Picks and Pans Review: Season's End
On the surface, baseball star Mike Williams would seem to have it all—a childhood sweetheart who became his wife, a loving daughter and a natural stroke that elicits comparisons with namesake Ted Williams. Unfortunately he also has a fertile imagination, which makes it hard for the slugging phenom in Grimes's second novel to keep his eye on the ball.
To hold at bay the forces of his world (a slipshod agent, a manipulative owner, an unloving father), the fair-haired Williams tries to lose himself in the sheer joy of playing his game. For a while it works, but when that doggone intellect of his starts trying to make sense of things, he soon falls prey to more destructive mind-numbing alternatives.
Grimes fearlessly blends the surreal (a ballplayer is buried in the outfield with his Chrysler Le Baron) with an uncanny understanding for the game and the people who make their living by it. (You'll recognize Williams's manager.) Season's End combines Hunter Thompson on the fear-and-loathing trail with George Will observing men at work—psychedelic in its prose, yet disciplined where it counts. (Little, Brown, $19.95)