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Gill Gamesh, the only pitcher who ever literally tried to kill the umpire. The ex-con first baseman, John Baal, 'The Babe Ruth of the Big House', who never hit a home run sober. If you've never heard of them - or of the Ruppert Mundys, the only homeless big-league ball team in American history - it's because of the Communist plot, and the capitalist scandal, that expunged the entire Patriot League from baseball memory. In this ribald, richly imagined, and wickedly satiric novel, Philip Roth turns baseball's status as national pastime and myth into an occasion for unfettered picaresque farce, replete with heroism and perfidy, ebullient wordplay and a cast of characters that includes the House Un-American Activities Committee.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099889403
ISBN-10: 0099889404
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 26mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A book with this title just had to be written, and who is better qualified (if not Norman Mailer?) than Philip Roth, who's been doing his damnedest ever since Goodbye Columbus got the National Book Award back in 1959 when Ike was President. And what could be the topic but that ex-favorite National Pastime - what every healthy American boy did Sunday afternoons before the advent of football and dope. The book is the purported history of the demise of the Patriot League, told by an Irish (natch) sportswriter name a' Word Smith, whose endless alliteration makes Joyce look like a slouch - centering on the Exile of the Chosen People, the Ruppert Mundys (Rupe-it, in New Jerseyese) who in the bleak war years (that's World War Two) had a one-legged catcher, a one-armed right fielder (catches the ball, sticks it in his mouth, throws off the glove, takes the ball out of the mouth, throws to home), a midget pitcher, a fourteen year-old 92 pound second bagger. . . possibly part of the Commie conspiracy to destroy the League, hence baseball, hence America. Truth told by Word Smith from the confines of his old-age home, where he competes with superstars Melville, Twain, and Hawthorne in writing the you-know-what. A self-conscious savage satire of the land of apple pie and wheaties, plus occasional foul tips at literary tradition from Gilgamesh on up. As for the G.A.N., it is as much a dream as the 500 hitter, a goal made mythical by an arbitrary set of rules for a game which we (both writers and readers) now find tiring. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Philip Roth

In 1997, Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner and Saul Bellow, among others. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for "the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004." Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award 'for a body of work...of enduring originality and consummate craftmanship' and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose 'scale of achievement over a sustained career...places him or her in the highest rank of American literature.' Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. The last of the eight volumes is scheduled for publication in 2013.

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