Swing

Swing Philip Beard s Swing is a novel to be savored Sara Gruen New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House John Kostka is a legless Korean War veteran three feet tall but larger

  • Title: Swing
  • Author: Philip Beard
  • ISBN: 9780986247415
  • Page: 308
  • Format: Paperback
  • Philip Beard s Swing is a novel to be savored Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House John Kostka is a legless Korean War veteran three feet tall but larger than life moving through the world on gloved hands and powerful arms as if on a set of parallel bars Henry Graham is a ten year old boy whose father has just left h Philip Beard s Swing is a novel to be savored Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House John Kostka is a legless Korean War veteran three feet tall but larger than life moving through the world on gloved hands and powerful arms as if on a set of parallel bars Henry Graham is a ten year old boy whose father has just left home for good When the two meet in 1971 at a downtown Pittsburgh bus stop, all they seem to have in common is their love of baseball But that is enough to begin a life long friendship that, eventually, enables both men to confront old enemies and heal old wounds Philip Beard s third and most accomplished novel swings between two narratives the way John Kostka swings through life The result is a multifaceted meditation on childhood heroes, the beauty of baseball and the power of love to heal a family in crisis SWING is at once heartbreaking, uplifting and emotionally resonant In a word, it s beautiful Pittsburgh Magazine It wouldn t be fair or accurate to call SWING a sports book It s too rare for that The Sporting News SWING is richly rewardinga tight, poignant coming of age novel that will stay with you long after you put this book down Sports Illustrated Every character the absent father, the troubled sister, the mysterious wonder that is John Kostka feels alive due to Beard s skillfully simple prose and dialogue With SWING, Beard has hit it out of the park Foreword Reviews just about perfect The Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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      Published :2020-011-23T11:24:37+00:00

    About “Philip Beard”

    1. Philip Beard

      Philip Beard is a recovering attorney and award winning author of Dear Zoe, which was a Book Sense Pick, a Borders Original Voices selection, and was named by the American Library Association s Booklist as one of its Ten Best First Novels of the year It has enjoyed a second life being taught in high school classrooms across the country and is currently being developed as a feature film His latest novel, Swing, centered around an unlikely friendship between a 10 year old boy and a legless Korean War veteran, recently received the 2016 IPPY Gold Medal for Contemporary Fiction Praise for Swing Philip Beard s SWING is a novel to be savored Sara Gruen, New York Times Bestselling author of Water for Elephants at once heartbreaking, uplifting and emotionally resonant In a word, it s beautiful Pittsburgh Magazine SWING is richly rewardinga tight, poignant coming of age novel that will stay with you long after you put this book down Sports Illustrated It wouldn t be fair or accurate to call SWING a sports book It s too rare for that The Sporting News Every character the absent father, the troubled sister, the mysterious wonder that is John Kostka feels alive due to Beard s skillfully simple prose and dialogue With SWING, Beard has hit it out of the park Foreword Reviews just about perfect The Pittsburgh Post GazettePraise for Dear Zoe, Like The Lovely Bones, it is a piercing look at how a family recovers from a devastating loss Everything about this moving, powerful debut rings true Booklist starred review Dear Zoe is an almost flawless novel of self discovery and redemption It is the sort of book that a generation can call theirs, a book that captures the trials of adolescence and the aching numbness of America in the aftermath of 9 11 The Press of Atlantic City The whole novel rings with truth By the end of it, we re meditating on the ideas of loss and redemption, the ways in which personal tragedies get absorbed into larger ones, but neverobliterated, never forgotten The Buffalo News

    885 thoughts on “Swing”

    1. Eleven- year-old Henry Graham has a lot to learn about life. What he knows for sure is his father moved out, his mom was unhappy and the 1971 Pirates are heading for a pennant race. What he doesn’t know is how long his father will be gone, how his family will cope with the hole left in their lives or if his beloved Pirates will win or lose the series. Determined not to lose everything that makes his live normal, Henry decides to skip school to go to a Pirates’ game alone. He takes the ticket [...]


    2. Full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review."[T]he man next to me seems to have grown out of the sidewalk, with only his torso having emerged so far. He is hip-deep in the concrete and looks as though he has been there forever, waiting for a young King Arthur, me perhaps, to pull him free. He is a man; there is no doubting that, even though I am looking down at him."Thus is eleven-year-old Henry Graham introduced to three-foot- [...]


    3. Families are complicated things. They come with problems and regrets and trying not to mess each other up out of sheer stupidity, selfishness, or both.Swing covers a lot of this territory, and it does so believably, without either over or underselling matters. The good news is that, like his character Henry, Philip Beard knows how to love his people and sympathize with them in a way that makes the reader do the same. Fairy tale endings and perfect people don't make good stories, but likable and [...]


    4. A wonderful read that moves between the present and 40 years past when the Pirates went to the 1971 world series. The life of the beleaguered academic and his interactions with students, family life as they deal with the elephant in the room (to borrow a phrase from Jason Isabel) and the triumph of baseball. Really a great read that keeps coming back to me-- this one really stuck.


    5. “Like Chad Harbaugh in The Art of Fielding, Philip Beard uses baseball as a lens to view love and loss. Swing is a generous, heartfelt novel filled with imperfect characters worth loving, and a valentine to Pittsburgh and the great Pirate teams of Maz and Clemente.” –Stewart O’Nan, award-winning author of Faithful and Emily Alone Picked this up at the library solely because I was drawn to the cover photo. When I discovered that it featured the 1971 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pir [...]


    6. I bought this book from book bub just a few days ago. I read the reviews and the star rating. I thought it might be a good book for my book club. The club is an unusual group with taste in genre from pillar to post. In one of the reviews it was said if you liked the art of fielding you would like this book. We read that book and all liked it so I jumped in this book hoping to recommend it to the group. Well I couldn't put it down. I loved the way the characters were developed the story just suck [...]


    7. A must read if you like baseball or Pittsburgh or novels about complex, contemporary family relationships. Swing is an intricately structured novel that explores love, guilt and forgiveness written by the talented author of Dear Zoey. Beard is a keen observer of people which translates into main characters who feel real, as though you just might know them--or even be them. The characters are flawed but yet admirable. The setting is grounded with the history of the city (particularly the Pirates) [...]


    8. Bought it because Book Bub had it on sale for 99 cents and it was compared to The Art of Fielding. I liked it better than "Art", both were about loss and family , with heavy doses of baseball. What made this one special for me was it said about commitment to family. Beard can wax sentimental but most of the time he leaves no stones unturned examining the disappointments broken promises and slights that can make family life hard. But like a good Springsteen song in the end your commitments are wo [...]


    9. This is a serious novel about life and loss, with fully-realized characters and a plot that alternates between past and present. In addition to the two sets of children in the alternating stories, and the two sets of adults, the novel includes baseball. Specifically, the 1971 World Series between the favored Baltimore Orioles and the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates. But you don't have to know baseball at all to appreciate this book.


    10. This book was a fantastic love letter to the Pirates, the city of Pittsburgh and people that are wandering through adulthood, facing problems and dealing with the past. I LOVED the writing style, the characters, the mood and the journey back in time to when I would to attend Pirate games with my parents and grandparents. The story is gentle, yet gripping and yes, I cried at the end. A short, wonderful read that will stay with me and that I will recommend over, and over.


    11. well written storyen again I am a sucker for any baseball story especially about the Piratesew up during that time and I still have my complete collection of the ARCO headshots he mentions in the book!!! Also had the pleasure of hearing the author speak at our local library!! It was a most enjoyable evening!!!


    12. Wonderful! I've been reading all summer, and it's not over yet, but I think this is the best of the entire list. What a perfect story! The writing reminds me of that done by the other Pittsburgh writer, Stewart O'Nan. This family story set mainly in the summer of 1971 gives indelible characters a memorable narrative. When I say that I wished it would not end, it is not a cliche. Read it.


    13. It's a baseball story; it's a tale of academia. It's a coming of age tale; it's a family crisis tale. It's filled with nostalgia for a time gone by, and the need to apply the lessons of the past to life today. A fine life affirming book.



    14. Real Bestseller quality.Philip Beard's novel is thought-provoking and captivating. This is a wonderful book. Highly recommended. Deserve's a spot on everyone's "need to read" list.


    15. Top ten bookI'm not one to post reviews. This book has an excellent story, pacing, characters, and writing. It is a real gem. Highly recommended!



    16. This is one helluva a book and should appeal to a wide variety of readers. I strongly recommend making this your next read.


    17. Thanks Sports Illustrated Without SI, I never would have stumbled upon this tidy tale of a young boy, his family and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Buy this book. You won't be sorry.


    18. Swing is a gem of a read whether you are a baseball fan or not. Told in alternating narratives in 1971 and present day, Swing tells the story of Henry Graham’s friendship with John Kostka, a legless Korean War veteran he meets on the bus as he’s heading to a Pirates game in 1971 when he is just 10 years old, and Henry’s present self who gets an invitation to John’s funeral. As was the case in his previous novels, Dear Zoe and Lost in the Garden, Beard is a master at character, dialogue, [...]


    19. Great read. If you are a Pirates fan, a Roberto Clemente fan, and Pittsburgh born and raised, you will enjoy Mr. Beard's story. The character of John was well-written. I remember seeing the real "John" often when I worked in downtown Pittsburgh.


    20. Wonderful book! I didn't think I would like it at first since I don't like sports, but I was pleasantly surprised!


    21. You know, while rating this book I was initially going to give it 3 stars, but that wouldn't be fair considering that I read it pretty quickly, for me anyway. I remembered all the characters names, which I don't usually and I found myself wondering where it was going and how it would wrap up, so I guess I really liked it.The story takes place in the past and present, but focuses on the Pittsburgh Pirates' 1971 World Series -winning season and how it brought together an unlikely pair, both doing [...]


    22. It is a self-published book. I was directed to it from Bookbub. I love baseball and started as the SF Giants were in the playoffs and ultimately won the World Series. I could feel the excitement the characters had for their Pirate team. The back and forth narrative--present/past was at time hard to follow at times, however always caught up with the story, so it was not too distracting. Towards the end all sorts of other sub-plots came in to play and at times had myself wondering where they came [...]


    23. I really liked this book. The story line is well planned and written. There were a couple of what I would call short R-rated sections, but if you can overlook those (they are not lengthy) you would enjoy this one. I especially liked that it took place in Pittsburgh during the 1971 World Series with the Pirates. Being married to a Pirate fan, and it taking place during the time frame when we were dating, I felt a special connection. Although the baseball events were integral to the story, anyone [...]


    24. I loved this book so much. I won a copy from the author Philip Beard. Swing was a hidden gem of a surprise in the often more readily available current bestsellers. Although the story is centered around the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, it is about the swinging pendulum of the crazy life we all live. How life can turn on a dime deeply affecting our person, soul and the character we develop along the way. I really connected with all the characters in this book - right down to Franny the dog and Freddie [...]


    25. The 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates winning season is the backdrop for this story that is more about the people outside the Pirates than the game. Second to the Pirates is John Kostka, an amputee with no legs and his interplay and influence on 10 year old Henry Graham and his family. Filled with equal parts tears and laughter it is a very pleasant read. I had the pleasure of taking a week long writing class from the author a few years ago and heard him speak about his inspiration for this book.


    26. Well written story that had the added charm for me of reminding me of every day places in Pittsburgh during the '70's such as Otto's Shoes & Laura Lanes Bowling. I especially liked hearing about Bob Prince & that era of the Pirates. I enjoyed the connections & sensitive development of the characters. John is a memorable, likable fellow with a complicated story that is learned by young Henry as we also see Henry struggle and grow as a boy and later as an adult.


    27. I started reading this book because I didn't have anything else to read. It didn't grab me right off the bat, and even as I kept reading I wasn't sure what I thought about it. But halfway through, I was hooked. The characters held me, and I wanted to know how their stories would unfold. This is a sweet story about life and people, and I really enjoyed it.


    28. *Spoiler Alerts* Well written read of family dynamics and friendship. As a boy looses his father to divorce, he gains a friend who helps him deal with the loss. As an adult, his own family dynamic is threatened by infidelity, illness and job loss. How the characters come to terms with old and new issues unfolds beautifully and realistically in this terrific story.


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