"Sophomore Campaign" by Frank Nappi was a pleasure to read on many many levels. A lot of fiction today is written so poorly that it leaves you ploddin"Sophomore Campaign" by Frank Nappi was a pleasure to read on many many levels. A lot of fiction today is written so poorly that it leaves you plodding through - focusing on the plot elements in lieu of the writing. Nappi masterfully avoids this "standard fare" error in telling a powerful story with a resplendent prose - the best of both worlds.
"Sophomore Campaign" is a sequel to "The Legend of Mickey Tussler" - sequels often fall victim to being branded as a lesser imitation of the original - but this is not the case with this book. Nappi expands on his original story in a way that gives his characters more depth. The story is engaging and enjoyable from start to finish.
Nappi's main protagonist (Mickey Tussler) is a young pitching phenom with Autism who is trying to establish himself on a minor league baseball team in the late 1940s. This aspect alone makes the story unique. The first book in the series takes the reader through Mickey's incredible journey toward acceptance - he gets a lot of help from the affable manager of the team, Murph. In "Sophomore Campaign" Mickey's struggle continues, but Nappi adds a new character, Lester Sledge. Lester is an African American player who joins the team. Through Lester Nappi highlights the insidious effects of extreme racism at the time. Lester and Mickey become inextricably linked.
While Nappi's story uses baseball as a backdrop - and it is clear he is an ardent student of the sport - this book has mass appeal. "Sophomore Campaign" really is a must read. If you have not read the first book in the series - start there. I can not wait to see where Nappi will take us in the third installment. Nappi is a skillfull artist whose writing is definitely worth reading and talking about....more