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Play for a Kingdom

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  109 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In this “brilliantly imagined and neatly plotted” Civil War novel (Boston Globe), two battle-scarred companies-one Union, one Confederate-embark on a series of baseball games amid the carnage at Spotsylvania. “Wonderfully conceived and eloquently executed” (Caleb Carr). Maps.
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published August 8th 1997 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 28th 1997)
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Jun 08, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend gave me this book to read because I love historical fiction and the Civil War era in particular. I've been reading a lot of fantasy/young adult novels and wasn't really anxious to move to another genre just yet, but since it was a borrowed book, I didn't want to sit on it too long.

Boy am I glad I picked it up. I really enjoyed this book. It had probably the best descriptions of the day-to-day life of a soldier at that time. Although I often prefer my history sanitized (think "Gone With
Carol Storm
Nov 05, 2013 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding Civil War novel -- truly balanced in the portrayal of North and South. Plus there's baseball!
Feb 13, 2016 ATreads rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Giving one star always leaves me tempted to insult the story and/or author about the book's obvious flaws. This is one that had no obvious flaws...Just no real strengths. It took me more than a month to read when it should have been half of that. But I think - at least more times than not - the best test of a story's quality is how excited you are to pick it up and see what happens next. My excitement level on that front never went beyond "meh." It's a Civil War story about a bunch of soldiers w ...more
One of the best books I've read from any genre on any subject. The story takes place in the midst of the Civil War close to the battle at Spotsylvania. The Union soldiers involved have less than a month to serve in their tour of duty. They are the 14th Regiment from Brooklyn, New York. All they want is to get through the final days before they are discharged so they can go back to their homes, families, or the lives they left behind. Unfortunately, they are not lucky enough to spend their remain ...more
Badly Drawn Girl
Jan 18, 2010 Badly Drawn Girl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I was a bit skeptical when I started this book. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction and have little interest in books about the civil war. I needn't have worried. Thomas Dyja's novel is a wonderful story that is greater than the sum of it's parts. You don't have to be interested in the civil war, you don't even have to like the game of baseball, to be captivated by the story. The characters are so well developed and the descriptions so vivid that I felt like I was there, hiding in the trees
Jun 02, 2012 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The concept of this novel was rather unique and beautifully drawn. It's more than a war story, it's more than a baseball tale, it's about people overcoming their pre-concieved notions of what they think they know about themselves and the world and forming new ideas as they see the world for what it truly is. Though some of the portions of the book seem cumbersome and quite a bit longer than they should have been, the ending is satisfying (though predictable) and it leaves you with a lot to think ...more
Oct 01, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Civil War baseball novel.
Oct 02, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I randomly picked this book up off the shelf at a local public library in London, England. I was a bit surprised to find a baseball book in an English library. Checked it out and really enjoyed the story. Great read, highly recommend.
Tom Eldridge
May 04, 2009 Tom Eldridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and heartbreaking Civil War story about Rebel and Yankee picket lines, secretly meeting for a game of baseball. Wonderful story about the war. Gripping, couldn't stop reading it.
Fiction. Great characters, great story combining two of my loves, baseball & the Civil War. Tough to read depictions of battle.
Apr 21, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing
A family favorite, combining baseball and the Civil War. Incredibly detailed, a book you can't put down.
Feb 09, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
American historical....May 1864 between Yanks and Rebs - value of life and friends.
Nov 12, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Civil War baseball, yes, baseball book!
Apr 25, 2012 Greg rated it liked it
A pretty neat premise but it just could not take off.
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I've written three novels and two works of non-fiction before THE THIRD COAST. I've also worked as an editor, book packager, and many years as a bookseller in Chicago, New York, and Boston. I currently live in Manhattan with my wife and daughter, who's in high school; my son is away at college.
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