Ted Williams was a war hero and a baseball god. I’ve heard plenty of family apochrypha claiming my grandfather knew him. (I do have a signed baseball.) Like any good tragedy, the story of Teddy Ballgame ends with him slowly withering away and dying of old age, then his head being severed and frozen in the vain hope of scientific resurrection. Bradlee Jr. starts and ends his biography with this macabre, yet true, story that most everyone has already heard. From there it sounds like the book is reverent, but not worshipful–which is exactly what I want from a book about Williams. He had a famously fractious relationship with the media, but it’s usually looked back upon fondly as a personality quirk. Bradlee Jr. takes it deeper though, exploring an uglier side. Weber recounts: “The casual vileness of his remarks to and about his children and to and about women, including but not restricted to his wives, is breathtaking.” This book is apparently huge, but it appears to be worth its salt to any serious baseball fan.
I’m a sucker for absurdist drama, and this novel–if you want to call it that–has an 83-page absurdist play stuck into the middle (between two viewpoints: a musical prodigy and a commando/writer). This experimental book sounds challenging and probably a little frustrating. But anyone up to the task will probably find a lot of reward here.
Another Scandinavian mystery/thriller, whoop-di-do. Despite having the word dinosaur in the title (usually that’s enough for me since I’m basically a toddler), that was pretty much my reaction after reading the first paragraph of this review. But reading on, it’s hard to deny that this book sounds pretty good. When a grisly murder occurs in a graduate school paleontology department, an ostentatious detective arrives, but gets a seemingly fair amount of disdain from the other characters. From there, the book brims with “dark and stormy back stories about scientific rivalries, sexual yearning and family secrets that have warped the lives of most of the main characters.” I might give this book a shot, unless Nico reads it first.