31701616Hayward Templeton, a psychiatry grad student at the University of Iowa, grudgingly agrees to pitch in a co-ed baseball game.

A stickler for research, he discovers online how to throw a screwball and excels at it. Hayward’s team wins and while celebrating, they accidentally drop him on his head. As he lies on the ground unconscious, a few teammates discuss an upcoming psych quiz. Hayward unknowingly soaks it all in. When he comes to, he begins experiencing bizarre mental disorders — on his way to the big leagues as a screwball pitcher.

Screwball is as screwball does …

*I received a copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review*

At 106 pages this little booky managed to make me laugh on every page. The book starts off with a scene where 9 y/o Hayward is being bullied and as a result of this, after a rather ‘typical’ family ‘discussion’, Hayward decides to become a psychiatrist. Much to his dear mother’s pride even though daddy expects Hayward to become a baseball player.

One thing leads to another, years pass…Β  and daddy’s wish comes true! Hayward has a mean hand for screwball which makes him an overnight hero of the sport. This always comes with its own ‘politics’, especially when there are important games left to play even though Hayward needs to be institutionalized. As the blurb informs us, Hayward lands on his head during a celebration and that takes the reader on a journey through an aplhabet of mental health issues which poor Hayward faces, one per day. Aerophobia to kleptomania to xenophobia and everything in between.

While mental health is no laughing matter, I think this short story was really well written while keeping it light hearted as our hero of the story stumbles through each and every day. The conditions or the reality of mental health is not being ridiculed, rather I find, the matter was dealt with a certain grace and humor by tying a glimpse of each ‘episode’ into Hayward’s celebrity status. I guess, I could say, the whole thing has a certain amount of absurd to it all.

For the overall reading experience I shall give this novella 4 stars.

Screwball by David Belisle will be released on October 31st 2016 and is currently available to pre-order:

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