Friday, May 29, 2009

METS BOOK REVIEW: Faith And Fear In Flushing: The Book

If you're a fan of Faith And Fear In Flushing: The Blog you've likely already picked up Faith And Fear In Flushing: The Book. Greg and Jason's blogsite has long been called "The Blog For Mets Fans Who Like To Read" so I guess it's only natural for the blog to become a book! The site's postings consistently articulate what Mets fans collectively are feeling at any given time. If you're a Mets fans you leave the site feeling validated and with a sense of camaraderie in your emotions. Greg Prince's book does exactly the same thing. Sometimes as Mets fans we feel like we're constantly having to explain our fandom. Some folks think we just choose to be contrarian. Yankees fans sometimes malign us for sticking with a faux-underdog. They don't get it. We're Mets Fans because we're Mets Fans, and I could spend a thousand pages trying to explain it but instead I'll just direct you to Greg's fine book for what must be the best articulation of what it's like to be a Mets fan between two hard covers.

The well-deserved positive reviews are pouring in, and if you haven't been convinced enough yet to purchase this tome, I'd like to list just a few of my favorite things about Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets

I finally have a mnemonic device to remember the name of the blog! I have a brain freeze when it comes to remembering the name of the site, and I all too often type it or remember it as "Fear And Faith In Flushing." Thankfully, the cover of the book gives me an associative device to remember it. Ray Knight is on the top half of the cover (Faith) and Aaron Heilman is on the bottom half (Fear). It is officially ingrained!

It's written by a blogger! If you're a blogger you can't help but feel like we were all published along with Greg Prince. Don't you just feel totally validated? And hey, if your significant other can't fathom why you would want to spend countless hours on the computer barking blogging at the moon, it is especially helpful to be able to hold up a real live book published by a real live publisher and say "See here, this book was written by a blogger! That could be me someday!" Or at least, "Hey, look here in the acknowledgments! This guy Dave Murray is a Mets blogger too! I could be named in an acknowledgments section someday!"

There's an entire chapter devoted to the 1997 Mets. 1997 was one of the most fun seasons for me as a fan of the Mets. Carlos Baerga, John Olerud, Matt Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo, and my all-time favorite manager Bobby Valentine made for one of the most gratifying seasons as a season can be without winning a damn thing, and I'm not the only one who remembers it as such!

The Afterword with Gary Cohen. Greg transcribes a conversation with Gary Cohen, and they talk about the closing of Shea Stadium, and if you didn't already believe that Gary was one of us, these few pages assert that we're all in this together. And that for me is what this book is all about. That sense of community among Mets fans, simultaneously optimistic and bitter, and always believing.

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