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Take Me Out to the Ballgame: 07/03/10

cover art

Rewrites of previously published books make my hair stand on end. Had that pitch mentioned that Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Gary Morgenstein was the author's self published rewrite of a book previous published by St. Martin's Press in 1980, I would have passed on the book. Rewrites like this create messy situations that are difficult to review: how much of my reaction is the effect of conflicting writing styles or genuine faults with the original text?

Take Me Out to the Ballgame is about a farm league team, the Buffalo Matadors who are constantly down on their luck, so much so that their fans call them the "Door Mats." Flamboyant Harry Witowsky buys he team and vows to make changes. Things look good for the Mats but their new fortune might be tainted by corporate greed.

I like baseball. I'm not a rabid fan but I like the game and I like reading about it whether it's fiction or nonfiction. I really expected to like Take Me Out to the Ballgame but the writing was sloppy and the jokes felt dated against the modern-day backdrop of bank bailouts and the recession. The book suffers from the same odd ball pacing and dialogue issues that the 1950s and 1960s reissues of the Nancy Drew books.

I gave up on the book at about page seventy-five. That being said, I do want to track down a copy of the St. Martin's Press version from 1980 to see what the original is like. I have a feeling I will like it better.

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