Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Dickens and Baseball Kind of Day

It was beautiful all around this part of Texas today.  I'm starting to really believe that Spring has settled in so permanently now that we won't suffer one of those nasty little weather surprises we often get around here in late March or early April.  Bright sunshine, a high of just over 80 degrees, and a cool (but   gusty) breeze all afternoon just can't be topped.  

Thankfully, my thirteen-year-old grandson's team played in a baseball tournament all weekend, including today's doubleheader, so I had a great excuse to enjoy it all firsthand.  The team didn't fare very well (even losing one of its best hitters to a double-fracture of his right leg on Saturday), but it was still a memorable week-end.  It probably seems even better than it really was because of how nasty the weather has been here for the last several weeks.  Just plain old pitiful.

But...before the two games this afternoon I finished a little book titled The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens by Thomas Hauser.  It's one of those novels written in the first person that are narrated by a famous real life person from the past.  In this case, that person is Charles Dickens.  

I will do a more formal review of the book in the next few days sometime, but I have to say that Hauser did a remarkable job of capturing Dickens's speech pattern, style of expressing himself, and his whole general persona.  The book is a mystery cloaked inside a "confessional" tale in which Dickens reveals some things about his past that he has kept secret for almost four decades.  Good stuff.

Honestly, I was unfamiliar with Thomas Hauser before The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens caught my eye in a catalog.  Turns out, though, that the man has written some 47 books "on subjects ranging from professional boxing to Beethoven."  His very first book (Missing) was nominated for both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award and was made into a huge hit film starring Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemmon.  Surprisingly, Hauser is probably best known for his boxing books and the work he does for HBO Sports.  

More a little later on this one.

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