Advantage / Disadvantage is a cleverly interwoven tale of High School athletes who are unwittingly taken in by the sleezy characters that cling to the periphery of organized sports, and profit from them by means of greed and deception.
This book was eye - opening and shocking, and at other times touching and surprising - but never was it boring. The characters inspired hope as well as loathing, and made me think that High School athletics might not be as simple and innocent as we are led to believe. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the sequel. Well done, Mr. Jaffe!
Advantage Disadvantage is a nail-biting, behind-the-scenes pass into the world of high school sports and the people who make and break it. Set in Chicago, its innately urban backdrop is full of distinctly Windy City landmarks. This is the perfect read for sports fans that love an insider's view...an insightful and deliciously-sinful plot full of twists and turns. You'll find the perfect blend of bravery, betrayal and who-done-it adventure in this vividly penned thriller.
Yale Jaffe's "Advantage Disadvantage" weaves a plot around the money, politics, economics, and dreams of high school basketball.
Advantage/Disadvantage is the name of a con that a bookie has strung together with the help of a sports writer. But that's just one small piece of the book: Jaffe spins his story not only through their points of view, but also through the eyes of a player's parents, a referee, a newpaper editor, and a coach. He shows us snippets of their lives and puts them all together in this fascinating tale of the ecosystem that supports high school sports.
The characters who most grabbed my attention were Jamal and Marcus, the basketball team captain and his father. I enjoyed following their lives and watching both of them grow and overcome their obstacles.
I learned a ton of stuff about how the athletic systems work. Jaffe took me to jail, up and down a referee ladder, through summer leagues, and around coaching career dreams. If you're interested in seeing the guts of how high school sports work in a big city, you'll enjoy this book.
Those immersed in the basketball community will read "Advantage Disadvantage" and recognize many of the "usual suspects" and familiar situations that will make you chuckle... or bring your emotions to anger, disgust, sadness, excitement, and joy. Readers foreign to the world of hoops will gain some insight into the machinations of prep basketball, recruiting, officiating, and the cracks in the system that allows the slime to sometimes find it's way into our beautiful game.
"Advantage Disadvantage" is a fictional tale with high school basketball as the backdrop for an intriguing story of a cast of characters that challenges you to examine the purity of amateur sports. We get to know some individuals who are faced with some very real life temptations and we follow them while they try to reconcile right from wrong - all while wondering whether their decisions will prove to be an Advantage or a Disadvantage.
Book Review: Advantage/Disadvantage by Yale R. Jaffe
Yale R. Jaffe has written a decent fiction selection in the suspenseful basketball/crime novel that places what are some of Jaffe's obvious loves as the story's background: Chicago, High School Baskeball--both in season, and in the AAU summer season--basketball officiating, coaching, recruiting, and the making of stars within the world of basketball. Moreover, Jaffe must have an affinity for gambling, newspapers, newspaper columnists, gangsters, and police officers. Taken all together, Jaffe's story is entertaining, at least for those who know Chicago and its highly competitive basketball world. For Jaffe takes readers on a journey; however, readers need some familiarity with the hoops scene, AAU basketball, and the seedy underside of gambling, gangs, and the relationships forged within and between these worlds to appreciate his tale fully.
Jaffe introduces readers to the Imari family, father Marcus and basketball-star son Jamal, who grows into a scholarship- and attention-worthy AAU and prep basketball star. En route to Jamal's senior season, Jaffe weaves a tale of intrigue involving recruiting, college and high school coaches, referees, and the peculiar twists and turns this man's journey takes. Jamal Imari's AAU coach, the venerable T.J. Battle, helps develop the young man in the summers so that prep coach Scott Venturi can reap the rewards during the high-powered prep season. Along the way, local gangster Bobby G.--aka "Jack Benny"--and prep sports newspaper reporter Frank Worrell intermingle in these storylines to produce a light read that leaves fans sated, but wanting more. The various plotlines and characters are rich enough and compelling enough to merit more attention, development, and detail.Read more ›
Yale R. Jaffe brings to life the world of high school basketball. The author has a vast knowledge of the subject and uses a number of viewpoints to tell the story. There are parents, players, coaches, referees, gamblers, gang members, and a newspaper reporter. Players are unknowingly exploited by greedy and corrupt adults. Along the way we also get an insider's look at some unorthodox coaching methods, basketball officiating, and the world of sports gear advertising and how it impacts players.
When a high stakes gambler decides to make a killing, he uses an acquaintance involved in sports to help rig things his way. The suspense mounts as the team this gambler is using gets closer to the big game he is hoping will make his fortune. Then comes the day of the game. The author does a great job of taking us right to the court as two top teams battle for a championship. Meanwhile, the gambler and his helper sweat things out on the sidelines.
You'll have to read the book to find out who wins and who loses. But if you like basketball and high school sports you'll want to read Advantage Disadvantage.