Download Play for a Kingdom Audiobook

Play for a Kingdom Audiobook, by Thomas Dyja Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Thomas Dyja Narrator: Ian Esmo Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781483054797
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (60 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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May, 1864. In a moment of quiet during the endgame between Grant and Lee, a Union and a Confederate company meet, not entirely by accident. The Union soldiers are a motley company of Irish, English, and German stock, all ragged and worn from the Battle of the Wilderness. Left behind to guard their army’s flank, they decide to relax with a baseball and bat when, as if by magic, a company of Alabama infantry appears from the woods. These ordinary soldiers determine to play baseball with the enemy, perhaps for diversion, perhaps to remind themselves that they are still human.

In the ensuing days, Brooklyn meets Alabama four more times on the playing field, even their armies collide in the horror now known as Spotsylvania. As every game and skirmish bring them closer to a violent end, what began as a game turns into a business as serious as death and dishonor, and each soldier realizes the price and the prize that betrayal offers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This innovative and original first novel blends two staples of the Americans psyche—the Civil War and baseball—into a recipe for a very readable book. The battle scenes ring true…and the baseball scenes ring true as well. Dyja’s book is admirably wrought.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “A sweeping novel of humanity on the battlefield, peopled with provocative characters. Play for a Kingdom is that rare treat: a novel that interweaves war and play, an ironic tale told with compassion. Watch Tom Dyja.”

    Santa Barbara News-Press

  • “Dyja has a gifted understanding of the powerlessness one faces in combat. War in this novel is not tragic merely because it kills and maims good men; it is dispiriting because it robs them of their identities…The tense mixture of espionage, betrayal, and vivid battle scenes should please discriminating fans of Civil War fiction.” editorial review

  • “A uniquely compelling Civil War novel set amid the chaos and devastation that characterized the savage battle of Spotsylvania…An absolutely stunning narrative.”


  • “Dyja effectively juxtaposes the horror and chaos of war with the familiar routine of the game. He explores the theme of war and games as natural activities of man, as battles of pride and place, and as testing grounds of moral and physical honor…An engrossing story, told within the context of actual events.”

    Library Journal

  • “The madness of war and the passion evoked by baseball complement each other beautifully in this extraordinary first novel…A sensitive, forceful, even breathtaking commingling of play and war, daydream and nightmare, the humane and the bestial, in which the human dimensions of warfare are unforgettably evoked.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 9/12/2013

    " A pretty neat premise but it just could not take off. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 4/5/2013

    " Beautiful and heartbreaking Civil War story about Rebel and Yankee picket lines, secretly meeting for a game of baseball. Wonderful story about the war. Gripping, couldn't stop reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah | 2/9/2012

    " A family favorite, combining baseball and the Civil War. Incredibly detailed, a book you can't put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 11/10/2010

    " American historical....May 1864 between Yanks and Rebs - value of life and friends. "

About the Author

Jacques Roy is a audio narrator and actor, known for The Lower Angels and Room and Board.

About the Narrator

Ian Esmo is an audiobook narrator who specializes in athlete and sports biographies.