IF I NEVER GET BACK: A NOVEL. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., . Octavo, cloth-backed boards. First edition. "... a modern-day San Francisco journalist named Sam Fowler steps off an Amtrak train and finds himself in 1869. He joins the Cincinnati Red Stockings baseball team, meets Mark Twain, and falls in love with a woman of the times" (Wikipedia). "This highly entertaining, inherently cinematic debut blends two genres, the baseball story and the time-travel fantasy, that have been more at home on screen than on the page. The author wastes no time in establishing (or explaining) his premise; mere pages into the first chapter, Sam Fowler, a discontented journalist whose family life has disintegrated, steps off Amtrak and into 1869. Before he can get his bearings, he's a member of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, witnessing baseball in its infancy with an unbeatable team. Brock steeps his story in period detail, from the smell of kerosene in a railroad car to a daring 'leg show'' in old New York, and devotes long passages to early baseball lore ... Throw in a century-spanning romance, nefarious gamblers and a cameo by Mark Twain, and the result is a winning fable about dreaming away reality that is both hokey and irresistible" (Publishers Weekly). The New York Times said the book "takes the reader out to the old ball game with great charm," while the Los Angeles Times called it "the wildest and most satisfying yarn since W. P. Kinsella's SHOELESS JOE." The author's first novel. Brock published a sequel in 2002, TWO IN THE FIELD, in which Sam Fowler goes back in time again, to 1875. Tiny remainder dot on bottom edge of text block, else a fine copy in fine dust jacket. (#169595).
"10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 / First Edition" on copyright page.