Joe Grudeck is a living legend-a first-ballot Hall of Famer beloved by Boston Red Sox fans who once played for millions under the bright Fenway lights. Now, he finds himself haunted by his own history, searching for connection in a world that's alienated the true person behind his celebrity facade. He'll step back into the spotlight once more with a very risky Cooperstown acceptance speech that has the power to change everything-except the darkness in his past. Horace Mueller is a different type altogether-working in darkness at a museum blacksmith shop and living in a rundown farmhouse on the outskirts of Cooperstown, New York. He clings to an anachronistic lifestyle, fueled by nostalgia for simpler times and a rebellion against the sport-celebrity lifestyle of Cooperstown, struggling to bring his baseball prodigy son to his side. Gods of Wood and Stone is the story of these two men-framed by the lens of baseball, a timeless, but strikingly singular tale of the responsibilities of manhood and the pitfalls of glory in a painful and exhilarating novel that's distinctly American.
Mark Di Ionno is a journalist at the Star-Ledger in Newark. A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Di Ionno draws on his own childhood memories of life in the small towns of the Jersey Shore. He lives with his family in Boonton, New Jersey.