The Crowd Sounds Happy
A Story of Love and Madness in an American Family
By Nicholas Dawidoff
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375700071, 288pp.)
Publication Date: May 5, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Growing up in a doomed hometown with a missing father and a single mother, Nicholas Dawidoff listened to baseball every night on his bedside radio, the professional ballplayers gradually becoming the men in his life. A portrait of a childhood shaped by a stoical, enterprising mother, a disturbed, dangerous father, the private world of baseball, and the awkwardness of first love, The Crowd Sounds Happy is the moving tale of a spirited boy's coming-of-age in troubled times.
Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of three previous books. The Fly Swatter was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and In the Country of Country was named one of the greatest all-time works of travel literature by Conde Nast Traveler. He is also the editor of the Library of America’s Baseball: A Literary Anthology. A Guggenheim, Civitella Ranieri and Berlin Prize Fellow, he is currently the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University.
“A beautiful portrait of a wounded family.... The Crowd Sounds Happy is inquisitive and graceful.”—The New York Times“Marvelous.... Whether he’s regaling us with the biographies of the ‘75 Red Sox, describing rundown...New Haven and New York in the mid 1970s, or painting a heartbreakingly nuanced portrait of his relationship with his parents, you’ll simply want the story—his story—to continue on and on.” —Chicago Tribune“Evocative.... The crackle of Dawidoff’s writing and his unstinting...sensitivity make his...journey compelling.”—The Washington Post“Poignant and darkly funny.” —The New York Observer“Filled with so many passages of recognizable truth.” —The Nation "The Crowd Sounds Happy vividly captures the crosscurrents of a childhood at once unusually happy and unusually haunted. Dawidoff writes like an angel, and his memoir bids fair to join Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life on the short shelf of great books about American boyhood."—Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma"This beautiful book is like a sharp knife--painful, gleaming and utterly precise."—Joan Acocella, author of Twenty-eight Artists and Two Saints"A tender, exquisitely observed recollection of childhood, a failed and hurtful father, and hope."—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams"A father-son-baseball story like no other. Dawidoff limns the double life of adolescence so acutely that I found myself wincing at least once a paragraph. I devoured and savored this beautifully written book, even as it broke my heart."—George Howe Colt, author of The Big House"I've never read a memoir whose author has remained truer to his boyhood self. The young Dawidoff who loved Ted Williams, Elvis Costello, and Samuel Johnson has grown up to write like an original amalgam of all three, and the result is an intricately recollected, uncommonly frank self-portrait with something terrific on page after page."—Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections