TOO SOON TO PANIC by Gordon Forbes


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A glossy and literate paean to life on the glamorous pro tennis tour. Forbes, a former championship player from South Africa, is now best known for his occasional television commentary and written dispatches from the posh sidelines of the mercenary world of pro tennis. In this book, ""Forbsey,"" as his chums call him, holds forth on a number of topics, many only peripherally related to pro tennis: Paris during the French Open; London during Wimbledon; New York during the US Open; Rome during the Italian Open, and so forth. Unless one has had the privilege of getting out of the gallery and beyond the velvet rope, most of what Forbes commits to paper--and Forbes, admittedly coming from a ""family of note takers,"" commits a lot--is just this side of a crashing bore. Moreover, Forbes's lovely but static prose is tainted somewhat by the specter of his nation's past. While Forbes never addresses directly the subject of South Africa's history of minority rule, his unqualified admiration for Sun City (the once-whites-only South African resort that served as a lightning rod for international censure), his frequent use of pidgin English dialogue, and his inclusion of a passage that seems to lament the passing of an Anglo-Saxon London, makes this book a disquieting read. Swell reading for the swell set, perhaps, but not for the common folk or the easily offended.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1997
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Lyons & Burford