MIXED SINGLES by Douglass Wallop


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If The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant was a ragged hymn to baseball, then Mixed Singles is an unstrung litany of hate for tennis and tennis freaks. Jack Bigelow is a well-off radiologist whose wife Franny embraces the tennis racket as a new faith. Fortified with expensive tennis clothes and spring-steel calf muscles, she bounces him around the court and out of their marriage. What can you expect of a woman whose kids are grown up, whose suburban life is hollow, and whose last triumph was the Beauty Queen crown of the University of Maryland? Jack's consolation for this abandonment is his nurse, Lily Page, and her young son Mac. With them he relives the sweetest part of his marriage, when the kids were young and hopes not yet blasted by suburban rot. The author sets up his cast of upper-middleclass grotesques: the hard-selling pro, the villainous tennis bum, the lecherous colleague, and he wallops them every time. It's all rather like a Disney cartoon drawn by Norman Rockwell, superficially observant but not very deep. A good quick read for those who like their beer small and their compassion from an eyedropper.

Pub Date: March 28th, 1977
Publisher: Norton