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Pafko at the Wall: A Novella by [DeLillo, Don]
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Pafko at the Wall: A Novella Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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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: 3964 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:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,472 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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 work--and this after last year's short and disappointing "Body Artist". Pafko calls itself a novella, but it isn't really; if one takes into consideration the font, margins and amount of pages, what the reader receives isactually a long short story, costing sixteen dollars. Why weren't both "novellas" released together, along with the several other uncollected short works written by Delillo over the past decade? Contractual obligation, perhaps, or possibly worse: simple greed. Although an impressive piece,it needs to be pointed out that Pafko is emblematic of a disturbing trend in the publishing business: the release of lilliputian books with gargantuan price tags. And please, let's not get into a quality and quantity debate; however you view it, this is just WRONG. Check this out of the library, unless you simply enjoy wasting money.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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": first published ages ago in Harper's magazine, then reappearing in revised form as the first section of DeLillo's lumbering, intermittently brilliant novel "Underworld." Now, on the fourth anniversary of "Underworld"'s publication, here it is again. Granted, it's a tour de force, and deserves as wide an audience as possible, but the thought of Scribner expecting readers to pay as much for this as they could pay for 800-plus pages of "Underworld" in paperback--or two copies of the "Underworld" hardcover from nearly any superstore remainder table in the United States--boggles the mind.
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