Packed with adventure and deep emotions, too, W. P. Kinsella's story collection The Adventures of Slugger McBattis a rich collage of stories, many of which take place on or around the baseball diamond. This collection isn't just for baseball fans, however. Listeners will be taken with Norman Dietz's performance of these often wacky tales. Dietz is great at bringing these stories to life with his animated and accessible narration. Even more impressive is his ability to still remain faithful to the more melancholy emotions that sometimes deepen Kinsella's fantastic baseball stories.
Probably no one uses baseball as metaphor better than Kinsella. The stories in this collection range in tone from zaniness to pathos. It's hard to choose a favorite story: maybe the bizarre "Reports Concerning the Death of the Seattle Albatross Are Somewhat Exaggerated", about a mascot from outer space who really looks like a bird. Or the title story, about childhood innocence violated. Or the touching "Valley of the Schmoon", told by a man who has lost everything without having the faintest idea why. Or "K-Mart", about the betrayals and losses in growing up, trying to restore life as it should be and was in boyhood baseball days.