Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tim Wendel's Castro's Curveball

Tim Wendel's Castro's Curveball is a light, pleasant novel that brings together pre-revolutionary--late 1940s--Havana, Fidel Castro, and baseball. You need to suspend disbelief, but it plays on Castro's love of baseball and the rumor that he'd been signed by the Washington Senators. In this book, Havana Lions catcher Billy Bryan is the one who is trying to sign him. After many years, Billy returns to Cuba during the Special Period with his daughter to come to peace with his past.

Castro and his early political activism is woven into the book, along with a fictional female photographer he falls in love with, and who is part of Castro's political circle. Wendel does a nice job of bringing that era to life.

Also noteworthy, for me at least, is that this book was an impulse buy at my local used bookstore, The Last Word. Leisurely browsing still a really fun way of finding books.


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