Friday, February 2, 2018

Book Review: 'Eagles and Hawks and Also People As Well' by Frank Marcopolos

Texas author Frank Marcopolos has gathered fodder for innumerable tales in his career as a former U.S. paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and NCAA baseball player. But few could imagine that his skills in painting stories as fine as those in this volume EAGLES AND HAWKS AND ALSO PEOPLE could arise without considerable training in writing. His smaller (in number of words only!) stories have found presence in Broken Pencil magazine, The Urban Bizarre (anthology), The Whirligig, The Oracle, Scowlzine, among others and he has some awards on hand.

For readers who are devoted sports fans – especially baseball, as recently witnessed in the World Series – will immediately connect with this novel. The mind and pen belong to a man who knows this realm very well indeed. For readers for whom sports is white noise on television screens interrupting social interaction or private moments for attention to other matters, be prepared to become involved in the world of camaraderie and highs and lows that sportsmen experience. Were Frank not so gifted a writer this story – well told though it most assuredly is – attention would flag after a few pages of on the field activity in the manner in which he opens this novel.

But the plot synopsis hurdles that bump well, so before comments, the outline reads – ‘Christian college baseball star Enzo Prinziatta's life is on track for greatness -- a promising career, an attractive girlfriend carrying his baby, and endorsements lined up for miles. But when a long-held secret is revealed about his idolized, late father -- shaking the very foundation of his faith -- how will Enzo prevent his life from going completely off the rails?’

And it is the interaction of ‘also people as well’ that makes this story about the rites and rituals, the eccentricities of friendships tested, the coming to grips with manhood in a sort of ‘coming of age a bit later than puberty’ trials, dreams and realities that makes this ‘sports novel’ sing.

Frank Marcopolos is major force in contemporary literature, up there with the best of our serious writers today. Think Eco, Durrell, Fowles, Auster, Calvino, Vonnegut....Grady Harp, November 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.