That Football Game, and What Came of It

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The boy world is in an ecstasy of delight, for Father Finn has not only given us a new story, but, positively, the best book he has ever written. He calls it That Football Game, and the acquaintance he displays with that very lively sport is equaled only by his thorough knowledge of boys.

The story turns on a game that is to be played between the Central High School and the Milwaukee College teams, the latter being “our boys”. Our friend, Claude Lightfoot, is captain of the College team, and the way in which he handles his players, the trouble he encounters, the difficulties he has to surmount, are all described in Father Finn's best manner, and that is the highest praise we can give the book. Whether Claude succeeds, or how the game results it would not be fair to say as that might detract from the interest of the story. Besides Claude Lightfoot most of the boys introduced are those we have known so long: Harry Archer, Frank Elmwood, Willie Hardy, who “lies with elegance and ease”, but there are also two or three who are new to us. Every one is a strongly marked character, and although a few are of the sort we would hardly choose for friends they are each and every one perfectly true to life. Of course, the story would not be complete without a touch of that pathos which Father Finn so well knows how to provide. It is furnished in this case by Harry Archer whose life seems to be made up of one continuous act of self sacrifice. (From the New Ireland review, 1898)
(5 hr 23 min)


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