Brad Herzog's Reviews > Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards

Cardboard Gods by Josh Wilker
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Jun 21, 10


As an author of creative nonfiction, I occasionally come across examples of the genre and think, "Man, I wish I would have written that." THE KNOW-IT-ALL by AJ Jacobs (about his mission to read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica) was certainly one of those books. Brilliantly funny. CARDBOARD GODS is another. I bought the book for the concept -- using baseball cards to tell the story of childhood angst and exploration. Great idea. But I'm writing this rare (for me) review because I just LOVED the way that concept played out. Josh Wilker really knows how to extrapolate profundity from the seemingly mundane, how to turn a 3-page essay into a story that touches the soul, how to turn a phrase as smoothly as Trammell and Whitaker used to turn the double play. Reading CARDBOARD GODS was like watching Greg Maddux pitch, like watching Carew wield a bat. Sure, I was a 1970s baseball card collector,too, and I got a kick out seeing those names and faces -- Ivan Dejesus! Biff Pocoroba! Kurt Bevacqua! -- that were such a vivid part of my childhood. But this book is a very adult reminiscence. And it is written beautifully. So for me, there was some envy and surprise involved in the reading. It was an unexpected home run -- sort of the way Wilker must have felt when Bucky Dent took his infamous swing...
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message 2: by Aimee (new) - added it

Aimee You're review makes me want to read this book, but I know nothing about baseball--is it something I could still enjoy?


Andy As I read the book (I'm 43), I would look at each chapter heading baseball card and mentally tally: "I have him!"


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