Monday, February 28, 2011

1/161: Screwball by David Ferrell

Screwball: A Novel

Accomplishment!!!  My first 161 Project book and it was a DELIGHT.  So glad I forced myself to finally read it.  David Ferrell, you've got a fan in me.

The story centers around a fictional Boston Red Sox team as they chase the ultimate MLB goal: the World Series trophy.  The Curse of the Bambino seems to be wreaking havoc, tho, and in full force as a masterful killer leaves headless corpses in the wake of the team's schedule.  An appropriate title, Screwball - an oh so appropriate title!  It is baseball after all...  so, a "screwball" of a throw across the plate, to the actual "screwball" serial killer, to the unbelievable "screwball" antics of the team's management trying to cover-up the horrific crimes, this is a "screwball" comedy of errors (yuk, yuk, yuk) pitched (sorry, couldn't resist) more than one laugh out loud moment, despite the grisly circumstances.

So, I found it entertaining.  I found it fascinating.  I have a high appreciation of the author...  specifically, what I've griped about (a-lot) in other books, I am in awe of in this one:  Ferrell doesn't tell you everything.

Hmmm...  you know why?  Because he doesn't need to!  Ferrell writes perfectly.  Perfectly!  So well that you learn what you need to know as the story unfolds.  Clues aren't blantantly displayed.  They're mentioned in passing.  And in the end, it's not all wrapped up in a neat little bow.  There are loose ends, but they're loose ends you can live with.  And despite the grisly murder spree, this isn't a story of police in hot pursuit of a serial killer...  It's a story about baseball.  Real baseball.  The baseball you don't see being played on the field, but the behind-the-scenes-this-is-what-it-takes-to-make-this-season-happen baseball. 

And I loved it!   

And like all stories I love, I find the nuggets of wisdom nestled in and I savor them on the pages and again here...  tidbits from the author that I take away with me...   

"It was the hardest lesson of all, to learn what you are not."

"...for of all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been.'" (uncredited)

"Sometimes the answer does not lie in explaning away fear; sometimes it lies in courage."
         ~Robert Oppenheimer~

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