More on Out of Left Field
Hey, check it out, I’m in black-and-white in the Seattle Weekly with my review of Art Thiel’s Out of Left Field. Check it out. I love running in print… the web’s fine, but there’s something cool about newsprint. I was once a paperboy for the Seattle Times (“Paper of Quality”) in case you’re curious.
For those of you who are curious, here’s a couple of Art Thiel’s clunkers. Seriously, you should read the book, but holy moly… unless you’re as into writing as I am, you might not find this as funny as I do.
p2: “If there was a banana peel, or an open manhole cover, anywhere in the neighborhood, the Mariners were on it and in it.”
In order: a manhole cover can’t be open or closed, it’s a cover. The manhole is open or closed. And a long sentence doesn’t automatically need commas, though that’s really nit-picky. It should be “slipping on it” rather than “on it” — what’s so bad about being on a banana peel? And you can’t be “in” a manhole cover.
p14: Lester Smith says “If I knew what was going to happen, I wouldn’t have touched it with a ten-foot pole”
Next paragraph opens “But he did, and by 1981 the pole has splintered.”
What pole? The pole that he didn’t have, that he wouldn’t have touched it with?
p104: On the drive for a stadium after the strike of 1994: “In terms of timing, the maneuver ranked with stowing away aboard the Hindenburg.”
Since the Hindenburg made a bunch of successful voyages, stowing away aboard the Hindenburg would have worked out fine unless you specify that you mean the May 3-6 Hindenburg journey.
On Thiel’s constant transitioning and bridging throughout the book: p115, on October 1995:
“Langston’s left arm was so sore he couldn’t comb his hair….” and then the next paragraph “Even if Langston could comb his hair, his coif was destined to be messed up.”
Much of the book is like this. The Mariners were on Cloud Nine. But Cloud Nine was a thundercloud, and it would soon be raining on the team’s victory parade…
Anyway, check out “Out of Left Field,” an example of story triumphing over story-telling.