|2020ok Directory of FREE Online Books and FREE eBooks|
You Know Me Al
by Ring Lardner
(Respecting the intellectual property of others is utmost important to us, we make every effort to make sure we only link to legitimate sites, such as those sites owned by authors and publishers. If you have any questions about these links, please contact us.)
In his day, Ring Lardner was a legendary humorist (a job-description he disavowed), and You Know Me Al shows why everyone loved him so. In the letters of Jack Keefe, a bush-league pitcher who finally gets his chance in the majors, Lardner shows not only a faultless ear, but also a keen eye for the amusing details of human folly. Keefe is no comical bumbler--he has talent--but also possesses astonishing naïvete, and a lack of self-awareness that is unerringly hilarious. The busher blames everyone but himself for his failures (a trait that Lardner uses to wonderful comic effect in the story "Alibi Ike"). Still, thanks to Keefe's mixture of hubris and puppy-dog trust, you want to see him come out all right.
Lardner--who played a role in breaking the infamous "Black Sox" scandal of 1919--wrote You Know Me Al while covering pro baseball in the teens; for baseball fans, the book is an intriguing glimpse into the past. Athletes haven't changed much, poor devils. They're just as funny as ever, only richer.
Nostalgic in its view of pre-World War I America--a time before the "live" ball, a time filled with names like Ty Cobb, Charles Comiskey, Walter Johnson, and Eddie Cicotte--this is not a simple period piece. It is about competition, about the ability to reason, and most of all it is about being human. First published in 1914, "You Know Me Al" says as much to us about ourselves today as it did seventy-five years ago.
Related Free eBooks