Cover image for Magic time
Magic time
Kinsella, W. P.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Stillwater, MN : Voyageur Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
224 pages : portrait ; 21 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.2 10.0 67027.
Geographic Term:
Format :


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Magic Time is vintage Kinsella. It is a novel of hope and promise and baseball that becomes humorous, enchanting fiction.

Author Notes

William Patrick Kinsella was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on May 25, 1935. He received a bachelor of arts degree in creative writing at the University of Victoria in 1974 and a master of fine arts degree in English at the University of Iowa in 1978. Before becoming a full-time author, he was a professor of English at the University of Calgary.

During his lifetime, he wrote approximately 30 books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. His first collection of baseball stories, Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa, was published in 1980. In 1982, Kinsella expanded the stories into the novel Shoeless Joe, which was adapted into the 1989 movie Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner and Ray Liotta. Shoeless Joe won the Canadian Authors Association Prize, the Alberta Achievement Award, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship.

His other novels included The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, The Further Adventures of Slugger McBatt, The Alligator Report, The Miss Hobbema Pageant, Magic Time, If Wishes Were Horses, Butterfly Winter, and Russian Dolls. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993. He received the Order of British Columbia in 2005 and the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He died of a doctor-assisted death on September 16, 2016 at the age of 81.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Still dreaming of a major-league baseball career, Mike Houle signs on with Grand Mound, Iowa, of the semipro Cornbelt League. He lives with the Powell family and in the mornings works in Emmett Powell's insurance office; in the evenings, he sits on the porch with Emmett's daughter. The rhythms of small-town life are seductive, but something is wrong: the team only plays intrasquad games; somehow the real games keep being rescheduled. Numerous former players--recruited as Mike was--have married local girls and stayed on in Grand Mound. Gradually, it become clear to Mike that he was enticed to Grand Mound for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball. Kinsella, author of Shoeless Joe (1982), which was made into the movie Field of Dreams, once again paints a very attractive if idealized portrait of pastoral small-town life. It's as though Rod Serling borrowed Frank Capra's plot to create a Twilight Zone episode called "It Could Be A Wonderful Life." A sentimental but clear-eyed parable about how we make the choices in our lives. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Previously published in Canada and optioned for film by the producer of The Natural, this is a warmhearted, homespun novel by the award-winning author of 30 books including Shoeless Joe, which was made into the Academy Award-nominated Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams. When LSU's phenomenal second baseman Mike Houle turns down a signing bonus from the Montreal Expos in order to complete his senior year and graduate, his performance on the field declines, and he is passed over in the next draft. Desperate for another chance, he accepts his agent's offer to sharpen his skills, playing the next season for Grand Mound, Iowa, in the conspicuously anonymous semipro Cornbelt League. While the semipro circuit pays a modest salary plus room and board with a local sponsor, it also requires the players to work at regular day jobs, usually provided by the local businessmen sponsors. Mike soon discovers that the town is populated by former players who married local girls and stayed on to raise families, and it just so happens that his sponsor has a beautiful daughter. During the preseason, Mike falls for the girl, and the plot thickens when his widower dad comes to see him play and is invited to stay at the home of a comely widow. Is this paradise, or is it an all-too-comfortable prison? Feeling betrayed, Mike takes another offer, but soon finds that the grass is not always greener. This soft lob of a novel doesn't fly quite as high as the author's previous home-run hits, but satisfies with its endearing characters and baseball lore. (Nov.) Forecast: Kinsella's fans should respond well to this title, and if the promise of a film version is realized, look for even bigger sales later on. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved