Gods of Wood and Stone - Mark Di Ionno

From journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Mark Di Ionno comes the next Great American Novel about the Great American Pastime—two men from disparate worlds on a violent collision course in this searing portrait of honor and masculinity, sport and celebrity, marriage and parenthood.

Boston fans loved first-ballot Hall of Famer Joe Grudeck all-time. The last true throwback, Grudeck played for millions under the bright Fenway lights. Now, adrift in his new life as celebrity golf partner and trophy friend, he finds himself haunted by his history, searching for connection. He’ll step back into the spotlight one final time with a very risky Cooperstown acceptance speech that has the power to change everything—except the past.

Horace Mueller demands a simple and ordinary life—working in obscurity at the Farmers’ Museum blacksmith shop in Cooperstown and living in a rundown farmhouse on the outskirts of town. He clings to an anachronistic existence, fueled by nostalgia for simpler times and rebellion against the sport-celebrity mania that dominates the world around him; he struggles to bring his baseball prodigy son to his side.

Framed by the lens of baseball—a timeless, but strikingly singular tale of the responsibilities of manhood and the pitfalls of glory; Gods of Wood and Stone is the story of one man’s search for meaningful life and fatherhood in a sports-and-celebrity obsessed age, and another man’s fight to avoid losing his soul to it.

  • A riveting story of baseball, pop culture, nostalgia, masculinity, and so much more, Mark Di Ionno's Gods of Wood and Stone is pure heat from a veteran at the top of his game.

    Alan Sepinwal TV (The Book) and Breaking Bad 101
  • Engrossing from the first page, this clear-eyed and atmospheric novel hurtled me through a roller coaster of emotions—from curiosity to outrage to relief. How are American men raised to think about fame, talent, hard work, and women? What happens when two men with opposing worldviews get in each other’s way? Gods of Wood and Stone raises important questions of our time.

    Alice Elliott Dark Author of Think of England, and In the Gloaming
  • As a sportswriter, sports columnist, at-large columnist and now an accomplished author, Mark Di Ionno has succeeded because he shares his sharp and unafraid probings of life and lives beneath their exteriors. Gods of Wood and Stone is rough, tough and thoughtful, blending his considerable abilities.

    Phil Mushnick Sports columnist, NY Post
  • Gods of Wood and Stone isn’t a baseball novel; it’s a story of what really afflicts American men: disappointment. Mark Di Ionno is a gifted writer and renders his characters in ways both ruthless and empathetic. You won’t forget Joe Grudeck. Or Horace Mueller. They live. They stay with you. They want you to know: what we learn of our heroes hurts less than what they learn of themselves.

    Mark Kriegel Bestselling author of Namath: A Biography and Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich
  • Framed against a backdrop of baseball and a life of land and country, this is a novel of nostalgia vs. progress, of grind vs. instant gratification, of lasting glory vs. Twitter celebrity. Delivered with a fan’s passion, a journalist’s eye for detail, and the unblinking courage of a storyteller, Mark Di Ionno knocks it out of the park with this piercing literary thriller, Gods of Wood and Stone.

    Bryan Gruley Award-winning author of the Starvation Lake Trilogy
  • Di Ionno starkly portrays a dangerous and frightening passion for violence that too often has become synonymous with the expression of the American male psyche….he offers an entertaining, and tantalizingly plausible, origin story for the country's obsession with celebrity and diversion. The national pastime is the backdrop for an incisive exploration of manhood in modern America.

    Kirkus Reviews
  • Longtime Star-Ledger columnist Mark Di Ionno's novel is so much more than another tale about the boys of summer…Ultimately, the deep flaws of both men and how they try to break free of the prisons of their own demons result in a book for which I reserve my highest praise. Yes, I would take it to the stadium (New Jersey Transit and subways require books), but I would never open it during a game. This deserves your full attention.

    Lacqueline Cutler NJ.com

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