I’ve only read one baseball novel — Field of Dreams, which, by the way, is incredible both in print and up on the screen — but I’m a sucker for good football novels, especially funny ones.
Semi-Tough is the first and probably best of the adventures of Billy Clyde Puckett, Shake Tiller and Barbara Jane Bookman. If you’ve seen the movie with Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson, they’re two different animals, and the book is far funnier, not to mention far, far superior. To give you an example, Semi-Tough‘s first sequel, Life its Ownself, opens with this line written in perfect Texas English:
You win football games with them horny old boys who want to eat the crotch out of a end zone.
Damn, that’s good writin’! And if the sequel can be that good, the first book has to be even better. (I’d quote from Semi-Tough if I had the book close at hand, but it’s clear in the other room with one of the cats, and the ice is melting in my bourbon, and I ain’t moving.)
Football and sex the way it should be. Grunting, sweaty and mean. And funny.