Ralph Bland’s fourth novel, ACE, is a comic tale of mid-life crisis. It follows the flights, fancies, and comic pratfalls of John (Ace) Hardaway as he navigates eight months of life in 2005 Nashville, Tennessee.
Ace, former pitching phenomenon and athlete extraordinaire, is now 55 years old and attempting to weather the midlife crisis threatening to envelop him – he struggles against sexual temptations, he is haunted by ghostly visitations, and there is a nest of Burmese Pythons beneath his porch.
There is even a mysterious stalker who wants him dead! But through it all, Ace, oft-poetic and unflappable, continues to battle against the odds. Valiantly, he seeks answers to the countless questions that seem to be overwhelming him, questions that threaten to destroy his sanity.
He presses on, and along the way, he discovers how to survive in this mad, bad world. He learns to see the comic side too, and also learns a few things about himself, about baseball, women, and why sometimes a fellow’s talents refuse to stay buried in the ground.
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