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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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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Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn ...more
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
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
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
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 like a 4.51 for me. I'll remember it.
It’s a lost opportunity. There could have been a lot of humor mined from Henry’s confusion of his fictional baseball world with reality. There could have been more ambiguity of when we were in the “real world” and when in the “fake”. There could have been more about Henry. We could have got an actual endin ...more
|Robert Coover's F...: 1968 -- The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.||3||20||Feb 26, 2014 10:10AM|