Play for a Kingdom

By Thomas Dyja
Read by Ian Esmo

13.37 Hours 12/01/1998 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781455174171

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    ISBN: 9781482112818

May, 1864. In a moment of quiet during the endgame between Grant and Lee, a Union and a Confederate company meet, not entirely by accident. The Union soldiers are a motley company of Irish, English, and German stock, all ragged and worn from the Battle of the Wilderness. Left behind to guard their army’s flank, they decide to relax with a baseball and bat when, as if by magic, a company of Alabama infantry appears from the woods. These ordinary soldiers determine to play baseball with the enemy, perhaps for diversion, perhaps to remind themselves that they are still human. In the ensuing days, Brooklyn meets Alabama four more times on the playing field, even their armies collide in the horror now known as Spotsylvania. As every game and skirmish bring them closer to a violent end, what began as a game turns into a business as serious as death and dishonor, and each soldier realizes the price and the prize that betrayal offers.

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Summary

Summary

May, 1864. In a moment of quiet during the endgame between Grant and Lee, a Union and a Confederate company meet, not entirely by accident. The Union soldiers are a motley company of Irish, English, and German stock, all ragged and worn from the Battle of the Wilderness. Left behind to guard their army’s flank, they decide to relax with a baseball and bat when, as if by magic, a company of Alabama infantry appears from the woods. These ordinary soldiers determine to play baseball with the enemy, perhaps for diversion, perhaps to remind themselves that they are still human.

In the ensuing days, Brooklyn meets Alabama four more times on the playing field, even their armies collide in the horror now known as Spotsylvania. As every game and skirmish bring them closer to a violent end, what began as a game turns into a business as serious as death and dishonor, and each soldier realizes the price and the prize that betrayal offers.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“This innovative and original first novel blends two staples of the Americans psyche—the Civil War and baseball—into a recipe for a very readable book. The battle scenes ring true…and the baseball scenes ring true as well. Dyja’s book is admirably wrought.” Washington Post Book World
“A sweeping novel of humanity on the battlefield, peopled with provocative characters. Play for a Kingdom is that rare treat: a novel that interweaves war and play, an ironic tale told with compassion. Watch Tom Dyja.” Santa Barbara News-Press
“Dyja has a gifted understanding of the powerlessness one faces in combat. War in this novel is not tragic merely because it kills and maims good men; it is dispiriting because it robs them of their identities…The tense mixture of espionage, betrayal, and vivid battle scenes should please discriminating fans of Civil War fiction.” Amazon.com editorial review
“A uniquely compelling Civil War novel set amid the chaos and devastation that characterized the savage battle of Spotsylvania…An absolutely stunning narrative.” Booklist
“Dyja effectively juxtaposes the horror and chaos of war with the familiar routine of the game. He explores the theme of war and games as natural activities of man, as battles of pride and place, and as testing grounds of moral and physical honor…An engrossing story, told within the context of actual events.” Library Journal
“The madness of war and the passion evoked by baseball complement each other beautifully in this extraordinary first novel…A sensitive, forceful, even breathtaking commingling of play and war, daydream and nightmare, the humane and the bestial, in which the human dimensions of warfare are unforgettably evoked.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Thomas Dyja

Thomas Dyja is the author of several novels and nonfiction. His Play for a Kingdom Play won the 1998 Casey Award, was named one of the best first novels of 1998 by Library Journal, and was nominated for the Barnes and Noble Discover Fiction Award. A native of Chicago’s Northwest Side, he was once called “a real Chicago boy” by Studs Terkel. He now lives in New York City.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 13.37
Audience: Adult
Language: English