By Nic Brown
(Counterpoint LLC, Paperback, 9781582435077, 227pp.)
Publication Date: June 2010
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Slow Smith is in a slump. He’s a professional tennis player stuck in his hometown, serving to an empty court. His wife is in a coma and he’s afraid he’s to blame. Left behind are her Polaroids, obsessive daily records of their life together. Meanwhile Kaz, Slow’s lifelong doubles partner, is traveling the world while playing with someone new.
Then one afternoon his old coach Manny appears in a dumpy Fiat convertible and persuades Slow to get in. When they return to Forest Hills the site of a six-year winning streak they reunite with old friends who call up long-buried desires and reveal a secret that threatens to destroy Slow’s marriage as well as his friendship with Kaz.
Slow just can’t win and especially not back on the court. Turns out Kaz can’t either. Theirs is a bond driven as much by odd habits as by shared life experiences a marriage not unlike the one rendered comatose and the only way to get their lives back on track is by playing together again.
At once hilarious and heartbreaking, Doubles serves up a tale of melancholy and redemption both on the court and off.