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Preview — The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover
The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.
Robert Coover has long been included in the canonical list of "postmodern" novelists, by which the makers of these lists intend to point to a certain similarity of concern with the dissolution of post-World War II American culture, with the contemporary fragmentation of the self, and with a predilection for revealing the gears and guywires of fictiona
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This is not a book about baseball. It's a book about a man who enjoys his solitude and crates a whole world of stats and player biographies in a fake a basball league that's (real?), the players live and die,break records as it's creator losses his fucking mind. He invets a whole league, he explains that he takes words he sees in real life and turns them into ball player names, I come up with few myself. Here is my starting line up and team name.
note the words used are words I ...more
a) First, it's beautifully written. Robert Coover is often grouped with D Barthelme and J Barth, but he's a clearer writer than the former and a better stylist than the latter. On the strength of this work, I picked up a cheap copy of Pricksongs and Descants, a collection of Coover's ...more
Well executed, too. Henry Waugh's fantasy baseball league is imagined from the ground up, complete with its own history and a huge group of fully ...more
Moments ago, I summarized it for my husband, and he said, "That sounds interesting. I'd never read it, but if you were stoned and had that idea for a book, it'd be pretty exciting."
That's the gist: If I were intoxicated or otherwise impaired and had the idea for this book, it would be exciting. Now, running that idea out for 242 pages is simply mad, and let's face it, cruel.
I understand why this book is considered great b ...more
But anyway, this is only tangentially a novel about baseball. It's more about imagination, and creativity, and statistics, and rules, and (ugh, sorry-but I can't think o ...more
Two personal personality quirks might account for this:
1) The main character has created an entire fantasy baseball league, and is in the process of playing out year 56. Not with real players. Entirely created and maintained and imagined by J. Henry Waugh, Prop. Years are played out, deaths are mourned, injuries happen, he creates complete lives for each player, all centered around the game of baseball.
Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn ...more
1. Michael Bourne, cf
2. Ben Zobrist, 2b
3. Albert Pujols, 1b
4. Josh Hamilton, rf
5. Michael Morse, lf
6. Mike Napoli, dh
7. Miguel Montero, c
8. Martin Prado, 3b
9. Yunel Escobar, ss
Yes, I know that one doesn't have to set an actual line-up in Fantasy Baseball, nor pick specific outfield slots in our league; nevertheless, I did find myself at odd moments of the day, setting my line-ups, ...more
The story started out as a 5 but like some baseball games got long in the tooth. The concept of an aging man with an obsessive habit of playing - by himself - chanced based fantasy games whose worlds shift between reality and the games is brilliant and fresh. Unfortunately the book becomes unreadable as the author slips into and gets bogged down in the imaginary world of the UBA. I wanted more of Henry and the consequences of his actions and less chapters long forays about UBA and the players. ...more
It's usually called the best baseball book ever written, but it's less about baseball than it is about creation, responsibility, and the weight of a world. Baseball serves (very well) as the mythic base of Waugh's world and lends it its weight. As the most mythologized of sports, it works beautifully.
But the book is more about Waugh's struggles as creator, the desire to inject meaning and change the results of random dice throws. It chronicles his difficulty ...more
The basic story is that this guy (an accountant) invents his own little dice-baseball game, and becomes a little too obsessed about it. Creates teams and personalities, and even politics that revolve around how his dice rolls come out. Sort of loses himself from reality in it. (In fact, the worst portions, in my opinion, are when he's so totally immersed in it that the writer ...more
I was super geeked to read a book about a weird guy who invents fake baseball leagues because, well, I'm kinda one of 'em (Jon too). Henry has taken things to great lengths: becoming attached to the players, writing game logs, scorekeeping each game of e ...more
The Universal ...more
The actual dice game stuff was good. Henry has a real ball of a time and has made quite the game. Anyone who likes role-playing games, fantasy sports leagues or anything otherwise kind of deep into the nerd spectrum can appreciate his dedication. Howev ...more
|Robert Coover's F...: 1968 -- The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.||3||15||Feb 26, 2014 10:10AM|