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Pafko at the Wall: A Novella
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Pafko at the Wall: A Novella [Kindle Edition]

Don DeLillo
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: CDN$ 3.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
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Product Description

Product Description

"There's a long drive.

It's gonna be.

I believe.

The Giants win the pennant.

The Giants win the pennant.

The Giants win the pennant.

The Giants win the pennant."

-- Russ Hodges, October 3, 1951

On the fiftieth anniversary of "The Shot Heard Round the World," Don DeLillo reassembles in fiction the larger-than-life characters who on October 3, 1951, witnessed Bobby Thomson's pennant-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jackie Gleason is razzing Toots Shor in Leo Durocher's box seats; J. Edgar Hoover, basking in Sinatra's celebrity, is about to be told that the Russians have tested an atomic bomb; and Russ Hodges, raw-throated and excitable, announces the game -- the Giants and the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds in New York. DeLillo's transcendent account of one of the iconic events of the twentieth century is a masterpiece of American sportswriting.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1750 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (June 30 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001D1YCYA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #338,187 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is how to write a book Dec 26 2003
Who cares about Underworld? I didn't go near it. Separating this classic from that tome was the best marketing move anyone's ever done. This book should be in the public domain anyway. Imagine taking a baseball game, exploding it into one of the world's greatest historical events as seen from various characters' points of view, and at the same time encapsulating the dawning of a new moment in world history. Every sentence is sharp and detailed, anticipating the next. And then when Thomson hits the home run, Delillo freeze frames each second like you're in a car crash, making sure you're aware of everything that's going on. It's one of the best books ever written.
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By A Customer
And I really believe that. This is the opening section of *Underworld* (1997), and it originally appeared in Harpers--so, when I saw it in stores, I thought "why re-release this as a BOOK?"
Then, I read it. It stands on its own as a novella--and it's not *just* about baseball, either, so don't let that mislead you or put you off. It's about *everything*. Maybe you don't wish to read the lengthy *Underworld* (though the themes and characters and plotlines here run through the entire novel)--but at LEAST read THIS.
And while I own the novel, I'm pleased to own this, too--and if you like DeLillo and wish to turn others on to his work, this is what you give them. I've given copies to several people, and use this brilliant work in my "Writing a Novella" Creative Writing class. I don't test the students, or ask them to try to emulate the work--I just ask them to read it.
Their jaws drop open every time, just as mine did--and does.
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4.0 out of 5 stars DeLillo for non-fans May 22 2003
First things first - this is a brilliantly-evoked account of the Giants/Dodgers playoff game that ended with the "Shot Heard Round the World". It is also the opening section of DeLillo's novel Underworld. Like most of the other reviewers of this book, my main beef is "Why should one bother to buy this extract?" In context, this is only the beginning of a long exploration of American history in the 50 years that separate us from that game - particularly the Cold War, which could be said to begin on that day with news of the Soviet Union's atomic test reaching the US. The historic baseball goes weaving from hand to hand binding the stories together. If you're a DeLillo fan, then, don't buy it for yourself. If you want a taster of his work, perhaps buy it as an entry-level sample but be prepared to fork out for it all over again if you decide you need to read the full novel. Best of all, buy it as a gift for someone who's unlikely to be a DeLillo reader, now or in future, but is a fan of baseball and/of 50s Americana. It's great stuff, but its appeal in this format is just pretty limited.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Third time's the charm? April 15 2002
By A Customer
No, not really. Since this novella first appeared in Harper's some years back and then was the prologue in Underworld, this makes the third time it's appeared in print. And while it is brilliant, why buy this when you can buy Underworld for about the same price?
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2.0 out of 5 stars A publishing scam from an American genius? Feb. 1 2002
Well this has to be a classic, but describing it as a new 2001 novella by Delillo is a sure way to rile Delillo fans like me, who almost ordered it on reflex. It turns out to be the first part of Underworld. While Underworld is, in my view, one of the great books of this decade, the publisher should at least warn potential buyers that they may already own this book. On the other hand for those who find it hard to stick through an 800 page book, this sample delicacy might be a good introduction to the art of Delillo. As for me I prefer the original Underworld, or Body Artist, a completely mesmerizing novella about the same size as Pafko.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but why bother? Jan. 24 2002
Having suffered through all of Underworld, and having concluded that I should have stopped reading right after the excellent prologue (which essentially comprises this book), I was amused to see that DeLillo has released this as a "novella". Compelling reading to be sure, but why bother?
I suppose this book is easier to carry around and read in bed than the beginning of Underworld, amounting to less than a hundred pages. But it is difficult to justify spending good money on a prologue to a longer novel with an eerie, attractive cover depicting the World Trade Center, that can be found for less money on bookstore bargain racks throughout the country. Like P.T. Barnum once said, . . . "there's a sucker born every minute."
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5.0 out of 5 stars "THOMSON AT THE BAT" Nov. 17 2001
I haven't read Underworld, so when I bought this book, all I knew was that it was about "the shot heard round the world" and that was good enough for me. Having grown up in Brooklyn and having lived in a house with three brothers and a father who were all avid Giant fans, this is something I've heard about my whole life. I wasn't even walking in 1951 so I certainly don't remember that day but what I do remember is it's being discussed in my home, ad nauseam, for as long as I can remember. In honor of my now deceased father and my very alive three brothers, (who followed the Giants and remained Giant fans as they went on to San Francisco), I have taken it upon myself to learn more about that fateful day in Dodger history when Giant fans all over New York roared in unity as Bobby Thomson's strike of the bat ended the Dodger season in 1951.
DeLillo's attention to detail is so vivid that I actually felt as if I was hearing Russ Hodges announce the game. The book is full of nostalgic remembrances especially when he talks about one of the Giant sponsors - Chesterfield cigarettes. Between innings, Hodges actually instructs the audience to stay right where they are and "light up a Chesterfield." Can you imagine saying that today? And I found that the trivia about the large CHESTERFIELD sign in centerfield lighting up the "E" when an error was made is stuff my brothers don't even know about. I can't wait to hit them with all this info when we get together this holiday season. As a matter of fact, I've already asked one of my brothers if he knew who was playing left field when Thomson hit the ball and he didn't know. So much for the baseball trivia experts in my family.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars phony delillo
although don delillo is one of my favorite writers i didn't like underworld and this new release of the first chapter of that pretentious novel is part of the reason why. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2001 by C. Holland
2.0 out of 5 stars As some of you below stated...
One can't help but wonder why so obviously skimpy a "book" should warrant release, especially considering that this only a slightly altered piece that appears in a longer... Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2001 by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Longing on a large scale.
Yes, if you've read Underworld then there's no need to buy this book, and yes, it's a cynical ploy to release this already published and republished story as a new hardcover. Read more
Published on Oct. 18 2001 by Dez
5.0 out of 5 stars contractual sniping aside...
...the fact that this great work has been published previously (first in Harper's back in 1992, then in altered form as the Prologue to Underworld in 1997) does not alter the fact... Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2001 by potchytuckis
5.0 out of 5 stars Pennant Fever!
Pafko at the Wall, a story that would evolve into Delillo's Underworld, is a must for any baseball fan. Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2001 by "nomishira"
1.0 out of 5 stars Pafko at the Wall
Canonization of a modern classic, or contract fulfillment? A mere eight months after the slender "The Body Artist" comes the even slenderer "Pafko at the Wall":... Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2001 by platitude
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