Lyrical only gets at a piece of this luscious novel by the inimitable writer of all things sports, John H. Ritter. His first book, CHOOSING UP SIDES, and the follow up OVER THE WALL, added to THE BOY WHO SAVED BASEBALL were three fairly good indications that this man can write the heck out of a novel and blend in some fine baseball moves to boot. His latest offering literally sings with a clarion voice. Meet Andy Ramos, a skateboarding trumpet player whose band plays a fusion of music. Ansy takes his inspiration where he finds it. Sometimes the melodies are from the rush of skating or watching others on the board. Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of girl practicing her swing on the softball fields bear his Ocean Beach home. When Andy plays, Glory’s game goes from average to incredible. His music is her rhythm. His notes are her moves. And playing with Glory in the audience takes Andy to the next level as well. Surely, these two are meant to be together so they can feed off the other and master their art?
Ritter has more than a little fun with language in this poetic and musical novel about finding one’s talent, funneling one’s passion, and determining one’s priorities in life. Lots of puns about Ocean Beach and its inhabitants deliver the humor. Mix in some rhythms and beats from street culture, the music biz, plus a dash of magical realism and you have the perfect score for this novel whose voice cries out.
This was the book for my flight from Houston to Chicago, a flight delayed a bit by weather. I did not care one whit as I whiled away the time with Andy and Glory and the rest of the OBceans who populate this absorbing book.