Havana Heat


Havana Heat

A Novel

Darryl Brock
With a new afterword by the author

322 pages


March 2011


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

A former star hurler for John McGraw’s brawling Giants, Luther “Dummy” Taylor was also one of Major League Baseball’s first deaf players. Havana Heat follows Taylor’s life and fortunes when, after a strong season in the bushes in 1911, he comes to believe that he has one last shot at returning to his old dream.
He works his thirty-six-year-old arm into shape by pitching to his brother in the evenings and, after wrestling with the decision to leave his wife to pursue his dream, becomes determined to hunt down McGraw and ask for another chance.
Allowed to accompany the Giants on a barnstorming trip to Cuba, Taylor gets far more than he has bargained for as he faces the renowned Havana teams and a profound challenge thrust upon him by a deaf Cuban youngster. During quieter moments in the trip’s turbulent course, Taylor takes a long look at his career, his marriage, and his life. As he meets unexpected trials on the island, Taylor gains insight into what he can still offer the world besides his pitching arm.

Author Bio

Darryl Brock authored the highly acclaimed novel If I Never Get Back, as well as articles on Mark Twain, baseball, and other subjects in numerous publications. Havana Heat won the Dave Moore Award for the most important book on baseball in 2000. Brock lives with his wife and daughter in Berkeley, California.


“Only Darryl Brock would attempt a narrative told by a character who can neither speak nor hear. From this blank slate, a tale of color and noise emerges in Havana Heat, fresh and naive, primitive, uplifting, and finally bittersweet. Just as in If I Never Get Back, I was drawn effortlessly into the historical setting and lives of the characters. What’s more, the baseball writing is on the money.”—Larry Dierker

“A rewarding slice of baseball and American history.”—Library Journal

“Brock is one of the finest baseball fiction writers around, lucidly rendering the passions, disappointments, and excitement of the sport while capturing the defining details of the era he depicts. . . . Brock’s re-creation of the John McGraw era in all its rough and tumble vestiges and period details is vivid and believable.”—Publishers Weekly

“A small gem. . . . [It] takes off when the Giants hit Cuba. The parades, the nightlife and, especially, the players’ peccadilloes and gambles move the story as fast as a no-hitter in June.”—USA Today

“Taylor, as imagined by Brock, is a unique, charming character, and the novel’s evocation of early-20th-century baseball, with its loose discipline and colorful players, is vivid and convincing.”—Sports Illustrated

“This is a good novel that just happens to be about baseball, and it deserves a wide audience.”—San Diego Union-Tribune

Table of Contents

[no TOC; 20 numbered chapters]
Part One: The Sign
Part Two: The Motion
Part Three: The Target
Part Four: The Delivery

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