The Southpaw

The Southpaw is a story about coming of age in America by way of the baseball diamond Lefthander Henry Wiggen, six feet three, a hundred ninety five pounds, and the greatest pitcher going, grows to manhood in a right handed world From his small town beginnings to the top of the game, Henry finds out how hard it is to please his coach, his girl, and the sports page and hiThe Southpaw is a story about coming of age in America by way of the baseball diamond Lefthander Henry Wiggen, six feet three, a hundred ninety five pounds, and the greatest pitcher going, grows to manhood in a right handed world From his small town beginnings to the top of the game, Henry finds out how hard it is to please his coach, his girl, and the sports page and himself, too all at once Written in Henry s own words, this exuberant, funny novel follows his eccentric course from bush league to the World Series Although Mark Harris loves and writes tellingly about the pleasures of baseball, his primary subject has always been the human condition and the shifts of mortal men and women as they try to understand and survive what life has dealt them This new Bison Books edition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Southpaw In his introduction to this edition, Mark Harris discusses the genesis of the novel in his own life experience Also available in Bison Books editions are The Southpaw, It Looked Like For Ever, and A Ticket for a Seamstitch, the other three volumes in the Henry Wiggen series.
The Southpaw The Southpaw is a story about coming of age in America by way of the baseball diamond Lefthander Henry Wiggen six feet three a hundred ninety five pounds and the greatest pitcher going grows to ma

  • Title: The Southpaw
  • Author: Mark Harris
  • ISBN: 9780803273375
  • Page: 402
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Southpaw”

    1. This may not be great literature and some people may have problems with Wiggens using 1 instead of one , but he a baseball player writing with a #2 eagle pencil and for him it is harder work then pitching a 16 inning game in a long run for the flag. A careful reading of the title page may help. It is the story Henry Wiggen and his lifelong love of baseball. Growing up in Perkinsville NY where the train doesn't exactly stop ,just slows down. Henry lives and breaths baseball, he dreams of the day [...]

    2. being a big baseball fan, i'm always on the lookout for baseball literature. it wasn't until recently that i came across 'the southpaw,' but i'm sure glad i did. in an era where so many authors feel duty-bound to dazzle their readers with their million-dollar vocabularies, clever turns-of-phrase, and over-wrought use of simile and metaphor, and continual one-upmanship, 'the southpaw' is a literal breath of fresh air. it's a lot like 'to kill a mockingbird' in that often the deepest and most mean [...]

    3. I knew of Mark Harris, through the 70's movie Bang the Drum Slowly. The movie is based on the second book this series. The Southpaw the first of 4, is written as a memoir of a rookie phenom pitcher named Henry Wiggen and his first season as a pitcher, following his life from the bush leagues to the World Series. It was written in the 50's but thankfully it did not have any of the 'hero worship, and cliche' that many sports books from that era have. It is a credible story, and could have been wri [...]

    4. After reading "Bang the Drum Slowly" I thought I would give this book a shot. It is the first book in this series where we meet the "hero" and southpaw henry wiggen.While I liked this book for the great discription of the baseball scenes, it didn't get to the point until page 340 out of 350."Bang the Drum Slowly" is a superior book. I even enjoyed the movie, which is Robert DiNerno's first major role and what lead to him staring in Godfather II.

    5. The coming-of-age story of Henry Wiggen, southpaw extraordinaire, coming up through the minors to lead the Mammoths into the playoffs. You know, this was nothing at all special until the very end. It's an uber linear story with no real twists or complications, save for Henry's rickety back, until the final 15 pages, and the twists have nothing to do with the outcome of the baseball season. Henry has some sudden epiphanies as the season ends, and he basically decides that he will no longer take b [...]

    6. Daniel GotkowitzMs. ColeEnglish 2, Period 28 January 2015The Southpaw by Mark Harris: ReviewWe all know a superb baseball book is an excellent way to spend a Sunday night, right? Well, this book, The Southpaw, by Mark Harris is definitely worth every second you will sacrifice to read it. The Southpaw is a thrilling adventure through the protagonist, Henry Wiggen, who aspires to be a great baseball player. Through long days of hard work at the gas station to finding just a few extra hours to toss [...]

    7. Timing is everything, and picking up a book about the boys of summer just as summer was starting was the right time. Everyone should read this book, not just baseball fans. Mark Harris creates in Henry Wiggen a portrait of a 1950s hurler who shares in first person auto-biography style his rookie season with the New York Mammoths. Wiggen is an uneducated young man, and the prose is drafted in a style that matches the character. Often when writers attempt to do this they fail, straying between the [...]

    8. I 1st read this book when I was about 15-16 years old. It was about baseball. That's all I needed to know.Since that time, I've looked for this novel several times in different libraries. Never finding it until with my most recent library. It is part of a trilogy, with the more famous Bang the Drum Slowly being the more famous part of that trilogy. And, it has the reputation of being probably the most famous baseball trilogy in existence. For all I know, it might be the only baseball trilogy.At [...]

    9. Having picked up its more famous sequel Bang the Drum Slowly on sale, I got The Southpaw so I would know the background. Now I have no desire to read the sequel. This is supposedly serious fiction for baseball fans, though most commentary will tell you it is not about baseball at all. Perhaps not, but there is a lot of boring baseball in it (the recounting of baseball games ought not to be boring, but it is here). The non-baseball stuff is at least interesting at times but otherwise has almost n [...]

    10. A Bildungsroman (and it's always fun to get to use that word) about an uneducated baseball pitcher. Owes sizable debts to Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye--it was published only a couple of years after the latter--and like those novels, its strength is in the quirky, vivid language of the first-person narrator. Followed shortly by two other Henry Wiggen novels, then decades later by a fourth, and I expect I'll reread the other three over the next three years. The second Wiggen novel, [...]

    11. I would say that you really have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this book. It is an older book (1953) and written very cleverly with the young left-handed pitcher Henry Wiggen telling his story. Henry has only a high school education but learns a lot about life, love, and baseball during his first year as a major league baseball player with the fictional New York Mammoths. Spelling and grammar are set aside in Henry's narrative. I loved it, but there are many detailed descriptions of the nuances [...]

    12. I'm not a sports fan, but I like a good inspirational sports movie or book now and then. I listened to THE SOUTHPAW on tape nearly 20 years ago (followed by Mark Harris's sequels BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY (made into a movie in 1973)and IT LOOKED LIKE FOREVER. It's a wonderful book told in first person narration by Henry Wiggen, a small-town baseball player who made it into the big leagues. Full of charm and humor. I loved it and would listen to it again if I can find it.

    13. While in the process of reading, "Bang the Drum Slowly" I learned that this book, "The Southpaw" was the first of the two books written by Mark Harris to tell the tale of Henry Wiggins. The Southpaw tells of his playing days as a young man (he made the major league when he was 20). It tells how his father, also a ballplayer, taught him the game and taught him how to pitch.The book is written as a book written by Wiggins. Most is enjoyable but some paragraphs were too day and it coat a star.

    14. This book, the first in the four-book series that ends with the great "Bang the Drum Slowly" is a very enjoyable piece of baseball fiction. It documents the rookie season of left-handed pitcher, Henry Wiggen and his coming of age as a baseball player and a man. It is narrated by Wiggen, the "author" of the book and is reminiscent of the writing of Ring Lardner. There are some lapses in baseball fundamentals but the overall quality of the writing makes it easy to suspend disbelief.

    15. I know only a little about baseball but enjoyed this mix of baseball and post World War II America very much. It's a simple undramatic tale with very real, likeable characters as told from the Huck Finn-like perspective of a dedicated young pitcher. A pleasant, upbeat story with a generous amount of humor.

    16. One of the best baseball books ever--the first of Harris' four stories about Henry "Author" Wiggins, left hand pitcher for the New York Mammoths. More a character study than a traditional sports books, it follows the green rookie Wiggin through a rookie season where he learns a lot about baseball and life. Beautiful written in a very simple, humble voice.

    17. Spring is a great time of year to read a good baseball novel, and this is a classic. I was worried that it would a bit hokey, based on the time period from when it was written. But that turned out not to be the case at all - it's a very honest novel, and describes the game beautifully. I will definitely be reading the other books in this series.

    18. Baseball time again! My grandfather had a great spitball, threw out his arm the night before tryouts for a major league team about 90 years ago! Perhaps that's why I tend to enjoy the sport, as do most others in my family. This book looks like a kinda sweet take on it, with enough real-world anchoring to suit me. This one and the next one (which was made into a film) would be fun to catch up on.

    19. A fun baseball novel from the 1950's, The Southpaw approaches its subject more critically than anything would until Ball Four. A tendency to get bogged down with the details of games is more than up for with great characters.

    20. I'm not at all sure I read this but the name Henry Wiggen sure rings a bell. If I did read it it must have been long ago. Date read is a guess. I just realized this: Henry Wiggen rings a bell because of the movie "Bang the Drum Slowly". Same author Did I read this book? Only a maybe now

    21. What a great book. Great baseball writing that combines nuances and numbers of baseball as well as the increasing maturity and knowledge of our young main character. Definitely looking forward to the 2nd book in the Henry Wiggen series, Bang the Drum Slowly.

    22. One of the best baseball books I've read which, OK, isn't actually saying much. I enjoyed it and it left me excited for summer. It turned a little depressing at the end, though, so I'll probably pass on the sequel although I've heard it's good if a bit more melancholy.

    23. A wonderful read, glad I finally got around to reading one of my Dad's favorites. Harris clearly has baseball knowledge which is the only way baseball fiction works. A must read for fans of baseball novels.

    24. I liked getting to know Henry Wiggen, and was sad to see him go by the end. And I liked learning all the slang, the pre-game pep talks, the play-by-plays, the camaraderie between the guys. It was really pretty good—solid characters, nice old-fashioned-y-ness.

    25. i am a huge baseball fan so i thought this book was awesome. it showed how much hard work and knowing the game helps you susceed.

    26. Probably closer to 3.5 stars. I liked the book and the story was very good.I guess it's the writing style that I didn't enjoy as much.

    27. Reread after many years. This finishes my reading/rereading of Harris's Wiggen series.I was just reminded that Harris was a university classmate of my late mother.

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