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High and Inside

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Pete Hurley is not the first person to have the idea that building his dream house in the country will bring him some kind of peace and happiness. But he may be the first to arrive in Montana with a World Series ring, a three-legged dog, and a thirst for self-destruction. High and Inside documents, with stark clarity, one man's struggle with the dark side of fame, as well ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Bangtail Press
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  92 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Jason Pettus
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

(Originally written for the Billings Gazette, and reprinted here with their kind permission.)

It's become almost a cliche by now, the rich and famous who build upper-class rural estates in Montana so to "get away from it all," unfortunately instead bringing it all with them to the consternation of locals; s
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had read a first chapter excerpt of an earlier draft of High and Inside as an Amazon preview and was impatiently waiting for the entire book to come out. I've always loved Russell's work and have had a few students do author studies on him since his previous books dealt with ranching families, and the college I teach at is in a ranching community.

I was excited to see something different from him, and WOW, what a knock-out of a novel. I read the entire book in one day. Pete Hurley, a troubled f
Wendy Baldwin
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Being a fan of Russell Rowland’s first two skillfully crafted novels, In Open Spaces and The Watershed Years, I was eager to read his latest tale, High and Inside. Russell has a gifted way of vividly portraying the angst of human survival that bring his characters to life and stand on their own inner strength. In his new release, High and Inside, we get an up close and personal experience of witnessing a disaster of a person named Pete Hurly, a disgraced ex-pro ball player. Pete not only shatter ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. The author has a real grasp on characters and situations. Loved a couple of his lines that I want to remember. I plan on reading more of his work.
Scott Bischke
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I greatly enjoyed HIGH AND INSIDE, on multiple levels. Russ Rowland is an excellent writer and, full disclosure, a high school friend. I loved Russ's previous baseball-themed book, IN OPEN SPACES, and with HIGH AND INSIDE he shows he is no one hit--OK, pun intended!--wonder (and indeed, he has other books).

HIGH AND INSIDE follows the life of downtrodden former big league ball player looking for redemption from multiple short comings and major past conflicts in both his personal and professional
Trish Feehan
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews


Rowland’s debut novel ‘In Open Spaces’ is the kind of book that lingers long after you finish reading. His latest ‘High and Inside’ is quite different in style -- more immediate, less nostalgic – but the same wisdom and compassion for human frailty shines through. You don’t have to be a sports lover to get what it is that pains ex-baseball-player Pete Hurley. His suffering is universal. He’s a man trying to run away from his past – or at least erase i
Rick Maloy
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Difficult as it was for a Yankees fan, I enjoyed this tale of a retired Red Sox pitcher, stumbling through his flight from relentless demons. Believable plot, finely-drawn characters, and a satisfying tie-up of the subplots. I also liked the clever use of news clips as substitute for excess narrative. To the credit of this skilled storyteller, Roland leads his protagonist to the well-lit path, but doesn't plunk the reader into sweet syrup at the conclusion.

Enjoyable read, cover to cover. All tha
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This really caught me off guard. Russell Rowland’s High and Inside is story of anger, redemption and forgiveness, told through Pete Hurley, a baseball pitcher whose career ends after he beans a batter in the head with a pitch. The protagonist is an asshole narcissist who pisses everyone off, but there was something about Pete Hurley and the supporting cast that rang true enough to want more, leading to uncovering family skeletons and making amends. There are some style issues that need smoothing ...more
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Although a bit formulaic, Russell Rowland's tale of a washed-up baseball player who finds himself in Montana trying to start his life over is written well, paced well, and succeeds in sucking you into his world. Recommended.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A finalist for the the High Plains Book Awards. Should be a winner. Well written and deeply introspective.
Rose Blum
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good read ~ especially for those who love old baseball players & books by Montana authors :) ...more
Amy Bigelow
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in a long time. It was difficult to put it down once I started. I love a book that can make me laugh and cry. Well done.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thank you RR. I greatly enjoyed this read.
James M.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has subject matters that I shy away from: Baseball and Substance Abuse Recovery. The latter because of the often maudlin "pity me and look at me now" tone. The sport is simply that as a child I became bored with the game and the team mentality. Mr. Rowland's book, however captivated me from the start, and I became wrapped up in the fate of the former baseball star, now trying to recover his life by building a home in the Montana countryside. And, in the tale of his three legged bitch - ...more
Charles Christensen
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rough read. Pete has just about everything in his life go wrong because of his addiction. This book sheds light on the differences in life between the Rocky Mountain West and the East coast. It also describes in detail the mental battle that is alcoholism, along with a way out. The author does a terrific job interweaving the history of a baseball player's career and the aftermath of life's mistakes.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: therapists, baseball enthusiasts
Shelves: fiction
This novel explores trauma that has evolved into alcoholism, and the journey toward healing. Pete Hurley is the main character, a depressed alcoholic who has recked havoc in his life; he has alcoholic blackouts, and on the baseball field he hit a ball into a pitchers face; he caused his dog to lose a leg, and a girlfriend to be paralyzed and unable to play her violin. But his trauma evolved early from a mother who died shortly after his birth and living with an alcoholic father who he believed s ...more
Curtis Edmonds
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is always a bad idea to get soppy and sentimental about baseball. You can do it, of course. Some people live their lives that way. But it’s not productive, and it’s not healthy, and I am saying this as a former Dr. Pepper Junior Texas Ranger. It is perfectly okay to remember your childhood, and sitting in the bleachers, and watching Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew terrorize Rangers pitchers. But when you do that, you have to remember the salient facts, such as the one about the old Arlington Sta ...more
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great sense of place and people....perfectly named protagonist, too: Pete Hurley. Can't you see him toeing the rubber, looking in? But poor Pete is far from perfect aside from his name. His story is one of hubris, self-destruction and redemption, and Rowland keeps us engaged all the way through his precise language, humor and human insight. Highly recommended.
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read. The writing pulls you in so well. The feeling of all the homework is done by the author and I could just enjoy the book made this a very enjoyable read. Thought the title implies a baseball book, it is more about the complexity within a man. I learned so much and highly recommend it to men and women. I will be reading all of Russell Rowland's books.
roger townsend
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good enjoyable read

I enjoyed this novel, I have always been a big fan of baseball, this gave a different story of the game and it's players.
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a different genre than Rowland's previous books. I enjoyed the story though the main character's weaknesses were painful to watch unfold.
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I'm a Montana native, and I returned home in 2007. My first novel, In Open Spaces, made the San Francisco Chronicle's bestseller list. I got my MA in Creative Writing from Boston University in 1991, and have been a MacDowell fellow and a fortune cookie writer. The Watershed Years, the sequel to number one, was published in 2007 and was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award. In 2012, WEST OF 98 ...more

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