Last Days of Summer

Last Days of Summer

Book - 1998
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A contemporary American classic--a poignant and hilarious tale of baseball, hero worship, eccentric behavior, and unlikely friendship

Last Days of Summer is the story of Joey Margolis, neighborhood punching bag, growing up goofy and mostly fatherless in Brooklyn in the early 1940s. A boy looking for a hero, Joey decides to latch on to Charlie Banks, the all-star third basemen for the New York Giants. But Joey's chosen champion doesn't exactly welcome the extreme attention of a persistent young fan with an overactive imagination. Then again, this strange, needy kid might be exactly what Banks needs.

Publisher: New York : Avon Books, 1998.
ISBN: 9780380976454
0380976455
Branch Call Number: KLUG
Characteristics: 353p. 18cm.

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k
KatG1983
Mar 21, 2018

I read this book when I was 14 (ohmygod 20 years ago), and loved it. I read it every year for a while, and cried like a baby every single time.

w
wyenotgo
Mar 18, 2018

Where to begin? I suppose I should start with the word "heartwarming" which is a term I normally shudder; books that aim in that direction usually make me squirm and the fact that it never happened here says much about Kluger's narrative skill. And second, I have rarely encountered a book that made me laugh with delight on almost every page. I should also mention that I've never before encountered a book that so perfectly defined what being a father figure is all about.
Many readers will complain that the whole tale is way too over-the-top, that many of the characters are overdone and unrealistic, especially Charlie, Joey, Hazel, the Rabbi ... and on it goes. To which I say: Who cares? They're just too wonderful to miss. The story and the characters could have been taken right out of Damon Runyon and what's not to like about that? Others will object to the structure, consisting entirely of snippets of letters, telegrams, notes etc. Again, who cares?
I have one beef about the edition I read: It bears a reviewer's comment on the front cover calling the book "A modern-day Catcher in the Rye". Comparing Joey Margolis to that neurotic prig Holden Caulfield?! Outrageous!

m
missbaseball
Dec 12, 2013

**(SORT OF) spoiler alert **

the best of Mr. Kluger's books. It is funny and touching, however the end is telegraphed a mile a way.

r
Rainman
Jul 25, 2013

I had just asked my wife if she had ever read any humorous books, as I had not, and then I unknowingly picked up this gem at the suggestion of a friend. Everything about it is silly--from its being told through notes, newspaper clippings and report cards, to the very idea of some big-shot kid befriending a major league baseball player (who has little grasp of the English language. It's "YOU'RE" for God's sake!) But far more than just funny, Last Days of Summer takes you on an emotional ride that only a great novel can. I, too, was a goner.

c
comicgeek
Jan 20, 2011

A truly great read full of laughter, tears and all the things that make books worth reading. Written in a creative use of post cards, notes, and letters (sometimes on napkins). Read this when you have time to finish a several hundred page book.

k
kalio
May 18, 2009

This is the story of a smart-aleck boy who brags that a baseball player is his best friend, the letters he writes and the tall tales he tells to get the baseball player to be his best friend, the smart-aleck baseball player who writes back and gives as good as he gets, and the relationship they develop despite their tough-guy exteriors. Set in Brooklyn against the backdrop of World War II, the story is told in letters, notes, telegrams, newspaper clippings, interviews, and report cards. Last Days of Summer is a humorous, timeless tale of friendship, war, growing up, and the grand game of baseball.

s
simonsnickers
Mar 09, 2008

This is one of very few books I have read several times over. Told entirely through letters, telegrams and newspaper articles, you'll love the main character and be charmed by the others. So real, I kept thinking it couldn't be fiction.

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r
Rainman
Jul 17, 2013

Other: Terrible spelling and grammar (intentional).

r
Rainman
Jul 17, 2013

Coarse Language: This is the life of a professional athlete in the 1940s. Some foul language should be expected.

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r
Rainman
Jul 17, 2013

Rainman thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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r
Rainman
Jul 17, 2013

When they think we are going to cry, they make us dinner and take their clothes off.

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