Double Play: A Novel Audiobook | Robert B. Parker | Audible.com
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Double Play: A Novel | [Robert B. Parker]

Double Play: A Novel

It is 1947, the year Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball's color barrier by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers and changes the world. This is the story of that season, as told through the eyes of a difficult, brooding, and wounded man named Joseph Burke. Burke is hired to guard Robinson. While Burke shadows Robinson, a man of tremendous strength and character suddenly thrust into the media spotlight, the bodyguard must also face some hard truths of his own.
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Publisher's Summary

It is 1947, the year Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball's color barrier by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers and changes the world. This is the story of that season, as told through the eyes of a difficult, brooding, and wounded man named Joseph Burke. Burke, a veteran of World War II and a survivor of Guadalcanal, is hired by Brooklyn Dodgers President and General Manager Branch Rickey to guard Robinson. While Burke shadows Robinson, a man of tremendous strength and character suddenly thrust into the media spotlight, the bodyguard must also face some hard truths of his own, in a world where the wrong associations can prove fatal.

A brilliant novel about a very real man, Double Play is a triumph: ingeniously crafted, rich with period detail, and resounding with the themes familiar to Parker's readers: honor, duty, responsibility, and redemption.

©2004 Robert B. Parker; (P)2005 Phoenix Audio

What the Critics Say

"This should be required reading for all aspiring storytellers....A masterful recreation of a turbulent era that's not only a great and gripping crime novel but also one of the most evocative baseball novels ever written." (Publishers Weekly)
"Deeply felt and intimately told....Fusing this chapter of sports history with a hard-boiled gangster plot and haunting recollections of his own Boston boyhood, Parker fashions a hugely entertaining fiction..." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A grand-slam combination of adventure, mystery, and sports, and an evocative but unsentimental memoir." (Forbes)
"If you only read his Spenser novels, it's easy to forget how versatile Parker can be. This story...reminded me." (Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (112 )
5 star
 (32)
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 (48)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
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4.3 (19 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
4.2 (19 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Deborah shallotte, NC, United States 08-25-06
    Deborah shallotte, NC, United States 08-25-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Narrator Makes the Difference"

    I read this book several years ago when I first began my "Robert Parker Phase." I'm a baseball fan, so I of course enjoyed the book but it wasn't really a WOW or "this is great book" kind of book.

    Robert Forster's narration absolutely makes this book both wow and great. He catches the malaise of the character in just the right way. There is almost a delayed reaction in the reading, just as if Burke was too tired and too unattached to answer. Parker's books are 99% dialogue, with a lot of he saids and she saids. You don't even notice them because the narrator does such a fine job of dropping his voice down after he says the meat of the sentence, and often even attaches emotions to the he saids and she saids.

    I grew up in Mississippi before civil rights. It was very painful to hear some of the language spoken because my father talked like that as a matter of course. He was born in Selma, Alabama in 1918 and I like to think he didn't know any better, but that's no excuse. I cannot imagine the confidence and security Robinson must have possessed to put himself through what this books hints at what he must have experienced.

    This book is not even five hours, and it was over way too quick. I plan to listen to it many times.

    This is a character study of two very different people, but both with an honor that can't be disputed.

    Five stars, yes, five.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-10-04
    06-10-04 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Baseball Lover"

    This is a story of Parker's love of baseball set around the story of Jackie Robinson.

    It put you right in the time, and has enough interesting charcters, and a good story.

    I loved it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Woodside, CA, United States 07-02-12
    Anne Woodside, CA, United States 07-02-12 Member Since 2009
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    "engrossing tale of a different era in sports"

    Robert Parker's Spenser novels have been a favorite of mine, as have the narrators, particularly Joe Mantegna, who manages to convey the humor of the hero as well as his strength and heart. Robert Forster does a fine job here, but Burke, the hero of this tale is a damaged human being, physically and emotionally, and there is little warmth and infrequent humor to be found in Parker's habitual terse prose. Once in a while you become aware that the short sentences and Forster's matter-of-fact delivery - perfectly rendered and appropriate - becomes almost comical, like a send-up of the style. The violence described is a bit more intense than I'd expected, and Burke's relationships with women are, from a woman's point of view, equally intense, terse, and a bit incomprehensible. But there is a very sort of film noir atmosphere throughout, making it a compelling listen, and Burke's (fictional) growing relationship with Jackie Robinson, who comes out of the story as a truly remarkable hero, is great stuff, and there is a lot of fine historical and baseball procedural detail that makes this an informative listen as well as an entertaining one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 08-24-09
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 08-24-09 Member Since 2007
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    Performance
    Story
    "said, said, said and said"

    This is not a bad little story and Robert Forster certainly does a great job narrating.

    It's the "saids" that get me. I first noticed it in Parker's Spencer novels and I was hoping he didn't keep it up in other books. But he does.

    Dialogue becomes tedious and a little like fingernails on a blackboard because each sentence ends in "he said" or "so&so said".

    I know print journalists are foresworn to always use "said" but in the audio format, well, it's painful.

    Could someone at Audio please tell the audio producers/authors or decision makers to pull the plug on "saids". If Forster had left out 50% of them the book would have worked. If he had left out 90% of them, I would have given a couple more stars

    However, the story is a great format for talking about race relations (or the lack thereof) in the 40s-50s.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark S. Traub Westchester, NY USA 04-04-07
    Mark S. Traub Westchester, NY USA 04-04-07 Member Since 2005

    Mark T

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Celebrate Robinson's 60th"

    Robert Forster's fabulous reading of this evocative book makes it truly one of the greatest audiobook experiences I've ever had. It is especially appropriate to listen this year, the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's entrance into major league baseball. The characters are well-drawn, the story gripping and inspirational. This works for fans of baseball, mystery AND civil rights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 06-18-06
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 06-18-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Something different from Parker"

    It seems that one is either of fan of this guy's writing or not -- judging by other reviews. I am a fan.

    This is not a part of any series -- no comfortably familiar characters. But, the writing is excellent -- if you like Parker's most dry style. The "he saids, she saids" are part of this extremely dry style and are excellently read by the narrator.

    It's a wee bit slow to get started, so give it a chance if you like Parker -- it's worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 12-30-06
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 12-30-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Not the Best"

    This was not the best choice I have ever made. I had hoped for alittle more of a sports story and got a gangster story instead. But it was parading as a love story, and lost. Don't waste your credit or money.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Bronx, NY, United States 09-17-07
    Jennifer Bronx, NY, United States 09-17-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Enjoyable listen!"

    This book had romance, action and suspense. The story was engaging and the characters well developed. Will get more books by this author as a result!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jody R. Nathan Tulsa, OK USA 06-03-04
    Jody R. Nathan Tulsa, OK USA 06-03-04 Member Since 2002
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    "Dull and predictable"

    The protagonist was seriously wounded in the war; and the war caused him to block his emotions. The narrator takes this to heart by delivering the story in monotones. He gets back to the states, physically heals, and ends up as Jackie Robinson's bodyguard. In between this story are the author's memories of growing up with baseball. Or, at least, that's what I think those were. At least there was some emotion in that part. Didn't like the main characters; didn't really care what happened to them; did like Jackie Robinson, but he was more a setting than a character. The best thing I can say about this book is that its pretty short.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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