Winner of Autographed Copy of The Legend of Mickey Tussler:
Colleen DeCuir, Massapequa Park
Author Frank Nappi signing The Legend of Mickey Tussler at Barnes & Noble on Sunday, June 1, 2008.
Acquire The Legend of Mickey Tussler by Frank Nappi
The Legend of Mickey Tussler
At the risk of using an incredibly overused cliché, baseball is America’s favorite pastime. This notion is admirably exemplified through Frank Nappi’s novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler. A great baseball story is always recognizable, easily identifiable, and never deniable. Though Nappi’s story epitomizes all of the aforementioned adjectives, it is not without some minor flaws.
In The Legend of Mickey Tussler, Arthur Murphy is a contrite minor league manager for the Brewers, who happens upon a prospective recipe for career resuscitation in a mindless hick of a novice pitcher in Mickey Tussler. Murphy, who manages a listless team looking for a spark, is desperate to find anything that can possibly provide a light at the end of his talentless tunnel.
Mickey Tussler is an amply built farm boy who is seemingly devoid of anything that resembles mental capacity. Tussler crushes apples by tossing them violently into a crate, which lays about 100 feet away from him, for his abusive farmer father whom he refers to as “pa”. Mickey practices his apple hurling activity in such a flawless and orderly manner that it accidently catches the attention of a beleaguered minor league manager.
As the storyline of the book plays itself out, Arthur Murphy deals with various outside interfering parties who wish to tear down his hopes of ever winning anything. Murphy must deal with an overbearing owner, a team full of prima donnas, a vengeful rival manager, an envious south paw, and a star pitcher whose comprehension skills compare to those of a bowl of fruit.
Mickey, Murphy’s discovery, does not meet the baseball life too easily himself. Besides dealing with the pitfalls of mental illness, Mickey must unveil his heaving talents to onlookers who mostly despise him. Some detest Mickey for his lack of brains, some are jealous of his pure talent, and some others implement insidious tactics to bring down the bruising fire-baller altogether.
Throughout the course of Nappi’s tale, personality enriched characters such as Woody Danvers, Lefty Rodgers, and Pee Wee McGinty reveal themselves. Only through reading The Legend of Mickey Tussler yourself can you understand the true witty and inimitably identifiable nature of these characters.
Mickey Tussler had never played baseball before, and Arthur Murphy had never managed a decent team before. So when the two team up, it is only suitable that unmitigated magic should occur.
Overall, I found Nappi’s story to be interesting, intellectually stimulating, humorous at times, and even enthralling when the plotlines reached their peaks. My one misgiving about the novel The Legend of Mickey Tussler lies with the writing style of the novelist.
Why the grandiloquence Frank? This is supposed to be a baseball story, correct? Not the great American novel. I respect a well versed writer as much as the next reader/critique, but using terms such as “vitriolic”, “imbroglio”, and “deleterious” causes one to look more like the penman with the thesaurus on hand than it does the modern day literary connoisseur.
With that being said, as both a baseball fan and a self proclaimed literary genius, I truly appreciated The Legend of Mickey Tussler; even I learned a few buzzwords from Frank Nappi. (thanks Frank).
The Legend of Mickey Tussler is a story of two underdogs. Maybe it has been overdone over the course of literary history, and maybe Frank Nappi was a little too eloquently grandiose in his description of this tale. However, if you are either a baseball fan, or a fan of truly genuine literature, then you will appreciate of The Legend of Mickey Tussler.
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