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The Elements of Hitting: A Novel [Hardcover]

Matthew F. Jones

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Only in retrospect does a man discover what has been significant in his life. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At once humorous and heartwrenching 15 Jan 2002
By "avowednot" - Published on
This is as fine of a novel with a baseball theme I've ever had the pleasure of reading. One, though, need only be a fan of great storytelling, characters, and writing to enjoy it immensely, as the baseball is clearly secondary to the story of Walter Innis, a man approaching forty, recently abandoned by his wife, reunited for the first time in twenty-five years with his dying and formerly abusive father,and suddenly without a job beyond that of the unpaid coach of his new girlfriend's son's baseball team. More than anything Walter's story is evidence of the fact that none of us, no matter how hard we try, can make it through life without confronting our pasts. When Walter finally confronts his the results are intermittently - and at times all at once - hilarious, gut-wrenching, shocking, sad, maddening, and, ultimately, uplifting. A great story filled with tremendous characters with all of the flaws and idionsyncracies that make them as believable as everyone you know. If only every novel with a sports theme, or every novel period, were written this well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HARD HITTING CHARACTER STUDY 9 April 2001
By Tim Peeler - Published on
THE ELEMENTS OF HITTING is a hard hitting character study of a son and father, both having failed in their roles in some way. Don't be fooled by the cover. This is not the traditional "baseball book."
Here, baseball is simply another place on the stage, a venue for participation, a venue where great tragedy and joy both occur. The novel is well-paced and anchored by memorable characters, not your ordinary "buddy" characters, however. The reader may have difficulty finding something to like about the hapless Walter Innis. But as his history is revealed, layer by layer, his honesty and complete lack of pretention should garner a measure of sympathy. It is gratifying to see such a gifted writer use the undying baseball metaphor.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Elements of Hitting 21 Mar 2001
By John Raso - Published on
The Elements of Hitting was something I picked up because of my love of Baseball, figuring it was another Dad and Son connect through "the Game" story. But it was much more than that. It illustrates how life throws curveballs and how you react to them, do you get into the game or sit on the sidelines. The use of the chapters switching back and forth between Walter Innis' current thoughts and his memories makes for an interesting read.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sad Beyond The Story 12 Dec 2001
By Bryan Bickford - Published on
This is the kind of book that with a better writer may have had a chance. Instead, it's just another poorly executed story by a writer without a lot of talent. The story of the loser son, his fighting and uneducated parents and the tenuous baseball connection around which its story is hatched rings hollow and is perhaps only sightly more compelling reading than the minutes from a local school board meeting. None of the characters are well developed, the story is tired, the stakes are low. I struggled to finish this book and probably only did so because every now and then Jones would break from his formulaic characterizations and predictable plot for a quick flourish of imagination and inspiration. The Elements of Hitting is sad as a story and as a book. It takes a depressing story, which in better hands should have been interesting, and leaves it stranded at first base while the writer strikes out without so much as taking a good swing. And that's sad.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book 16 Oct 2000
By A Customer - Published on
This was a very good book focusing not only the aspects of baseball, but more towards the aspects of life.
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