Blacktop Champion (P)

Robert T. Sorrells, Author University of Arkansas Press $12 (231p) ISBN 978-1-55728-046-6
A major motif of many of the entries in this debut collection is the world of sports and gamesits lessons, philosophies and healing powers. A comic, obsessive tennis match is the focus of the title story, a humdinger about Southern eccentrics who stage a wacky competition for surprisingly savvy reasons. ``The All-Time Master Grand-Master of Solitaire'' explores the singular experiences of a prodigy; pressure builds up in ``Basketball'' with unexpected results for a promising young team. But Sorrells does not confine himself to this one arena. In ``Lovers,'' an adolescent confronts adult emotions; in ``Drowning,'' a man copes with the complex aftermath of his own heroic actions. ``The Phone Call'' traces the harsh effects of a boyhood lesson on a man and his family. These tales consistently shed light on what one character calls the ``kinks and odd corners'' of the human heart. The author controls an impressive range of subjects and styles; his writing is smooth and sure, stimulating, insightful and entertaining from beginning to end. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Hardcover - 231 pages - 978-1-55728-045-9
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