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August 8, 2020 | Rome, Italy

A False Spring

By | 2018-03-21T18:29:11+01:00 June 23rd, 2008|Recent Reviews|

By Pat Jordan

Bison Books, 1973 (2005). 277 pages.

At one point in the author’s excruciating minor league odyssey, a baseball game in Florida is suddenly interrupted: “A snake slithered under the outfield fence and the umpires called ‘Time!’ while our right fielder beat it to death with a bat.” Jordan’s gift is small-town Gothic detail. Less a baseball memoir (Jordan was an aspiring pitcher), this is a story of coming of age in rural American of the 1950s and 60s, and of dealing with teenaged disappointment.

It’s a Kerouac road trip without the cynical satire. None is needed because Jordan’s existential journey was real — “a strip of moments,” he calls it. For every realized American Dream there are hundred dank nightmares. Jordan tells his own with uncommon eloquence. A superb piece of idiomatic Americana.

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