In forty-three pages, authors Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan in A Face in the Crowd complete a review of the life of Dean Evers. As with many reviews, there will be a final assessment. As with many reviews, the examination will be detailed and presented part by part. Dean did not even ask for the review; it began on its own.
Dean was an old man living alone in Florida, an unintended headquarters for old men living alone. This was somewhat amazing since the life expectancy of women is longer than that of women. Where is the headquarters of old women living alone? I digress. Dean had a friend, Kaz, and they got together occasionally for golf but more often their communication was by phone. Kaz and Dean had been friends since high school, had run together in either a pack or a gang. These days, in his later and last years, Dean’s friend was either a television or an occasional paperback novel. The television went together better with the beers that he liked to consume during a baseball game. A guy could get so engrossed in a paperback the beer would get warm. Television was better. The only thing annoying about the televised games were the people waving to get the attention of cameras. They took his attention away from the game.
So did the appearance of his dentist. A guy who really only used dentistry as an excuse to legitimately torture children, Dean couldn’t believe his childhood dentist was still alive. A Google search confirmed that he was not. So what was he doing sitting in some of the good seats behind the umpire? Still, it might have been the son of his childhood dentist.
But the appearance of his ex-business partner was not accompanied by doubt. Dean had gone to Leonard Wheeler’s funeral. Dean and Leonard had split up over a business disagreement and the split was not amicable. Dean had resorted to blackmail, threatening to reveal Leonard’s alternative lifestyle, in his bid to buy the partner out. Dean had a few misgivings about that. Was Leonard actually trying to say something to Dean through the television?
Lester Embree was an unfortunate memory for Dean, a teenager in high school with Dean who had committed suicide. Prior to the attempt, Lester had asked Dean to use his influence with Kaz and stop the bullying that was making his life intolerable. Dean saw no need to take responsibility for Lester’s problems. Instead, Dean encouraged Kaz to be more assertive. Dean was definitely not responsible for the suicide.
When Dean saw his dead wife Ellie appear in the expensive seats, Dean thought he would, at last, have a positive experience. True, he did ignore her waves of the mobile phone indicating that he should pick up and answer his phone. This was becoming too surreal. But eventually, he picked up expecting to hear a message of love and devotion. It surprised him to hear that she knew of all the years of infidelity with his secretary. She had not complained before and Dean was, after all, a great provider. The call ended in recriminations rather than positive messages.
But it was the final person he saw behind the plate that was the greatest shock. It was time to quit watching television. Dean was going to the stadium.
A quick read from acclaimed authors at reasonable prices. If Dean had stuck with the short stories like these he would not have had the worries that baseball brought him. This is a five Amazon star read (of course).