June 17, 2005
MarkBernstein.org
 

Faithful

Faithful
Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King

(order)

(June 17, 2005)

Two Red Sox fans, Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan, chronicle a year of fandom. They go to lots of games: King has great season tickets. They watch lots of games on television. They listen to the radio, they read the papers, they send each other lots of email. They are very careful to be fans, not journalists: they don't visit the clubhouse, they don't hang out with the guys. They're fans: they don't know stuff that you and I don't know, they just watch a lot of games.

It's a pleasant book about a pleasant season, the season the Red Sox won at last. At times, King and O'Nan seem dense: in the playoffs when the Sox were barely hanging on and their pitching was threadbare and everyone was wondering who could possibly throw tomorrow, they're still weirdly focused on the Yankees. Earlier, they seem completely unfocused when the Sox trade their Hall Of Fame shortstop for a pair of expendable fielders. It was a weird, fascinating transaction, but Faithful focuses on the the disappointed grandkids.

At times, the book is slow, or repetitious. But that's baseball.