Fighting in the Shade

Fighting in the Shade

4.11 - 1251 ratings - Source

qHigh school football mixes with Faust in this blitz of a novel from Watson . . . the novel avoids slipping into morality tale excess as it spins out a big Dennis Lehane-like story of society, opportunity, and consequences, revealing Watson as an accomplished storyteller.q--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review. qA brilliant, fearless look at the savage rites of passage that exist in the fraternity of American sports. A book as gripping and unforgettable as any in recent memory.q--Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River, and editor of Boston Noir. qThe story of what it means to be a man in our culture is an important, vital narrative and it has found one of its best chroniclers in Sterling Watson. This is a powerful, beautifully written book about attitudes and practices that we want to believe are safely in the past. Instead, as Watson reminds us, corruption and cruelty survive through their uncanny ability to take on new shapes.q--Laura Lippman, author of I'd Know You Anywhere. qSterling Watson's Fighting in the Shade is an unflinching novel about loyalty and manhood. Like Pat Conroy's The Lords of Discipline, it is simply unforgettable.q--Ann Hood, author of The Red Thread. qSterling Watson's polished prose carries this coming-of-age story smoothly from the enthralling to the unsettling, from the poignant to the disturbing, leaving the reader in emotional knots. An uncompromising look at sports, secrets, sexuality, and the South that makes a commentary on relationships ranging from personal to universal.q--Michael Koryta, author of The Cypress House. In 1964, seventeen-year-old Billy Dyer is a newcomer to Oleander, a Gulf Coast Florida town whose old guard define football as the ancient Spartans did their Agoge. It is a mode of brutal tutelage that forges the hearts and minds of the town's elite youth for a future of power. Billy's parents are recently divorced and he lives in a bad neighborhood with his secretive, alcoholic father. Billy discovers in the course of the story that his attorney father has been forced by blackmail to serve Blake Rainey, the town's most powerful and wealthy citizen, in a clandestine land-acquisition scheme that will raze the town's black section.Through the brutal and fiery days of summer practice, Billy fights for a starting spot on the team, the Spartans. He makes the team, but in a horrific hazing scene far from the town, he rebels and in the process badly injures his rival for the flanker position, Sim Sizemore, the son of Blake Rainey's partner. The events that follow force Billy into exile from football, then later back into the game when powerful men realize that the Spartans cannot win without him. Blake Rainey offers Billy a Faustian bargain, and the boy must accept or reject the deal, while also accepting the consequences of this decision.Sterling Watson ... Ted Street took the chewing gum from his mouth before go- ing to be taped and stuck it to the lintel above the shower room door. A piece of gum for every victory since the crowd had chanted, Bill-ee! Bill-ee! Bill-ee!

Title:Fighting in the Shade
Author:Sterling Watson
Publisher:Akashic Books - 2011-07-19


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