Spiros's Reviews > The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World

The Echoing Green by Joshua Prager
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Mar 02, 09

bookshelves: arc, beisbol, niew-amsterdam
Recommended for: Those who really dig the way Yoda talks
Read in March, 2009

If Mr. Peabody ever shows up with his Wayback Machine, I won't need a nanosecond's thought to say where I want to go: take me to the Polo Grounds, October 3, 1951. So you would think a 350 page retelling of the narrative arcs leading up to that storied moment, an in depth account of the day itself, and an exhaustive examination of what happened after would be right up my alley, no? Well...
Kudos to Prager for his filling in of the backstories of Branca, Thomson, and Durocher's sign stealing machinations. The problem: Prager uses such bizarrely twisted syntax that, on average, there was a sentence on every other page which I was compelled to read five times over to make any sense of it. Simply put, the man has a genius for inserting prepositional phrases into sentences where they will cause the optimal amount of obfuscation. I'm not sure if he is aiming for a new, mock-heroic "voice", if English isn't his primary language, if he was dropped on his head as an infant, or if he simply can't write. I do know that no amount of exigesis will give me a clue as to what the man might have even thought he meant when he wrote: "But as his shoulder and back mended, so also continued to his psyche, the sidelined loser with time to court perspective." Bob Dylan at his "Highway 61"-est never came up with an utterance of such opacity. How exactly does one "court perspective"? With blandishments, flattery, bribery, strong cheese? I'm baffled.
This book has definitely made me want to go back and read the opening chapter of UNDERWORLD again, so at least there was that much gained, at whatever cost in aggravation.
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