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The Brooklyn Nine

The Brooklyn Nine

The Brooklyn Nine

By Alan Gratz
Dial
320 pages
$16.99

Gratz builds this novel upon a clever enough conceit—nine stories (or innings), each following the successive generations in a single family, linked by baseball and Brooklyn—and executes it with polish and precision. In the opening stories, there is something Scorsese-like (albeit with the focus on players, not gangsters) in Gratz’s treatment of early New York: a fleet-footed German immigrant helps Alexander Cartwright (credited with creating modern baseball) during a massive 1845 factory fire; a young boy meets his hero, the great King Kelly, who by age thirty is a washed-up alcoholic scraping by as a vaudeville act. … [T]aken together they present a sweeping diaspora of Americana, tracking the changes in a family through the generations, in society at large for more than a century and a half, and, not least, in that quintessential American pastime.”

—Ian Chipman for Booklist (starred review)

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