Handsome and charmingly shy, Ricky Fontana may be the greatest ballplayer who ever lived. Hitting a baseball has always come easy for the New York Mets outfielder—his true challenge comes when skyrocketing fame threatens to reveal his deepest secret: Ricky Fontana is gay.
Jeremy Rusch, a tabloid sportswriter hardened by drink and disappointment, follows Ricky Fontana as the young champ aims to break one of baseball’s most treasured records: the 56-game hitting streak that immortalized Joe DiMaggio in 1941. As a rapt nation watches Fontana lash hit after hit, creeping toward DiMaggio’s impossible number, the idol of the sports pages becomes an American hero. From the White House to Hollywood, everyone wants to shake hands with Ricky Fontana. And it doesn’t take long for his carefully guarded secret to come to light—thanks to a front-page exposé by Jeremy Rusch.
When he discovers Ricky’s secret, Rusch envisions recognition to rival that of his idol. The reporter’s obsession creates a national furor, turning one baseball summer into a season that nobody can ignore.
“While baseball stories have been told for more than a century, Fontana is an original… Martino dazzles with his use of language, of scene-setting and description in his debut novel.”
–The Adirondack Review
“[I]lluminating and beautifully written.”
“Think of Fontana as a modern-day Death in Venice on the baseball diamond. …. Fontana is well-written and very affecting and arouses a visceral reaction.”
“”Crisply written and well-paced, Fontana has a reckless, threatening atmosphere as if the whole thing might explode at any minute… Martino drives this story with relentless determination.”
–Out in Print
“[D]etailed and entertaining… impressive debut novel.”
–The EDGE Network
“Fontana is a brilliant book… luminous and powerful… it made me angry and it made me cry, and it’s been some time since I’ve read a book that engendered such a strong emotional reaction in me.”
–The Novel Approach
“I recommend this well-written book… Five stars out of five.”
–Bob Lind, Echo magazine
“Fontana is a beautifully written and moving story … This thought-provoking novel should be on everyone’s must-read list.”
–Book Reviews and More By Kathy
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