The most significant review–in terms of both reach and content–of The Greatest Show on Dirt hit the internet tonight when Bob D’Angelo of the Tampa Tribune introduces Lane Hamilton to readers of his Sports Bookie blog. Bob had a lot of nice things to say about the book. Here are a few excerpts.
Author James Bailey pulls Hamilton and a diverse cast of characters together against the backdrop of historic Durham Athletic Park in his first novel, “The Greatest Show On Dirt,” (Paperback, $12.95, through Amazon.com, $2.99 via Kindle, 244 pages). Even though Bailey worked for the Bulls in Durham from 1990 to 1993, he says this book “is not a thinly disguised memoir.”
“Lane Hamilton is not me,” he writes.
It wouldn’t be a terrible thing if he was.
Baseball players (and people who work for baseball organizations), are like anyone else. They make mistakes, have moments of self-doubt and gloom, go to bars and have too much to drink, and have family issues that affect their work. They also have moments of laughter and fun.
Bailey captures all of that in “The Greatest Show on Dirt.” He writes smoothly and introduces the reader to each character through the eyes of Lane Hamilton. And there are some quirky ones, which should be expected from a minor-league baseball franchise.
On his website, Bailey writes that he got the idea for a baseball novel when he was coaching Little League baseball in Seattle during the late 1990s. After writing a few chapters, the book remained dormant until 2006, when he resumed working on it.
From what I read, it was worth the wait.
Bob did a lot of homework on this, hitting my web site for background information, picking up tidbits in the acknowledgments, and getting all the details on the characters right. I really appreciate his attention to detail and the review in general. Couldn’t be more pleased. I hope we see more like this.