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THREE CLAMS AND AN OYSTER

Randy Powell, Author
Randy Powell, Author . FSG $16 (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-37526-3
Reviewed on: 03/11/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-374-40007-1
Prebound-Glued - 216 pages - 978-0-7569-8184-6
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Although this witty and trenchant story revolves around a flag football team, there are few scenes played on the field. As in many of Powell's previous novels (Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star; The Whistling Toilets), most of the action takes place inside the main character's head, over the course of a single weekend. Flint McCallister, captain of the four-man team called Three Clams and an Oyster, faces a dilemma: he has to find a replacement for the "Oyster," irresponsible Cade Savage, who fails to show up for the first game. But none of the candidates seem suitable to fill Cade's sneakers. There's Goon, whose anatomical quirks, silk shirt with puffy sleeves and dance moves lead Flint to describe him as Wayne Newton with breasts. Then there's Thor, the womanizer. Rachel Summerfield appears to be a much better prospect, but having a girl on the team—especially one who doesn't shave her legs—might be more than the Clams can handle. Flint's search for a fourth teammate evolves into a journey of discovery as he reflects upon his team's past and future and mulls over his relationships with the other players. The tone of the intimate first-person narrative skillfully shifts from philosophical to comical to poignant, allowing readers to experience the gradual opening up of Flint's clam-shell world as he lets go of the familiar and welcomes new possibilities. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

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