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Smashwords book reviews by Edward Blackman
- The Mighty Roman
on April 24, 2012
On occasion, usually while watching a high school game, you’ll see a batter so completely fooled, that he turns after striking out and asks the umpire- what was that pitch? And you can’t help but smile at the pitcher’s mastery of his craft.
You get that same feeling when reading The Mighty Roman, as you’re enjoying the exuberant fun of a great sports story, and suddenly it hits you, that this book has been setting you up on more levels than you can imagine, and you can’t begin to guess where you’re headed.
The story begins with a rickety busload of quirky characters, a barely professional minor league team so far removed from the familiar world of major league baseball, that you see it all with the same fresh eyes as the nineteen-year-old players. The season unfolds in vivid detail, as the hardness of the infield dirt, the mascots, the maniacs, the injuries and anxieties permeate the action, and the tension builds with the accelerating rhythm of a pennant race.
And always there’s the sheer joy of sport, even as the world of Cal Heritage baseball is reshaped by social, political, and personal conflict. Shame and triumph, bigotry and grace, compete for supremacy, as the young men struggle with the looming influences of tradition, expectation, and history, as visited upon them by the many fathers and father figures that populate the book, from the dreamers and dropouts to the braggarts, the bullies, and the totally unhinged.
As the season goes on, the stakes are continuously raised, as courage and personal morality become more critical than speed and power, and the young men strive for more than a championship.