One of the best narrative essays about a teenage boy’s love of baseball into his adulthood is Nicholas Dawidoff’s The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness, and Baseball. This is a story of a boy who loves baseball, misses his father and adores his single mother for making sacrifices in order to establish a better future for her children.
Highlights of how this young boy would listen to professional baseball players on the bedside radio every night are given in detail. Eventually, these people become the most significant men in the boy’s life. The Crowd Sounds Happy is an excellent example of what it means like to grow up to know a troubled, dangerous father. The events described are vividly definitive of the boy’s outlook on life: the local New York Mets playground, rock ‘n’ roll, a kidnapping and murder, the experiences of adolescence and the first love, and the private, steamy world of baseball.
Dawidoff takes the reader through his long of his childhood struggles in the moving memoir. He recounts how he was uprooted from Washington, D.C when he was aged three, relocating towards the north together with Sally, his sister, and their mother. They relocated to New Haven, Connecticut, ready to start a new life. The author takes the reader through the boy’s love affair with baseball. Initially, the boy fell in love with the New York Mets; later on, he switched his love towards Boston Red Sox.
Engaging in a national pastime is one of the things that gave Dawidoff the greatest sense of fulfillment in life. The pleasure of playing baseball seemed to ease the pain of growing up with a mentally ill father, who grew worse and unbearable to live with as time went. Many other struggles of his boyhood and devastating experiences, such as the death of Susi, his favorite aunt, are told in interestingly vivid detail. It is also fascinating to read through the fine details of Dawidoff’s ordeals at the hands of bullies, an experience that every boy has to go through at some point in life.
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