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The Cactus League
The Cactus League: A Novel | Emily Nemens
1 post | 1 read | 10 to read
An explosive, character-driven odyssey through the world of baseball from Emily Nemens, the editor of The Paris Review Jason Goodyear is the star outfielder for the Los Angeles Lions, stationed with the rest of his team in the punishingly hot Arizona desert for their annual spring training. Handsome, famous, and talented, Goodyear is nonetheless coming apart at the seams. And the coaches, writers, wives, girlfriends, petty criminals, and diehard fans following his every move are eager to find out whyas they hide secrets of their own. Humming with the energy of a ballpark before the first pitch, Emily Nemens' The Cactus League unravels the tightly connected web of people behind a seemingly linear game. Narrated by a sportscaster, Goodyears story is interspersed with tales of Michael Taylor, a batting coach trying to stay relevant; Tamara Rowland, a resourceful spring-training paramour, looking for one last catch; Herb Allison, a legendary sports agent grappling with his decline; and a plethora of other richly drawn characters, all striving to be seen as the season approaches. Its a journey that, like the Arizona desert, brims with both possibility and destruction. Anchored by an expert knowledge of baseballs inner workings, Emily Nemens's The Cactus League is a propulsive and deeply human debut that captures a strange desert world that is both exciting and unforgiving, where the most crucial games are the ones played off the field.
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Back when The Art of Fielding came out and everyone and their brother were recommending it, I kept saying, "A book about baseball? No thanks." And, I kept hearing, it's about so much more than baseball. Eventually, I just picked up the book . . . it was amazing.

In 2020, I'll be the one telling everyone else . . . it's about so much more than baseball, just pick up the dang book.

A great debut.


Cinfhen Great review and now I‘m intrigued ❤️ 2mo
JennyM @Cinfhen me too, because I loved The Art of... #stacked!! 2mo
CarolynM You've drawn me in too. Stacked. 2mo
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I thought the same thing about The Art of Fielding, so I‘m convinced to check it out now! 2mo
75 likes10 stack adds4 comments