Blackballed

Michael Mewshaw, Author Atheneum Books $16.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-689-11837-1
Mewshaw's well-received nonfiction account of professional tennis, Short Circuit, is transformed here into a biting satire. John McEnroe figures prominently in the plot, and other famous faces make cameo appearances, few evading Mewshaw's entertaining but savagely gossipy pen. This cynical indictment of how the honest endeavor of sportsmen is corrupted by amoral, greedy profiteers has implications beyond that of the sports-based background, as it questions the dubious morality of untrammeled Big Business. The narrator is Eddie Brown, hustling agent for the brilliant North African Arab player Latif Fluss. Eddie relates how Latif and he fell victim to ""tax fraud, forgery, bribery, embezzlement, extortion . . . the wonderful world of pro-tennis.'' Latif has served three years in prison on a drug charge because he wouldn't throw a game, and though banned for life, wants to make a comeback with Eddie's help. He reappears as a masked, Koran-quoting recluse who, to everyone's horror, insists on playing honest tennis. It's not easybut as Latif heads for a Wimbledon final against McEnroe, he seems to have succeeded. His enemies, however, still have a few tricks to their game. (October 14)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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