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The Thrill Of The Grass

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  470 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
No one can write about baseball with the same brilliant combination of mysticism and realism as W. P. Kinsella. Lovers of the game and lovers of fine writing will thrill to the range of the eleven stories that make up this new collection. From the magical conspiracy of the title story, to the celestial prediction in The Last Pennant Before Armageddon, to the desolation of ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 7th 1984 by Penguin Canada (first published 1984)
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Caroline
May 06, 2010 rated it liked it
A compendium of short stories about baseball by W.P. Kinsella, who wrote the book Shoeless Joe, upon which the movie Field of Dreams is based. To say that these stories are all exclusively about baseball would be incorrect. Instead, they more or less use baseball as an angle of approach. This is a smart way of doing things, and, I think, speaks highly of baseball's almost-universal applicability to matters of life and family.

There's no way to rate this story by story, which is a shame. If I coul
...more
Kathy
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you love baseball and a good short story, this will be a walk in the park. Slightly weird at times, and maybe a bit dark around the corner, but definitely worth the trip. You will find something as pure as baseball turned into an allegory for life.
Jeremy
Nov 08, 2010 rated it liked it
I loved "Shoeless Joe" (which would later become "Field of Dreams") and his later collection of baseball stories (can't remember the name, something about Iowa...of course). I didn't really care for much of this one. It was like reading a collection of stories that didn't really have any direction ("Bud and Tom", especially, but also "Nursie" and a few others). "The Last Pennant Before Armageddon" was so stereotypical and two-dimensional that I was pissed off at the end. I mean he took a great p ...more
Kip
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
All of the stories in W.P. Kinsella's "The Thrill of the Grass" are about baseball. That's unsurprising, given the author's bibliography. But like his famous novel "Shoeless Joe" and the less prominent "The Iowa Baseball Confederacy," the sport is merely a vessel for exploring different human emotions in each of the collection's stories. Some are just as fantastic as the novel that spawned "Field of Dreams." "The Battery," a story about a pair of Dominican twins who take the majors by storm with ...more
matteo
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports-vaguely
I was not happy with this book. I had read it years and years ago... and as with most things I remember from back in the day, it had a fairy tale-esque tint. I remembered it being more romantic and magical. Maybe I just did not get it then. Or maybe the stories do not age well. While a few of the stories did rekindle that baseball romanticism, I was left with more of a taste of bitterness, chauvinism, and unhappiness. These stories were not full of hope. They were about failure and wasted lives. ...more
Mark Geisthardt
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
W. P. Kinsella is best known for his book 'Shoeless Joe' which was made into the movie 'Field of Dreams.' 'The Thrill of the Grass' is a collection of his short stories, all about baseball in one way or another, and all fun to read. I'd read this book years ago but picked it up again this summer to revisit its stories and Kinsella's writing. The stories are primarily about minor league players and the struggles they have but as it comes to the end the stories are magical. This is a fun good read ...more
Nicholas
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
W.P. Kinsella is probably the prose-laureate of baseball. He has a consistent voice in this whole collection of short stories, some very realistic, some very fantastic. He never forgets that almost all baseball is played by children and those in the minor leagues, but that those players always look toward the top level, and that the love of baseball is in the fans as much as the players. On a personal note, this is a book my father would love, because even the fantastic stories feel real enough ...more
Mark
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
The Thrill of the Grass, by W. P. Kinsella, 1984. Though I had read these short stories by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella before, I was amused when I found myself opening the pages to the first story, “The Last Pennant Before Armageddon”, as it revolves around the Chicago Cubs winning the pennant. Nice reading in 2016. Overall, these stories are well-written, funny, occasionally poignant. I love baseball, so I liked the baseball tie-in in each story, though it was not usually the center of the s ...more
Jody Grant
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Kinsella who can write the poetry of baseball in the language of a man.
Many years ago my father, wanting I suppose to influence my education, gave me copies of Metamorphosis and Shoeless Joe. So perhaps I have a distorted view of the greatness of Kinsella by the early company he kept on my bookshelf; or maybe I just like him because he reminds me of my dad. Still, the reader in me knows he's a wonderful storyteller even if given to the kind of fancy we so often (maybe too often) dismiss as trit
...more
Brandon
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Kinsella's male characters are always so deep and interesting. His female characters can be shallow and prop-ish, but they also have some mysterious nature that keeps them from being completely stereotyped. In the end, it is Kinsella's fearlessness with narrative that makes him so readable. Who else would write a short story about a baseball manager who believes his team may be bringing about armageddon? It's just great stuff.
Ellen
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Kinsella is known for magical realism but only two of these stories were written in this style. the rest were more or less about troubled relationships, mysterious or angry women, and the men whose lives are anchored to baseball. These were uneven so my rating was 3 stars. "How I got my nickname" and the "thrill of the grass" we're my favorites though the former appeared to be autobiographical.
Jeff
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
While I feel that I am damning with faint praise a bit, this is a nice collection of stories. Kinsella has an unfussy prose style that still manages to be poetic when it needs to be. Some of the stories fall in line with the magical realism of his novel "Shoeless Joe", and they are fun. I actually liked the more realistic and rueful stories about minor-leaguers, some hopeful, some down-on-their luck, a little more.
Kim
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Some of the short stories in this book were heartfelt and gratifying, but I became annoyed with Kinsella's overuse of the "awe shucks" good guy willing to do anything for a hard to control ungrateful girlfriend/wife. Kinsella is great at eliciting emotions when writing about devotion to the game of baseball, but his limited range concerning romantic relationships left me less of a fan of his writing.
Billhotto
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Baseball has certain mythic qualities and they're most obvious during the languid evenings on tank town fields,in the sunny memories of sandlot pickup games and under the shadows of long departed ballparks. Let us hope that the rehab of Wrigley Field does not chase the ghosts away. Kinsella raises the question, could a Cub pennant bring on the Apocalypse?
Stephanie
Apr 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I adore everything I've ever read by WP Kinsella. Magical realism + baseball = great opening week reading. I know I haven't finished it yet, but I'd be confident recommending it anyway!

REV: Not his best work, but some nice moments. Good "library" reading. The Dixon Cornbelt League is a more magical short story collection for sure.
Paul Carr
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
With books like Shoeless Joe, W.P. Kinsella captures the magic and the mundane of baseball like few others, and this collection of short stories is no exception. He understands the sport's mystical allure, and he finds numerous ways to express it. If you're a baseball romantic and/or enjoy beautiful, lyrical writing, this is highly recommended.
Agatha Donkar
Jul 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I don't find all of the stories in this book compelling -- but the six or seven I love, I love without abandon. Particularly "The Last Pennant Before Armageddon" and the title story, which are about as purely about baseball as you can get in fiction.
Jon Koebrick
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are several wonderful stories in this book. I most appreciated the universal themes of relationships presented in the baseball context. I held on to this book for 24 years through too many moves before I finally read it. It was worth the trouble of keeping this book.
Theo Logos
Three and a half stars.
Easy, breezy reading; a game day hotdog of whimsy served with a schmear of magical realism mustard with an aftertaste of melancholy like a game lost one to nothing in the ninth.
Guy
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read this after hearing a great deal of praise for Kinsella's writing from various sources. However I found the writing to be flat and unengaging. Neither the stories or the characters interested me.
Terry
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you love baseball you will love this book! Yes this book is short stories and yes some are taken form other Kinsella novels, but they are all still awesome stories!
noisy penguin
May 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
More baseball stories from Kinsella. The Thrill of the Grass alone (the short story, that is) makes this book worth checking out. It made me all misty.
Robert Kaufman
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing


Once again he takes something as pure as baseball and turns it into an allegory for life! Although usually a slightly weird life.
danielle
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
i love this book. it's an analysis of baseball, love, and life, all steeped in americana. love.
Stephanie
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up, what-you-own
I enjoyed "The Last Pennant Before Armageddon" but could not get into any of the other stories in this collection, and gave up.
Kris
Jul 02, 2007 added it
One of my fav baseball books by one of my fav authors. Title story is awesome...local fans sneak into their stadium at night to replace the artificial grass with the real thing. Kinsella rocks!
Ray Charbonneau
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Baseball is the perfect sport for Kinsella's dreamy musing on life's absurdities.
Tomacito
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Kevin Cheesman
rated it really liked it
Dec 28, 2017
Jeannie
rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2015
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William Patrick Kinsella, OC, OBC was a Canadian novelist and short story writer. His work has often concerned baseball and Canada's First Nations and other Canadian issues.

William Patrick Kinsella was born to John Matthew Kinsella and Olive Kinsella in Edmonton, Alberta. Kinsella was raised until he was 10 years-old at a homestead near Darwell, Alberta, 60 km west of the city, home-schooled by hi
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“She had fouled off of the curves that life had thrown at her.” 12 likes
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