Author(s): Steve KlugerDownload
A contemporary American classic—a poignant and hilarious tale of baseball, hero worship, eccentric behavior, and unlikely friendshipLast Days of Summer is the story of Joey Margolis, neighborhood punching bag, growing up goofy and mostly fatherless in Brooklyn in the early 1940s. A boy looking for a hero, Joey decides to latch on to Charlie Banks, the all-star third basemen for the New York Giants. But Joey’s chosen champion doesn’t exactly welcome the extreme attention of a persistent young fan with an overactive imagination. Then again, this strange, needy kid might be exactly what Banks needs.
Some Reviews: 800 in Goodreads.com
This book is amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
I laughed out LOUD, really, I had to pay attention who were near me while reading it.
And at 94% I just HAD to STOP to read. I was at work, and I knew there were no way I can go through the last 6 % reading it in public. The first thing I did when I came home today, I read the last 6% and I cried. I am a mess now. Maybe I’ll write some day a proper review, but from my experience I know that I am not able to write a review for a book that touched me in this way. No reviews can do it justice.
All I can say, READ THIS BOOK. If you’re Jewish or Protestant, READ THIS BOOK, if you love baseball, READ THIS BOOK. If you DON’T LIKE kids in your books, read it. If you enjoy historical fiction, don’t miss it. If you are parents, lovers, friends, READ IT. If you want a book that makes you laugh out loud and makes you cry, READ THIS BOOK.
My Charlie Banks, New York Giants third baseman
Joey Margolis, a twelve year old Jewish boy
I LOVE this book so much.
Reading Challenge 2017 – 3. A book of letters.
Frankly, I was skeptical when I picked this up but went in with high hopes given positive reviews. At a glance through the pages, I wasn’t sure I wanted to jump in. I felt like a series of letters and news clippings was going to take away from a cohesive narrative, and I wasn’t sure about a story of a kid writing to a baseball player… Really– where could it possibly go?
Within just a couple of pages, I was hooked. The characters are real and compelling. It was laugh out loud funny (I got looks when I was reading in public), and also brought me to tears– something that very few books have been able to do in recent years. The characters arc so seamlessly and naturally that it’s hard to believe where they started. Truly a book that was hard to put down at night that went beyond just action and story… I resided in the world with the characters.
Epistolary novels are hard to pull off. By ditching conventional plot structure, the writer focuses all the attention on his characters. If the writer doesn’t get the voices just right, readers lose interest in the story being told.
Luckily, Kluger is dead solid perfect in The Last Days of Summer. Whether we’re hearing precocious 12 year-old Joey Margolis or irascible New York Giants third baseman Charlie Banks or even any of the myriad other voices we’re a party to, it just sounds right, and consequently we buy the story. Once we’re bought in, occurrences that should seem far-fetched become possible, as they do when you’re listening to a really good storyteller.
There’s a lot of humor here, but there’s more, too, as you would expect in a book dealing with a young boy’s coming of age and set during wartime. It’s a short book, and it reads really quickly, making it a great summer read.
I just stumbled on this in the library, and saw it’s in a unique form (letters and such), which I’m loving lately. I just learned this is called an “epistolary novel” and stealing from a review below, I know why I am so drawn to this format. “…are hard to pull off. By ditching conventional plot structure, the writer focuses all the attention on his characters.” As I’ve said before, I’ll pick good characters over a good plot if I have to choose. So I guess when the focus is totally on that, I get hooked. More to come…I’m about 1/3 in, and am struggling just a tad. It’s just a very different style of conversation (because it’s a little boy and baseball player in 1940) and sometimes I’m not 100% following the conversation. But I like them both enough already to keep truckin. I feel bad for Joey, as he was dealt a bad hand in many ways. And I’m fascinated by Charlie and how he keeps writing back…
Wow, this might just be an all time favorite book. I really did have many LOL moments, but then at the end I was bawling. I knew what was going to happen and I didn’t want to finish reading. But I did, and the end was good in spite of what happened. This really was a great book that just jumped in my lap.
I wondered if The Last Days of Summer would hold up to a second reading. As I wipe away the tears I realize it has. For me this is book is an old friend I will revisit every few years.
The Last Days of Summer is written in epistolary style and could be a quick read on the surface but it’s one to savor.
Joey Margolis is a 12 year old growing up in Brooklyn in the 40’s. He’s trying to figure out how to navigate the recent changes in his life and has an incredible imagination only surpassed by his unfailing dedication to reaching his goals. He focuses his attention and imagination on the 3rd Baseman for the NY Giants – Charlie Banks and from there the antics ensue.
This book isn’t for everyone I’m sure, but it hit all of my sweet spots! New York, World War II, Coming of Age, friendship, loyalty and love.
If you’re looking for a great Summer read, this is it. To quote Joey’s irascible Aunt Carrie – if you don’t read this book “let it be on your head”.