["It Looked Like for Ever"] is not so much about baseball as about aging, just as "Bang the Drum Slowly" was not so much about baseball as it was about dying. It is the strength of all of these novels that Mark Harris uses material that we normally associate with the sports pages and by skill and compassion enlarges what he touches until he reveals us to ourselves—our ordinary, universal lives.
This novel begins with losses. At the age of 39, Henry Wiggen has lost his fastball, and last season he lost all but three ball games. When his old manager drops dead on a golf course, Henry expects to succeed Dutch as manager of the New York Mammoths, but he loses again. At the end of the first chapter, he...
(The entire section is 428 words.)