BREAKPOINT by William Brinkley


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Yes, another tennis novel--but at least this one doesn't assume that point-by-point replays are a substitute for action and character: until the final showdown match at Forest Hills between champ Jack Tillotson and 19-year-old Billy Catlo, Brinkley (Don't Go Near the Water) doesn't even seem all that interested in the volleys and rallys. He's much more interested in the rich/sporty/sexy Palm Beach scene, where he's supposedly been sent to get the story on Robert Catlo (""The Big Cat""), superstar turned club pro. Carlo, as expected, is none too happy to be spending his time teaching society matrons, and he's reluctant to give magazine-man Brinkley an interview: he charges him $25 a question. But eventually Catlo takes Brinkley in as an ally in his master plan--grooming son Billy to go to Forest Hills to beat champ Tillotson, who took the titles away from the aging Carlo eight years ago, just before the big tennis money started rolling in. When a hurricane hits the Florida coast, the whole Catlo mÉnage--including Brinkley, Palm Beach hostess Tish, Billy's religious-luscious girl Lindy, and loudmouth TV sportscaster Chester Barney--scampers north to continue Billy's training on Jekyll Island. Then on to N.Y. to resolve all those big questions: Can Billy really beat Tillotson? Should Lindy sleep with Billy? Should Catlo bet his life's savings on Billy? And what about Brinkley's own relationship with a Barbara Walters type who doesn't want to give up sleep-around freedom or TV stardom for True Love? With an eye for catchy details and a tone that drifts blithely from cynical to-sentimental to downright silly, Brinkley keeps things moving right along without leaning too heavily on the non-plot. Result? A cheerfully vulgar, agreeably lousy, very professional chunk of good-natured easy-reading.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1978
Publisher: Morrow