Book Detail

Away Game


An exploration of the often-fraught relationship between fathers and sons is at the heart of Bob Levin’s baseball-themed novel Away Game.

It’s the story of Hank Bauman who, through the magic of an old baseball board game, is transported from the present to 1955, to Game 7 of the Yankees-Dodgers World Series where his father rooted on his beloved Dodgers – before his accidental death later that day, when Hank was two years old. Or so the story goes. The reality turns out to be very different, and Hank sets off through the 1960s to track down his runaway father, who’s threatened for real this time.

Set largely in Middle America in the mid-1960s – as racial tensions and the Vietnam War are starting to unsettle the country – Away Game is about blacks and whites, past and present, love and longing, about the curious bonds of family despite decades of separation – about baseball as common ground.

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Additional information

Weight .465 kg
Dimensions 25.4 x 19.5 x 1.9 cm

3 reviews for Away Game

  1. Bob Levin’s Away Game is pure magic, a delightful, poetic, surprising and profoundly satisfying examination of the summer game and the complicated relationships between fathers and sons. This deserves to stand among the greatest in sports literature – a home run from the first swing of the bat to the last touch of the keyboard.

    Roy MacGregor, author

  2. Globe and Mail article, September 30, 2016. Away Game: The Bums are back, and a dead dad reappears


    Going back in time is not possible─at least not yet─but in Away Game, Bob Levin manages to make it sound quite credible. The story is a bonus for fans of baseball trivia, but it’s not necessary to appreciate the sport to enjoy this well-written novel.

    Sixty-year-old Hank Bauman, still mourning his wife’s passing, is cleaning out the attic of his ninety-one-year old ailing mother, when he flicks the dusty spinner on his old All-Star Baseball Game.

    Today’s fantasy baseball has nothing on what happens next: Bauman is transported back to October 4, 1955 and into Yankee Stadium where Game 7 of the World Series is being played between the Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers─after which his father, who is at the game, dies in an apartment fire.

    Or does he?

    That’s the story his mother told him. But while watching the fire, Bauman is certain he sees his father and a woman run out of the building and get into a taxi.

    He returns to the present; his mother’s home in Philadelphia; draws the truth out of her; then, using the magic in his board game, transports himself to Colton Creek, Ohio in the 1960s where his father is managing the town’s minor league baseball team.

    Levin acknowledges the influence of Stephen King’s 11/22/63, whose main character, on returning to a time prior to U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, wonders if he has the means to prevent it. As with King’s first-person narrator, Hank Bauman shifts back and forth between the present and the past, and having done some research in the present, has knowledge of an upcoming death in the past that he, too, would like to prevent.

    While this intriguing story is about an adult son’s quest to understand why his father walked out on the family, leaving his mother to raise a boy who was two years old at the time, it also delves into the probable complications that would come about if, in fact, it were actually possible to go back in time. Until he reveals who he is─and where he’s from─Bauman has to constantly guard against giving himself away. It’s a balancing act, and Levin does a masterful job enabling the reader to accept the adult son’s new relationship with his considerably younger father, as well as his complicated involvement with the story’s other, well-defined, characters.

    The ending is a surprise; believable, as long as we’re willing to accept the premise of time travel.

    I found Away Game to be a good read: entertaining and insightful.

    David Mulholland is the author of three novels of dramatized history: McNab (2006), DUEL (2009), and Chaudière Falls (2016).

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