The Eskimo Slugger left me speechless hours after reading it. I mean, WOW. I kept repeating everything I’ve read in my head. Long after the book’s conclusion, I’m still thinking about Trent Days and Brendan Baxter and it was like a time warp that my mind went back to the setting and the characters of the book’s accompanying novels – The Nothingness of Ben and The Return. I’ve mixed emotions about this book. It made me sad, nostalgic, happy, and peaceful and a bucket full of fierce feelings I’ve never thought I’d feel for a book since reading The Lonesome Dove [Larry McMurty] and Beach Music [Pat Conroy] years ago.
It’s the summer of 1983, and Trent Days born to an Inupiat Mother in Alaska was dubbed by the press as the Eskimo Slugger for his sensational record at the Major Baseball League. His rise to the top was halted by a midseason collision that sent him back to Austin to recuperate. When Trent visited his favorite record store, he met the eager and funny law student Brendan Baxter. A skip on a record vinyl sent him back to the store and to Brendan that led to a date and a blossoming romance. Trent is torn into choosing between his growing feelingsfor Brendan and his professional sports where his secrets won’t and cannot be revealed.
If you’ve read Brad Boney’s previous two novels (The Nothingness of Ben and The Return), you’d definitely see the parallelism used to connect each character and each event. Of course it’s not so much of a parallelism if one will take into account the theme used via The Return (I’d rather leave it like this because I really want you guys to get hold of these books!). One can also mention the beautiful juxtaposition of Trent & Brendan characters with “Travis & Ben” of The Nothingness of Ben. The whole mixed up was just a wee bit nostalgic and sometimes even jaw dropping. I was mentally screaming, Oh shoot! Shoot! – Brad Boney is killing me with this!!!
I guess the beauty of this book relies upon the well-constructed development of the story. It started with Trent and Brendan’s first meeting, how they easily got along, the meeting of each other’s friends and its conclusion that was beautifully woven into another time. It’s also a great feeling to see characters from his previous books. It’s like I’ve known these people in my life and knowing their story makes me yearn for more – it makes me ask more question, makes me want to go back and reread that particular chapter / page. This fantasy was transcended by the timeline used from the author’s first book up to this one. A clever style of writing that takes each miniscule detail into consideration and I so loved that about Brad Boney.
I’ve always mentioned that The Return has a very special place in my heart for some reason. I guess, looking back – it’s always the quality of Brad Boney’s writing that made me say this. The Nothingness Of Ben was nothing short of awesome. The Return will always be like my favorite toy but The Eskimo Slugger is the perfect example of Brad Boney’s artistry. That man’s a genius!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Published September 29th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Amazon | Dreamspinner Press | Barnes & Noble
About The Author
Brad Boney lives in Austin, Texas, the 7th gayest city in America. He grew up in the Midwest and went to school at NYU. He lived in Washington, DC and Houston before settling in Austin. He blames his background in the theater for his writing style, which he calls “dialogue and stage directions.” His first book was named a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He believes the greatest romantic comedy of all time is ’50 First Dates’. His favorite gay film of the last ten years is ‘Strapped’. And he has never met a boy band he didn’t like.
Posted in Books
Tagged Beach Music, Brad Boney, Brendan Baxter, Larry McMurtry, Pat Conroy, Stanton Porter, The Eskimo Slugger, The Lonesome Dove, The Nothingness Of Ben, The Return, Trent Days
Set in the 60’s, the film takes us to the journey of Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger), two country boys hired to herd sheep through the summer at the Brokeback Mountain. There, they discovered some kind of connection that ultimately awaken something about themselves. As their lives goes on after their Brokeback Mountain stint, the two men realized that truly, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Over time, despite having individual families – they still see each other knowing that what they had is something that is far more important than any forces in their lives.
With the screenplay written by one of my favorite authors, (Larry McMurtry who wrote it along with Diana Ossana) my attachment with this film goes beyond being a fan of the story. The mood of the movie was as melancholic as its characters accompanied by its absolutely haunting musical score. The subtle approach of Ang Lee in delivering a controversial yet heavy emotional narrative allows its audience to weep with the character – such instance happen when the distraught Ennis Del Mar broke down while hugging Jack’s bloodied clothing. That for me was the highlight of the film. This film was short of a stunning portrayal of love loss and eternal questions of what-if. Ang Lee truly is a master of his craft.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Director: Ang Lee
Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Linda Cadellini, Anna Faris, David Harbour, Roberta Maxwell, Peter McRobbie, Kate Mara
via Pinoy Exchange 2014 Movie Challenge
30 Days Movie Challenge – Day 10: A movie of your favorite director (Ang Lee)
Posted in Movies
Tagged Ang Lee, Anna Faris, Anne Hathaway, Brokeback Mountain, David Harbour, Diana Ossana, Film Review, Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Mara, Larry McMurtry, Linda Cadellini, Michelle Williams, Peter McRobbie, Pinoy Exchange Movie Challenge, Randy Quaid, Roberta Maxwell
During my teenage years up to my early twenties, I became so fond of reading books that I’d read a 500 plus page book non-stop until I finish it. Those were the days that life hasn’t got in the way yet.
Fast forward to the present, I’m trying to re-introduce myself to the old me. That kid that loves his books and meeting the likes of Augustus McCrae, Aurora Greenwood, Jack McCall, Paul Werner, Boo Radley etc… through the writings of the great contemporary novelists. Yes, I’m not really a big “classics” fan but I tried reading some of ’em.
So for starter, the first book that I’ve decided to dive into was “Thirteen Moons” by Charles Frazier who also wrote Cold Mountain. (I’ve actually tons of books unread for the past years now and it still shock me because I keep on buying them hoping that I’d read them all one by one – in time, I’m sure 🙂 ) I bought Thirteen Moons about a year ago (one of my most recent purchase) and having read exceptional reviews online, I decided to start on it first and join Will Cooper’s journey.
Thirteen Moons is an historical novel by Charles Frazier released in 2006.
In context, the book had the similar grasp of some of Larry McMurtry’s works. The story telling is so powerful that every page is as important as the last. I loved it when books makes you interact with its characters. You either root for them, loath them or even think about them long after you’ve finish reading the whole thing.
Thirteen Moons is a melancholic prose of a journey that encompasses the early years when the native Indians are reigning supreme up to the progressive modernity that almost diminished their culture altogether. It was the nostalgic narration of a man who outlived everyone involved in his journey to make his place in the world. This thought actually made me sad. It made me feel for him but it also made me critical on how things change so fast that your only reminder of the past would be the stories you’ve gathered through out your life without the material mementos.
This books isn’t exactly a book that I’d keep repeating every now and then but I’d definitely put it in a category that’s just below my most beloved ones. After all, this I reckon a masterful historical fiction that lends a sense of cultural acknowledgement and personal approbation of life in the early years of America.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Posted in Books
Tagged Augustus McCrae, Aurora Greenwood, Boo Radley, Book Review, Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain, Jack McCall, Larry McMurtry, Paul Werner, Thirteen Moons, Will Cooper