Book Review: Faith and Fear in Flushing

When I started this blog over 5 years ago (has it already been that long?) there were relatively few Mets related blogs around. The following year (2005) saw more blogs added to the roster and then things really took off to the point where as of this writing there are 56 active Mets related blogs in my links section (accessible by clicking “Links” in the tabbed box at the top of the sidebar). One of the blogs added in 2005 was Faith and Fear in Flushing, where Greg Prince and Jason Fry, two die hard Mets fans, muse about their favorite team. Prince’s posts benefit from the experience he has gained as a professional writer and his way above average memory of events throughout his life. As you begin reading he book you learn that this memory is particularly keen on events relating to the Mets. And by the time you finish you realize that all his memories relate to the Mets. These abilities and memories are now on display in convenient book form in the new book Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets (released in April).

faith-and-fear-in-flushingWhen I first heard about this book I was excited because I thought the blog angle would play a large role in it. As a blogger myself I always like to hear other bloggers discuss how they go about taking this thing they are passionate about (in this case the New York Mets) and apply it to blogging. How they take the events of a game and translate the events therein into a blog post. How they see what’s going on with the team and pick the things to comment on. How they apply their own personal experience and baseball philosophies to their team.

As it turns out the blog is barely mentioned but the book is not a let down by any means. In fact, it’s exactly what it claims to be: an intense personal history of the New York Mets from the vantage point of Greg Prince. From his childhood years in the late 60s and early 70’s through the last game at Shea Stadium, the book takes you through his life and how the Mets played a role in just about every relationship he’s had and decision he’s made.

It’s true! The book discusses how his relationship with his parents was shaped by his love of his team. How he met his brother-in-law, a one time concession stand vendor at Shea Stadium. How he met his wife at a Met game. The story of his mother’s sad death and how it relates to a stuffed dog named after former Mets shortstop Rafael Santana.

The first 20 pages or so are the most universal but probably the hardest for me to get through. This is where Prince more or less waxes philosophical about his team. As a Mets fan myself I understood everything he was saying but for some reason I found it a little hard to get through. After that, however, the book took off and overall was a pleasure to read.

On a scale of 1 to 5 (strikeout, single, double, triple, home run) this book was a triple (4) for me but a home run (5) with a few other Mets fans I’ve spoken with who have read it. If you are a big Mets fan then this book is not only for you, it’s probably about you.

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