Welcome to the Show: A Mickey Tussler Novel
The call up is sweet, for all of them have overcome insurmountable odds to get where they are. But life in the major leagues is filled with fast-paced action both on and off the field. The bright lights of Boston hold a new series of challenges, hardships, and life lessons—especially for Mickey, who finds himself a long way from throwing apples into a barrel back on the farm. The three newest Braves have each other to lean on, as well as a new group of fans who are swept away by pennant fever, but balancing everything this new world has to offer may prove to be the greatest challenge of all.
A Good Book for Baseball Fans
WELCOME TO THE SHOW by Frank Nappi is the third in the Mickey Tussler series featuring (you guessed it!) Mickey Tussler. Mickey is an autistic pitching protégé who has been called up to “The Show” to try to help the Boston Braves make their way to the World Series. Mickey’s stepdad/mentor is the new manager of the Braves, and the novel follows their season-long trials and triumphs through many twists and turns.
Without having read the first two books, I was able to dive into the story of Mickey and Murph and their shared love of America’s pastime. With guest appearances by many real life baseball greats from the 1950s, WELCOME TO THE SHOW is a gift to those of us who love the history of the game, and the play-by-play narrative of some of the games is a special treat.
Although liberties are certainly taken with baseball history, Nappi seems to know his stuff. WELCOME TO THE SHOW is sprinkled liberally with baseball-isms, and it will engage those who understand the intricacies and the jargon of baseball. Of the characters in the book, Mickey is definitely the highlight, and his tendency to wander off on verbal tangents adds to the charm of the book.
One drawback for me in the book is the development and the chronicling of the personal relationships. Murph and Molly (Mickey’s mom) are married and they have a drawn out conflict over where each feels happiest, and every time passages about that mini drama came up I found myself rushing through them to get to the next ballgame. Mickey’s friendship and budding romance with Jolene is important to the plot, but it becomes tiresome too. Another problem with the book is the shifting perspectives in the narrative. Nappi tries to show all sides of every important situation from the perspective of every character involved, and it doesn’t work well, and he attempts to give personal background to the characters by delving into multiple characters’ thoughts, and that is also clumsy at times.
Although the book isn’t perfect, WELCOME TO THE SHOW is a nice novel for the young baseball fan. There are plenty of passages to skim through, but the action on the baseball field makes it well worth the read.
My thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Excellent play-by-play narrative of baseball games