Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book Review: The Man with Two Arms

When I received "The Man with Two Arms" by Billy Lombardo and read the synopsis of the story, I put it in my very exclusive "to read" pile.

That pile is usually filled with non-fiction books; research for my websites and my own books. Very few novels make the pile because I just don't have enough hours in my day to read for fun.

I am so happy I made this novel, "The Man with Two Arms," the exception to the rule.

It's a story about the first switch pitcher in the major leagues, which was enough of a hook for me to put it in the "to read" pile. But it's much much more than that. It's a love letter to baseball. It's a beautifully told father-son story that will touch the heart of any father or son (I have three boys). It's a love story that is told with the kind of sensitivity and care you simply don't find in novels...especially those targeted to men.

It's wish fulfillment to the nth degree, especially for Cub fans (some of the most touching baseball moments occur at Wrigley Field).

I can't recommend it highly enough. I was literally smiling the entire time I was reading it. It was that joyous of an experience.

This is how deeply it touched me. On opening day when Jason Heyward hit a home run in his first major league at bat to beat my favorite team, the Cubs, I was cheering for him. They showed his father in the stands being surrounded by his friends. His father who was filled with such pride and euphoria that the tears couldn't be contained, and I'll admit it. I couldn't contain mine either.

It's a moment all of us would love to either the father or the son. If you read "The Man with Two Arms" you actually will experience it.

Are you a man that wells up every time the movie "Field of Dreams" comes on? Do you "get something in your eye" when Kevin Costner says "Dad, you wanna have a catch?" Is the highlight of your day the moment your own son wants to play catch or talk baseball with you? If you answered yes to any of those questions, read this book.

In addition to being a great story, it's simply beautifully written. Billy Lombardo is a heck of a talent.

I'm totally jealous.

That's the highest praise one writer can give to another.