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Monday, August 8, 2011

You Know Me Al: A Busher's Letters (audiobook) by Ring Lardner

Keefe's "voice" captured perfectly on this version of the audiobook
Ring Lardner (1885-1933)
Read by Barry Kraft
Duration: 3 hours.
Publisher: Book of the Road (August 1990)

You Know Me Al: A Busher's Letters consists of a series of rather detailed letters written by a bush-league ballplayer named Jack Keefe. Keefe has been called up from the Terre Haute team to join the Chicago White Sox. He is writing to one of his former bush-league teammates in Bedford, IN.

Keefe is truly a country bumpkin, a rube, a bumbling fool who does not understand the more sophisticated world of the major leagues, but who still succeeds based on the strength of his pitching arm. The reader gets a kick out of seeing the world through his eyes but really understanding the situations he is in, similar to Forrest Gump, except that Jack does not have a disability - he is just ignorant.

The audio version I heard (Book of the Road's version) is wonderfully performed by veteran Shakespearean actor Barry Kraft. Kraft captures his self-confidence, Hoosier country-boy accent and innocence perfectly. To me, he will forever be the voice of Jack Keefe.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: You Know Me Al: A Busher's Letters.

Reviewed on September 5, 2006.

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