Sold one “Schiz” and one “Cheesesteak,” both to a desk clerk at the Sens Café and Bistro (formerly the French Hotel), which is home to one of the cafes where I peddle them.
In other news…
My cell phone rings.
I figure it’s a robot.
But the caller leaves a message. He wants “to develop” a movie about my baseball novel “Away Game.”
My excitement is tempered only by the fact that a different Bob Levin wrote “Away Game.”
I explain this when I return the call. I offer the other Bob Levin’s e-mail address. Then I add, “But if you want to develop a movie about a basketball novel…”
There is a pause while, in retrospect, I think he does something on his computer. “You’re exactly who I want to talk to,” he says. “‘Best Ride to New York.'”
It turns out his development plan for “Best Ride” involves a new cover and what sounds suspiciously like an e-book and print-on-demand deal.
Which will only cost me $$799.
…”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.