Monday, April 28, 2008

"The Crowd Sounds Happy"

New from Pantheon Books: The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness, and Baseball by Nicholas Dawidoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the best-selling The Catcher Was a Spy, his most original work yet: a memoir of two cities (New Haven and New York), a family (troubled), a time (the 1970s), a boy who never quite fits in anywhere--and how baseball helps him find his place in America.

The Crowd Sounds Happy is the story of a spirited boy's coming-of-age in a doomed hometown, with a missing father, a single mother, and the professional ballplayers who gradually become the men in his life as he listens to them every night on the bedside radio. This is a childhood shaped by remarkable characters, foremost Nicholas Dawidoff's mother, a stoical, overwhelmed, enterprising woman committed to securing a more promising future for her children. It also tells, with the same arresting candor of Dawidoff's celebrated New Yorker magazine memoir of his father, what it's like to grow up with a disturbed, dangerous parent. Here are the events and places that come to define a young boy's outlook: a local playground, a kidnapping and a murder, rock 'n' roll, the steamy awkwardness of adolescence and first love, and the private world of baseball--the inner game as it has never been described before.

The Crowd Sounds Happy is a beautifully written, moving piece of personal history that transforms ordinary moments into literature.