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Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Seasonby Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King
"As a collectible souvenir, a completist's highlight reel, joyous fans could hardly ask for more. As a book, however, not as a keepsake but rather as four hundred pages of self-standing reading material, it's not exactly a page-turner....And yet here's the rub: the authors stumbled on a rare season, and somewhere down the line just about anyone who followed this year's Red Sox will be thankful that two passionate fans kept notes." Dave Weich, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
A fan's notes for the ages, Faithful grew from an email exchange last summer. Filled with the heady mix of exhilaration and frustration familiar to all Boston Red Sox fans, Stewart O'Nan fired off a note to fellow Sox fan, Stephen King, who responded with his thoughts on Pedro, Nomar, Manny, Mueller, and Theo. From the supposed Curse of the Bambino to f###in' Bucky Dent to the recent off-season battle for Alex Rodriguez, Sox fans have seen it all since 1918...except for that elusive World Championship. Baseball history has transformed these fans into a "nation" — not to mention the most dedicated, knowledgeable fanbase on the planet. Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King, proud members of Red Sox Nation, will chronicle the 2004 baseball season from spring training to the last game of the season — the important plays, the controversial managerial decisions, the significant front office moves, and the spectacular finish. Attending games together, keeping a running diary of observations and arguments, and occasionally evoking great or tragic events in Red Sox history. King and O'Nan will cheer on their beloved team with the eternal hope that this just might be the year. If you don't have season ticket box seats right behind the firstbase dugout, you can't beat Faithful.
"Of all the books that will examine the Boston Red Sox's stunning come-from-behind 2004 ALCS win over the Yankees and subsequent World Series victory, none will have this book's warmth, personality or depth. Beginning with an e-mail exchange in the summer of 2003, novelists King and O'Nan started keeping diaries chronicling the Red Sox's season, from spring training to the Series' final game. Although they attended some games together, the two did most of their conversing in electronic missives about the team's players, the highs and lows of their performance on the field and the hated Yankees ('limousine longballers'). O'Nan acts as a play-by-play announcer, calling the details of every game (sometimes quite tediously), while King provides colorful commentary, making the games come alive by proffering his intense emotional reactions to them. When the Red Sox find themselves three games down during the ALCS, King reflects on the possibilities of a win in game four: 'Yet still we are the faithful... we tell ourselves it's just one game at a time. We tell ourselves the impossible can start tonight.' After the Sox win the Series, O'Nan delivers a fan's thanks: 'You believed in yourselves even more than we did. That's why you're World Champions, and why we'll never forget you or this season. Wherever you go, any of you, you'll always have a home here, in the heart of the Nation.' (At times, the authors' language borders on the maudlin.) But King and O'Nan are, admittedly, more eloquent than average baseball fans (or average sportswriters, for that matter), and their book will provide Red Sox readers an opportunity to relive every nail-biting moment of a memorable season. (Dec.) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"King and O'Nan are the kind of fans who make for great baseball companions: knowledgeable, opinionated, funny and irreverent." Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today
"[A]n entertaining chronicle of the just-completed 2004 Boston Red Sox baseball season. In fact, this collaborative memoir of diary entries and e-mails is nothing less than a passionate love letter to...the new champions of Major League Baseball." Boston Globe
"[A]n excitable, book-length high-five for the winning team....
"If you are, like the authors, a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, then by all means go out and buy it....Most of the time, though, Faithful is pretty much awful..." San Antonio Express-News
"Play-by-play of games from the past just isn't that interesting..." Oregonian
Two fiercely avid Red Sox fans document one of the most eagerly anticipated baseball seasons of all time.
Early in 2004, two writers and Red Sox fans, Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King, decided to chronicle the upcoming season, one of the most hotly anticipated in baseball history. They would sit together at Fenway. They would exchange emails. They would write about the games. And, as it happened, they would witness the greatest comeback ever in sports, and the first Red Sox championship in eighty-six years. What began as a Sox-filled summer like any other is now a fan's notes for the ages.
About the Author
Stewart O'Nan's novels include Snow Angels, The Speed Queen, A Prayer for the Dying, and The Night Country. Granta has named him one of the Twenty Best Young American Novelists.
Stephen King is the author of more than forty novels and two hundred short stories. In 2003 he received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Both authors live in Red Sox Nation.
Table of Contents
Introduction By Stewart O'Nan
Spring Training: Welcome to Next Year
April/May: Who Are These Guys?
June: The June Swoon
July: Turn the Page
August: The Hottest August on Record
September/October: Hangin' Tough
The ALDS: Somebody Got-ta Pay P> The ALCS: Beyond Thunderdome
The World Series: The Possible Dream
It's Weird But True: The Gloom Is Gone In Mudville By Stephen King
Love Train By Stewart O'Nan
Boston Red Sox 2004 Stats
What Our Readers Are Saying
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