Sunday, April 17, 2011

21. The Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

"Joey Margolis is a mouthy Jewish kid growing up in Brooklyn. After one too many beatings from the neighborhood bullies, he claims NY Giants' 3rd baseman Charles Banks is his best friend. When he's pressured for proof, Joey writes to Banks to request a home run, starting a flurry of funny, emotionally authentic letters. The letter exchange - peppered by miscellaneous newspaper articles, report cards and psychiatrist's transcripts - continues over a period of seven years, chronicling Joey and Banks' tumultuous but fiercely devoted friendship. The unlikely pair crack jokes, poke fun, threaten, boss, cajole, confide, advise and offer support to one another as the two face extended tours, Bar Mitzvahs, first girlfriends, last girlfriends and absentee fathers.

It is not only Joey's coming of age that is revealed in their notes, but Banks' too. Yeah, there's some baseball talk, but although the sport is what brings the characters together, it's still secondary to the sincere, funny, totally believable relationship between a boy and his reluctant hero."  axisgrid
I loved this book, enough to use someone else's review because it said what I wanted to say so well.  I love the letter, ephemera, clippings, etc format.  It made the book a quick read but let you see into the characters minds so well.  And Joey, Charlie and the rest of the cast are fantastic characters.  The humor is wonderful and the story, heartwarming.  Definitely a keeper which I highly recommend.  Rating:  5


  1. I loved this book, too! It's one of my all time favorites. There was one scene that I laughed until I had tears rolling down my cheeks.

  2. I really liked My Most Excellent Year by him, but that is all my library has. :(