Paradise Oval

. . .and other Tallman Tales

by Thomas Porky McDonald



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 7/2/2002

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 180
ISBN : 9780759699908

About the Book

The first collection of short stories released by Thomas Porky McDonald, Paradise Oval spans the worlds of baseball, mass transit and a number of other venues that the otherwise rambling poet has drifted through. Brought to life in three distinct sections, the characters that roam through the pages of McDonald's sometimes longing narratives seem connected only in their divergent quests for faith and loyalties.

In "A Subtle Reunion", a young man faces up pensively with his whispering past, while tales like "Always Identities", "Equidistant" and "Paradise Oval" each trek the terrain of where one might have been and how that might shape where we choose to go in the future. In addition, the caustic sportscaster Chauncey McGee and the genuine observer Riley O'Reilly are memorable characters that McDonald summonses to give you pause for thought, while also bringing a grin to the face or a sigh to the heart. On each occasion, different aspects of baseball and/or the ballpark are cited to stress a point.

A half dozen tales explore some of the intricacies of a large metropolitan transit system, drawn from almost two decades of experience in that most public sector. Internal stories, such as "When We Musketeered", "Tales of Odie" and "Three Months in a Blender" are nonetheless balanced with the roads that we all might encounter, beyond the workplace. "A Moment in Malverne", set in the smallest of towns, questions the meanings of life and death, and the fact-based "Two Words of Christmas " gives a positive spin on relations among all men and women.

A collage of life tales closes the volume, with such diverse characters as the mysterious former high school buddy Mo Oh and the sly and calculating thief Frankie Jingo leading the way. Along the way, "A Stop Far Away" and "A Seat of Honor" recall McDonald's childhood vibrantly. The manic "Beyond the Forbidden Zone" offers up a most amusing take on the world just around the one that defined the writer's New York City upbringing. Throughout, Paradise Oval takes the reader to places they may not have been, but may well choose to return to again and again.

About the Author

Thomas Porky McDonald is a poet and writer whose use of the world of baseball as a setting for a number of his hopeful characters has remained true for over a decade. Through poetry, reflective analysis and his unique "Tallman Tales", McDonald chooses to focus on the positive that can be found in life, as opposed to the much easier acknowledgment of the negative. His initial releases, An Irishman’s Tribute to the Negro Leagues and Over the Shoulder and Plant on One: An Irishman’s Tribute to Willie Mays, each contained a number of short stories, but Paradise Oval...and other Tallman Tales represents his first published volume of pure storytelling. The native of Astoria, Queens will also be releasing four poetry anthologies in the near future: Ground Pork: Poems 1989-1994, Downtown Revival: Poems 1994-1997, Closer to Rona: Poems 1997-1999 and the as yet incomplete Still Chuckin': Poems 1999-2002. A son of a Brooklyn Dodger fan and a lifetime supporter of the New York Mets, he currently works in Downtown Brooklyn, just a brief while from the former site of Ebbets Field. He believes this close proximity can claim at least part of all the writing he has done thus far, or will do in the future.