and the undercurrent of being 18 years old and wondering what was going to happen next.

When I read the prologue to Don DeLillo's Underworld (Pafko at the Wall), I had that same sensation that I had felt in Wisconsin - what in the hell will happen next.
I want to create moments like that.

Link to what I consider the best DeLillo site anywhere Don DeLillo's America

Reader Comments (3)

I'm no big baseball fan, but I get what you mean. A friend of mine used to watch the game on TV with the volume off and the radio on for commentator color. Radio and writing is all about the pictures you make in your head.

February 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa C.

Listening to baseball on the radio is akin to hearing the snarl of a chainsaw in the distance. If I'm close enough to feel the sting of wood chips in my face, it isn't the same. It demands too much attention. But when the sound is blended with other sounds -- bird song, kids laughing, doors closing, the wind -- it's pleasing. I don't like baseball and chainsaws, but I like their sounds -- of play and industry -- dialed low.

February 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermark heath

Lisa - yeah, I knew of some guys that would go to the hockey game (in my small city growing up) and watch the game and have a small earpiece leading to a transistor radio to hear the radio broadcast of the game. I could never figure out if they were cool - or very odd.

Mark - might be an interesting idea to combine the two. Chainsaw baseball anyone?

thanks for your responses.

February 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

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