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Advantage Disadvantage Paperback – August 26, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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 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.
"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.
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book by Jaffe is an interesting read. It is a story a two cousins and what happens to them over the period of a few years. Normally they watch out for one another. Read morePublished on January 30, 2012 by J. Robert Ewbank
First off I must state I hate basketball. This is a book about basketball, but I liked it.
Yale R. Read more
I downloaded this book expecting to read about basketball and got so much more. The title is the name of an elaborate gambling scheme between a gang member/bookie and a... Read morePublished on December 26, 2011 by LSmith
This writer does not seem to be experienced in writing a novel with interactivity between characters. Read morePublished on November 13, 2011 by PRJones
Just finished Mr. Jaffe's book. Not being acquainted with the dark side of high school sports, this book was quite a shock. Read morePublished on September 15, 2011 by Island Gal
This book really gives an interesting look at the back-end of High-School Basketball. I found it to be very engaging and a good read. Read morePublished on September 1, 2011 by Chancelor Fitzgerald
After reading the first chapter, I had high expectations for this book. It opens with Marcus Imari, a man who has been arrested for the first time. Read morePublished on July 15, 2011 by morehumanthanhuman
I'm sure there's a good book buried here somewhere, but this isn't it. The construction of the novel keeps interrupting the narrative flow. Read morePublished on May 25, 2011 by marty888nyc