MAGIC TIME by W. P. Kinsella
Voyageur Press, 2001
Mike Houle is a baseball player who, unaccountably choked in his senior year at LSU and is left undrafted by the major leagues. When his agent calls with a chance to play in semi-pro ball in Iowa, Mike agrees although he's never heard of the team or the league. At least, his agent assures him, the major league scouts will have a chance to see him play.
What Houle finds in Grand Mound Iowa comes as a complete surprise to him. Families take in ball players--especially families with young and attractive daughters. Is that normal? And Grand Mound, according to his sponsor, is one of the few towns in Iowa which is actually growing. The entire town shows up for the regular inter-squad matches held by the local semi-pro team and Houle, the pressure off, finds himself playing the best baseball of his life.
He may be playing great baseball but he isn't stupid. There's something going on in this town, and with this team, that just doesn't make sense.
Author W. P. Kinsella creates an ode to baseball as the solution to the world's problems. In a strange, fairy tale part of Iowa, baseball has become the savior of a town, and the town in turn has become the salvation to a number of players who had somehow lost touch with the love of the game. Kinsella's lyrical writing makes MAGIC TIME an intriguing and compelling read. Although the plot itself is somewhat slow moving (but then, people say the same thing about baseball), Houle's coming of age and his growing realization of the mystery of Grand Mound made me keep turning the pages.
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