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|Title||:||The Wrong Season|
|Number of Pages||:||165 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Wrong Season Reviews
a crabbed and nearsighted diary of a mets season (1973) that didn't work out as planned. oppenheimer is a poet and occasionally breaks into version (the entire book is written in lowercase). there are a handful of fabulous lines and philosophical asides about baseball, but the text hasn't aged well -- it's hard to get into the flow of the season without a bit of contextual understanding about what the 1973 mets were like, as a media presence. and oppenheimer is not wholly sympathetic (definitely self-obsessed, not terrifically insightful as a fan or a diarist). i can see why this went out of print. cool that it exists though.
i try to tell people to whom i recommend this book that it is a long form love letter poem to baseball, noo yawk, summer domesticity, and sobriety. i read this book at least once a year and i always get sad when i reach the end. it has become a source of inspiration to live as well, even when your team isn't in contention. RIP Joel, and thank you for this wonderful book.
This book is a reread for me, but from many many years ago. I remember checking it out of my elementary school library (Mt. Pleasant Elementary in Smithtown, N.Y., in case you're wondering) in 1973 when I was ten years old. It was the first book I ever read, and perhaps the first book ever published, about the post-1969 Mets. (There was an onslaught of books describing the years from 1962 to 1969 after their unexpected World Series win in '69.) I was surprised to see a lot of R-rated language in the book. Not that the book would contain f-bombs, but that it would have been on the shelves of an elementary school library in 1973. I imagine whoever it was at the school district who was responsible for ordering books probably slipped up.Anyway, this is a fan's memoir, written by poet Joel Oppenheimer, about being a Mets fan in 1972, which happened to be my first full year as a fan. (I jumped on board during the 1971 season.) So to me, the 1972 Mets are the "original Mets", and it was nice to read about not only the held-over '69ers like Seaver, Jones, Agee, and Kranepool, but also the more recent additions like Staub, Matlack, and Mays.However, the book wasn't about the Mets, it was about rooting for the Mets. And that's something I was doing in 1972, albeit from the perspective of a ten-year-old boy, which is what I was, rather than of a 42-year-old poet, which I never was. Oppenheimer doesn't give much, or really any, context at all. He mentions events, concerning the Mets as well as the world at large, as if they happened yesterday and the reader still has an immediate familiarity with them. Day-to-day events of the presidential campaign. The chess match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. Some controversial comments made by weatherman Tex Antoine. (Made four years before the really controversial comment about rape that cost him his job.) And of course, family stuff, which is always a part of fandom: what's happening around you while you have the game on TV, or who you go to the game with, or why you can't watch the game on a particular day.I think that if I didn't experience the 1972 Mets, or have a general knowledge of 1972, this book might have been in some parts, totally incoherent to me. But as someone who was in fact there, it did evoke some memories, not so much of actual events, but of what it was like to have the Mets on Channel 9, on a Sunday afternoon, listening to Lindsey Nelson, Ralph Kiner, and Bob Murphy. The book was written entirely in lower case, which was more distracting than charming. Sometimes the word "wins" would appear in the middle of a sentence outside of its proper context, and I'd have to remind myself that Oppenheimer was talking about the radio station, WINS. (A non-New Yorker, not familiar with that station, would just remain confused, I assume.)Anyway, a nice little trip down memory lane, with some nice turns of phrase as you would probably expect from a poet. I especially like how Oppenheimer compared his kids to Leron Lee when they interrupted his plans to make love to his wife. But again, unless you know who Leron Lee was and what his part was in the Mets' 1972 season, you just wouldn't get it. This isn't a book that's going to age well.
Sometimes great books are just serendipitously dropped into my lap. And this book was just one of them. I thought I was buying a book about the Mets. I couldn't have been more wrong and glad I was. This book is a love letter to New York City, sports, political science, religion and existentialism. Don't get me wrong. The 1972 NY Mets season is the backbone of the story. But it is like saying "Goodfellas" is a movie about gangs. Being a Noo Yawker may help to appreciate a lot of the subtleties and not-so-subleties. I wasn't alive for any of the events discussed in this book, but somehow, I knew what Mr. Oppenheimer was saying. Call it the New York Collective Unconscious. I wish Mr. Oppenheimer was alive to today to comment on steroids, contracts, and the new millennium.
A lot of meandering nonsense with occasional mention of the New York Mets' 1972 season.
Terrific Sports Books and Prose Poem.