Thursday, December 17, 2009

Billy Lombardo's THE MAN WITH TWO ARMS Reviewed in Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly offers a review of Chicago writer Billy Lombardo's new novel, The Man With Two Arms, coming in February: "This debut novel from Lombardo follows ably in the cleat-prints of W.P. Kinsella and Bernard Malamud, chronicling the life of a talented Chicago pitcher. In their middle-class Chicago suburb of the mid-1980s, baseball nut Henry Granville and his wife, Lori, face marital discord regarding Henry’s immediate, insistent campaign to commit their baby son Danny to a life in baseball. When Henry discovers his son’s natural ambidexterity, visions of raising a superstar “switch pitcher” (an almost unheard-of athletic skill) kick his obsession into overdrive. One rocky boyhood later, Danny signs with the Cubs and finds instant fame (“Danny can throw like Tom Seaver with one arm and Sandy Koufax with the other”) as well as a bit of infamy; he’s a “freak” in the eyes of opponents. Meanwhile, Danny falls in love with an art instructor and nurtures another rare talent: clairvoyance. Fans of sports fiction should find this an enjoyable trip to the mound, with just enough old-fashioned Americana magic to keep them guessing."

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