I recently finished…

…”Away Game” by Bob Levin (Burnstown. 2016).

That’s one of four writing “Bob Levin”s I’m aware of — but the only one, myself excluded, with whom I have a relationship.

This relationship began we he submitted a piece to “The Broad Street Review,” where I already contributed, and the editor asked us to work out who would be called what. It turned out Bob the Younger had graduated from the same high school as me, ten years later. He was a good basketball player, and when my novel “The Best Ride to New York,” which was about a basketball player, (still available from this very web site) came out, some of its steamier passages caused faculty eyebrows to be raised in his direction when he returned for a reunion.

He’s a newspaperman in Toronto, and this is his first novel. It’s about fathers, sons and baseball. The 1964 Phillies are here (I still have the scars), the 1955 Dodgers (I remember where I was when…), Cool Papa Bell. There is loss, romance, a murder to solve (or prevent) — and time travel. It all cohere’s. There is not a misplayed word or ill-timed step to trip you. All bases are tagged. In the clutch, Levin delivers. It’s sweet and sad and the plot carries you smoothly along.

Pick it up.