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Almost Perfect

A Novella by

"Almost Perfect" is a baseball story. It was written at the invitation of Otto Penzler, who wanted it for an anthology - but he didn't get to publish it. Alice K. Turner, as incisive a reader as I've ever known, was Playboy's Fiction Editor at the time, and I always gave her first look at anything I wrote. She snapped it up, and I had to choose between disappointing Otto and missing out on a sale to Playboy.

Talk about your no - brainers. The story appeared in Playboy, and in due course I tucked it into my omnibus collection, Enough Rope.

My own favorite baseball stories are all novels. Bernard Malamud's The Natural is a critical favorite, and justly so, but there are four other books I like even better. Three are by Mark Harris - The Southpaw and its two sequels, Bang the Drum Slowly and A Ticket For a Seamstitch. (Harris wrote a fourth novel about the same character toward the end of his life, and it can be charitably described as disappointing.) And Charles Einstein's The Only Game in Town is a book I've reread several times, with undiminishing enjoyment. Malamud's novel's in print; the others are not, but once can find them readily and reasonably in the aftermarket.

Back to Otto. He was disheartened when he heard I wasn't going to be able to give him a story after all. "So write another story," he said. "There's plenty of time. A baseball story, with a crime in it."

But, I said, I didn't have an idea.

A pause. "Well," he said gently, "that's never stopped you in the past... "

So when his anthology, Murderer's Row, appeared, it contained a story of mine called "Keller's Designated Hitter." But that's another story...

Used availability for Lawrence Block's Almost Perfect

See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US

Kindle Editions

July 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: Almost Perfect
Author(s): Lawrence Block
Publisher: Lawrence Block
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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