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by Nic Brown (Goodreads Author)
Slow Smith is in a slump. He's a professional tennis player stuck in his hometown, serving to an empty court. His wife is in a coma and he's afraid he's to blame. Left behind are her Polaroids, obsessive daily records of their life together. Meanwhile Kaz, Slow's lifelong doubles partner, is traveling the world while playing with someone new. Then one afternoon his old coa ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Counterpoint Press
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(showing 1-30 of 123)
I thought this book was so clever and original, and Slow so endearing. Minor characters like the dreadlocked Brah, Sue-nami, and the mistreated Combover were brilliant as was the random hitchhiker scene. (view spoiler)[ The downfall for me was the musical chairs sex. Unnecessary (except for Anne and Kaz) and diminished everyone's likability. Manny would have been one fo the best things about this book but for the sleazy way he filmed the threesome with his wife and showed it to Slow. Why couldn' ...more
I found it more sad than funny, and under no circumstances could you call it a sports book. The shifting relationships between Slow and his wife and his lifelong partner make tennis itself take a backseat. Since I finished the book, I have been ruminating on the characters and the outcome of their (sad) choices. I enjoyed the scenes at the West Side Tennis Club, because it's a familiar place to me (I always get lost whenever I'm there), and I have some sympathy for Kaz and his superstitions. Min ...more
Vested-interest note: Nic is a former classmate of mine, and I consider him a friend. Also, I grew up playing tennis, and still play tennis. So I guess you could say this book is pretty firmly in my wheelhouse. It's funny and honest and it really gets the tennis stuff right. Particularly interesting to me is the dynamic of being a doubles player in a professional tennis world that doesn't pay all that much attention to doubles (except for the periodic "they're still around!" story about the Brya ...more
With Doubles, one can almost feel Nic Brown gradually falling in love with his characters. It begins rather technically, as if he doesn't yet know what he's writing about, and is making things happen to find out. But even as the plot works its way into a love triangle, rectangle, rhombus, the attachment to the characters continues to grow,and authenticity shines through the convoluted storyline as if it's altogether seperate. The connection to the wife character in particular is clear as a bell. ...more
I'm still in the middle of this book. I just can't believe the editor didn't catch the misspelling of Chris Evert's name. That just blew me away! A few other things showed the author's lack of tennis experience -- like, at the beginning, (page 6), he talks about Manny hitting the racquet against his palm. Well, that's not what you do. You hit it against the heel of your hand. Those inaccuracies just drive me nuts.
I was excited to read a book described as 'part Irving, part Russo', but I was disappointed by Doubles. I"d rate it 2.5 stars if I could because there were some good characters and a powerful ending. But I recommend 'The Art of Fielding" as a much better book with similar themes.
I chose this book because it was about tennis. It really was the sad story one of doubles player who made some bad choices of friends and actions. I liked the women of the story, especially Anne, who took Polaroids every day. Of course she made some bad choices, too
I can't count the number of times I put this book down, sometimes for weeks at a time. However, the protagonist, Slow, the relationships, the raw humanity always brought me back. At once heartwrenching and hilarious, this is some pretty great writing. I'll be back.
A kooky bittersweet book about a guy who has never been without a partner in tennis or life, and is adrift without one. I got a kick out of the Chapel Hill landmarks, as I agree that the police station looks like a spaceship crashed into a hillside.
3 1/2 stars might be more fair. This was a very competently written book, nothing terribly wrong with it other than what seemed to me to be some questionable medical events, but it did not wow me and I suspect I will have forgotten it by next week.
Nic Brown is the author of the novel Doubles and the story collection Floodmarkers, which was selected as an Editor's Choice by The New York Times Book Review. A new novel, In Every Way, will be published in February 2015. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Harvard Review, Glimmer Train, and Epoch, among many other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Columbi ...moreMore about Nic Brown...