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FAITHFUL!! (2005-01-15 - 10:49 a.m.)

It is only fitting, I think, that the first book that I finished reading this year was the sports chronicle, Faithful, by Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King.
Granted, I'm sure that I would never have given this book a second glance had it not had one of my favorite author's names on it. But I'm certainly glad that I did.
Subtitled "Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season," this book does exactly that.
Let me start off by saying that if you are not a baseball fan, this book will bore you to tears, even with New England's Horrormeister's name attached to it. Yes, Stephen King co-wrote it, but it is nothing like anything he has ever written before.
In a nutshell, here is what happens in this book. Stewart and Stephen began a diary at the beginning of the 2004 baseball season. They intended to write this book no matter what happened. That is obvious right from the beginning. In fact, they began pre-season, even chronicling their attendance to BoSox Spring Training in Florida.
The writers' diary entries are kept separate by font variety. Stewart's entries are normal type, while Stephen's are bold-faced. Interspersed throughout the book are emails that were traded during the season.
Every single game of the 2004 seasaon is addressed, some in great detail. There is more detail when one of the authors actually witnessed the game. When they didn't see the game, they wrote from radio broadcasts, newspaper synopses, and word-of-mouth from family and friends.
The "great detail" that I mention is the main reason that non-fans would not enjoy this book. Hey, this book is about baseball. Specifically Boston Red Sox baseball (anyone who really knows me knows that I was rooting for the BoSox long before there was even a spark of Texas Rangers--Yaz is my hero). And both Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King are bigger fans than I could ever hope to be.
I wept almost as much when I finished the book last night as I did while watching the Red Sox team dance around the mound at the end of that fourth World Series game last October. They did it. Yes, they really did it. And reading this book brought back such vivid memories of the whole thing, just like it happened last week.
Perhaps one of the most entertaining things about this book is realizing that New England's Horrormeister is, in fact, a real guy, who loves baseball, loves the Red Sox, and dances around his living room when Johnny Damon hits a grand slam home run just like I did.
This book is A+, Five Stars, Pulitzer Prize, whatever. It's glorious. Read it. But only if you love baseball.

I've ordered my "Yankees Hater" hat in preparation for some games this year. I'm planning to get tickets right behind the third base dugout for when Boston comes to "Ameriquest Field" to play the Texas Rangers. I'm no traiter. I always root for the Rangers. Except when they play Boston.
I think I'm going to make a sign, too. (I've never done that before.) It will say something like "Hey to Stewart and Stephen from one of the 'FAITHFUL' in Texas!!"
My family will probably pretend they don't know me.

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