“We remember World War II as ‘the Good War,’ when right and wrong seemed so clear. We won, they lost, and our guys came home as heroes. But as gifted author Andy Kutler tells us in THE BATTER’S BOX, mortal combat is anything but good, heroism comes with a horrific price, and some of the most tragic wounds don’t bleed - and don’t go away. If you want to know what really happened at Bastogne in the terrible winter of 1944, read this powerful, haunting book.”
DANIEL P. BOLGER, LIEUTENANT GENERAL, US ARMY (RET.), AUTHOR OF OUR YEAR AT WAR: TWO BROTHERS, VIETNAM, AND A NATION DIVIDED
"Historical fiction, if it reflects careful scholarship, is a powerful tool in the hands of a gifted writer, and can deepen our understanding of real events and people. Andy Kutler's THE BATTER’S BOX offers an impressive addition to World War II literature, bringing fresh attention to the adjustment struggle faced by so many returning war veterans. Kutler's depiction of one of the more heroic small-unit engagements in US Army history is also both compelling and long overdue."
GORDON H. "NICK" MUELLER, PRESIDENT & CEO EMERITUS, THE NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM
“Andy Kutler has the eyes and ears of combat soldiers and the heart of those who love them. The horror, courage, and camaraderie of battle rivals the grit of Once an Eagle, while the poignant authenticity of Will Jamison’s struggles with his hidden wounds highlight that, for many, the impact of war lingers far past the last shots of battle. THE BATTER’S BOX is a superb work of historical fiction that carries important lessons for today.”
WILLIAM E. RAPP, MAJOR GENERAL, US ARMY (RET.), FORMER COMMANDANT, US ARMY WAR COLLEGE
“While the author’s book is fictional, the rigorous historical research he must have done to achieve such an impressive sense of period authenticity is evident on virtually every page. Kutler vividly portrays the excitement of American baseball, but the best sections of the work are devoted to the depiction of the war and the horrors that were committed in its name. Will’s trauma is powerfully described—forced to helplessly witness unspeakable barbarism, he is forever changed, his experience 'etched in his memory for eternity'...this is an emotionally affecting story, both heart-rending and thrilling, as dramatically captivating as it is historically edifying."
Read the full review here.
“Each character in this excellent novel is so well sculpted they become visual, capturing our empathy and compassion. Powerful, exceptionally well-written..."
SAN FRANCISCO REVIEW OF BOOKS
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“Intersecting baseball with the horrors of war, THE BATTER’S BOX is a creative, compelling, and profound piece of historical fiction. You won't be able to put this book down.”
TIM KURKJIAN, SENIOR BASEBALL ANALYST/WRITER, ESPN
"Enjoy gripping tales of World War II? Heroic sports sagas well told? Or just a fine novel full of engaging characters? THE BATTER’S BOX gives readers all three and more. I enjoyed every page I read of this epic story. Highly recommended!"
RALPH PETERS, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF CAIN AT GETTYSBURG
"The Batter’s Box is a tour de force—a riveting tale of baseball, war, and the human spirit...This is an amazing story—well-written, beautifully designed, and emotionally satisfying.
MILITARY WRITERS SOCIETY OF AMERICA
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“THE BATTER’S BOX is a riveting read. It is a love story and a war story and a novel with far more truth than fiction. I’m a psychiatrist specializing in treating men and women with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you love someone with that invisible wound, read this book. If you are curious and concerned about the condition, read this book. Most survivors of profound trauma lack a language to convey their life stories because those stories include the unspeakable. When the hero of this compelling novel speaks, we listen, we learn and we are transformed. If you are currently struggling with the impact of major trauma, reading passages here may be disturbing and ‘triggering.’ But I believe it is worth the risk because this book affirms your reality and your dignity.”
FRANK M. OCHBERG, MD, FORMER ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH
"THE BATTER’S BOX is historical fiction but emotionally real. Anyone who has experienced or led soldiers in combat understands the untellable horrors, traumatic sensory overload, and emotional depravity of war. Andy Kutler weaves baseball, combat, and the deep relationship between an emotionally scarred couple to show how even when dreams may change, the human spirit has the capacity to rebound."
MARK HERTLING, LIEUTENANT GENERAL, US ARMY (RET.), FORMER COMMANDER, US ARMY EUROPE AND SEVENTH ARMY
“THE BATTER’S BOX is an exceedingly well-written and timeless tale of the sacrifices men and women make both on and off the battlefield and after the war is over. Regardless of what it is called throughout history – ‘shell shock,’ ‘battle fatigue,’ or ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’ – it continues to be an issue that is not discussed or treated as openly as it should be."
RICHARD M. LAKE, MAJOR GENERAL, US MARINE CORPS (RET.)
“Author Andy Kutler has a deft knack for the kind of entertaining narrative storytelling that firmly grips the readers attention from first page to last...A truly memorable read from cover to cover."
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“THE BATTER’S BOX is a thoughtful and imaginative look at a conveniently hidden part of our history - the psychic wounds carried by The Greatest Generation. The battle scenes are a taut mix of fear, tension and chaos.”
ED RUGGERO, AUTHOR OF THE FIRST MEN IN: US PARATROOPERS AND THE FIGHT TO SAVE D-DAY, AND FORMER INSTRUCTOR, UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY
"Andy Kutler’s THE BATTER’S BOX is a compelling story about a star athlete’s transition from All-Star baseball player to shell-shocked veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. I couldn't put it down. It may be a work of historical fiction, but the story was all too real for many of America’s veterans. This is a must-read about those who survive a war only to realize the fight for their future in peacetime has just begun."
LEO BARRON, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF PATTON AT THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE: HOW THE GENERAL'S TANKS TURNED THE TIDE AT BASTOGNE
“As a historian, a World War II veteran, and a devoted baseball fan, I can say that Andy Kutler’s imaginative dive into the past gave me special pleasure, but his new novel, THE BATTER’S BOX, will richly reward any reader who enjoys a gripping and skillfully told tale.”
BERNARD A. WEISBERGER, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR OF WHEN CHICAGO RULED BASEBALL
“When Andy Kutler has his main character, Will Jamison, a talented baseball player, decide to refuse a safe job promoting war bonds on the home front, he sets him on course for a rendezvous with destiny during the siege of Bastogne in the winter of 1944. THE BATTER’S BOX provides the reader with an indelible impression of how war changes those involved forever, and how their battle continues long after the war has officially been declared over."
DR. PETER SCHRIJVERS, AUTHOR OF THOSE WHO HOLD BASTOGNE
"With amazing characterization and a clever use of various genre tropes, this is a fascinating adventure through time...The story is artfully paced, limiting its predictability and making for a powerfully charged emotional roller coaster...A fabulous character study of a man torn by loss and shattered by war, but who refuses to lie down and die."
Read the five-star review here.
"A captivating historical military story that blends genres and crosses through time and space...Kutler pulls this off with an intriguing storyline and well-orchestrated action sequences that put us in place and time. Highly recommended."
CHANTICLEER BOOK REVIEWS
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