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The Basketball Expatriate [Kindle Edition]

C. Bradford Eastland
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

When is a story about a basketball player not even about basketball? When the basketball player spends a couple hundred pages trying to convince you that it is. The time is July 1987. A nameless man boards a plane in Los Angeles, headed for London. A ballplayer. Or at least until recently. Injuries have compelled the worst team in professional basketball to cut him from the squad. But another team will surely pick him up. Only a matter of time. In the meantime, he reckons, he will put some welcome distance between himself and the country that is trying to take from him his livelihood. The tale starts out innocently enough with the man making a nuisance of himself with everyone he encounters across the pond. He tells of his troubles, the people who have wronged him, the bad breaks he's had....while all the while he woos women, yells for more ale, eats his way out of shape, spews opinions, and drives his rental car as if he's starring in a speed-crazed cartoon. Yet we soon discover what is really driving him and that he is a man heading for a meltdown. Courtesy of this reluctant and clueless expatriate in a rented sportscar, we are allowed a glimpse of the verdant fields of Sussex, the whiff of a crowded West End pub, the hopeful wails of the railbirds lining the stretch at Glorious Goodwood Racecourse, and the multiple sensory delights that make up a ten-o'clock sunset over a swath of water they call the Little Minch, in northern Scotland. Even for those not paying close attention, quite a journey.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This is a wacky novel of an American in England fleeing himself. The reader will want to go where this expatriate protagonist goes and do what he does.

From the Author

C. Bradford Eastland was born in 1955, in Iowa, but didn't stay long. By 1964 his family had caught the "restlessness bug" and moved to suburban Southern California, where---aside from a two-year tour of duty in Berkeley to pick up a degree in History ---he has remained in residence ever since.

Though not a regionalist by nature, most of Eastland's fiction takes place in his adopted Los Angeles County. The Basketball Expatriate, a mid-80s detour through England and Scotland, is a notable exception. Based on various sights and experiences gleaned from his many trips to the United Kingdom during the last fifteen years, The Basketball Expatriate is generally considered to be the most experimental of the author's four novels and 19 short stories. The Basketball Expatriate is part of his U.K. JOURNAL collection.

Eastland currently makes his home in the town of Sierra Madre, a thoroughly Iowa-esque hamlet as quaint as its name. People there can almost leave their doors unlocked at night. Sharing life's struggles are his lovely wife, two fat white dogs, and a toddler son whose very existence forces the father to share a daily embrace with Optimism.

Product Details

  • File Size: 382 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Boson Books (February 16, 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,770,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One Generation's Answer to "A Catcher in the Rye." June 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A 20-something man-boy cut from big league basketball, and from the league's losingist team--the Los Angeles Clippers---enters a downward spiral with no end. At times you want to grab the unnamed protagonist by the lapels, and inform the young punk there is a lot more to life, and his life has been a cakewalk compared to most, and still promises as much.

But do you remember your own 20s? When your career and prospects seemed oh so important? When if the love of your life dumped you, it was awful beyond words? Yes, 20-somethings are self-absorbed, and this novel perfectly captures those sentiments.

In its rough-and-ready language and form (very rough and the start), this book puts on no airs, and pretty much tells it like it is, from the viewpoint of the protagonist. There is no window-dressing, or sugar-coating. Women may find sections offensive (but then, men may find romance novels obnoxious too).

The book is also an excellent period piece, summing up some of the political and historical notes of the day.

All in all, one generation's answer to "A Catcher in the Rye."
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