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Advantage Disadvantage Paperback – August 26, 2008
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Top customer reviews
When the father, Marcus, is thrown in jail at the same time as a bookie, their lives cross for a moment when Marcus defends him during a disagreement between inmates. To show his appreciation, he offers to send an agent over to watch the son, Jamal, play ball. To Marcus's surprise, the bookie follows through with his promise.
From that moment on, Marcus and Jamal enter the fast-paced world of high school politics without realizing it can be very dangerous. Money, sex, greed, gambling, murder, betrayal and revenge begin to swirl around this father and son as they maneuver through land mines of the dark underbelly side of competitive sports. I learned a great deal about basketball, and Mr. Jaffe obviously knows this sport well. His description of each game was very exciting.
My only less-than-five-star-comment, however, is that I was not fond of the women characters in the story. It would have been nice to see one woman portrayed as being independent and strong. One cheating wife in the story line should have been plenty. Two was a bit overdone for my taste. My guess is that this book is primarily read by men, which would explain this writing decision.
I would recommend Advantage/Disadvantage to anyone who enjoys high school basketball, with a thriller twist. I enjoyed it very much.
The reader will also learn about the good side of high school ball as well as another of the book's characters goes from an awkward seventh grader to a polished high school player who earns.a.full scholarship at a university. There are other minor storylines as well that are integral parts to these two...that are also tied together. This book had riveted from the first paragraph.
Yale R. Yaffe has written an interesting sports suspense thriller that captures the atmosphere of high school b-ball. One certainly gets the feeling that Yaffe knows of what he writes because of such detail -- too much at times that bogs the reader down. But this is still an intersting read and a look at the dark side of high school basketball with money, gambling, corruption, mixed with high integrity and those who truly love the game. Who knew there was so much money and gambling associated with high school b-ball?
If you love basketball, you'll give this one 5-stars. The rest of us enjoyed it but give it 4.
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.
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.
Whether you enjoy sports or not, Advantage Disadvantage is a compelling read and will keep you turning the pages as sub-plots within the twisted main plot are all tied together in the end.