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A Step Over the Edge: the Image of Sport in Thomas Klise's the Last Western

A Step Over the Edge: the Image of Sport in Thomas Klise's the Last Western


A Step Over the Edge: the Image of Sport in Thomas Klise's the Last Western SAGE Publications, Inc.1979DOI: 10.1177/019372357900300101 Richard C.Crepeau University of Central Florida Can a boy with red hair, slanted blue eyes, red-gold-black-brown skin, and an ethnic background that is American, Chinese, Mexican, Indian and Irish find a place in the sun in late-twentieth century society? Indeed he can. From his humble birth in the back of an abandoned school bus in Sandstorm, New Mexico, Willie will go on to be in turn a baseball superstar, a priest, Bishop of Houston and finally Pope. It is Willie's days as baseball superstar that will be the point of focus for this analysis of Thomas Klise's views on sport in his novel, The Last Western. In this penetrating piece of contemporary social analysis, Klise deals with a number of aspects of sport: its joys and sorrows, its symbols and rituals, and its corruptions. Set in the future The Last Western takes one step beyond the present madness, and the result is an intensification of the madness while retaining a disconcerting familiarity. The Last Western is not a story of Cowboys and Indians. When Willie was a young boy,
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