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Paul Quarrington.

Toronto, Doubleday, c1983.
412pp, cloth, $21.95.
ISBN 0-385-18422-0.

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Michael Freeman.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

This meandering novel, set in 1938, focuses upon a baseball game played between a troupe of sideshow freaks and a strict religious order, the House of Jonah, in a small northern Michigan town. If the reader accepts this absurd premise, the author rewards him by developing the very human personalities of the physical eccentrics on one team and the religious fanatics on the other.

Unfortunately, these rather interesting revelations of character can not compensate for the major flaws in the work. The novel suffers from a severe lack of editing, as the story could well be told in half the number of pages. The complete absence of any logical plot line leaves the reader searching periodically for some direction to the story. The narrator, Quarrington himself, too often interrupts the sparse action to make annoying and superfluous comments upon the motives of various characters. The few readers who do persevere to the end of this slow-moving tale, in the hope of some climatic resolution, will be disappointed, as there is only a patently artificial denouement tacked on to the end of the game. Recommended for senior students, and insomniacs.

Michael Freeman, Downsview S. S., Downsview, ON.
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