When Abraham Verghese, a physician whose marriage is unravelling, relocates to Texas, he hopes to make a fresh start as a staff member at a county hospital. There he meets David Smith, a medical student recovering from a drug addiction, and the two men begin a tennis ritual that allows them to shed their inhibitions and find security, in the sport ...Read MoreWhen Abraham Verghese, a physician whose marriage is unravelling, relocates to Texas, he hopes to make a fresh start as a staff member at a county hospital. There he meets David Smith, a medical student recovering from a drug addiction, and the two men begin a tennis ritual that allows them to shed their inhibitions and find security, in the sport they love and in each other. But when the dark beast that is David's addiction emerges once again, almost everything Verghese has come to trust and believe in is threatened. Compassionate and moving, The Tennis Player is an unforgettable, illuminating story of how men live and how they survive.Read Less
A physician tells a story of mentoring a junior colleague through their shared interest in tennis.
The physician, with marriage problems, and his colleague with drug abuse problems.
Some interesting clinical histories are used as subplots.
Dec 5, 2009
I wanted to read more of this author because I loved his book Cutting For Stone. I am not interested in tennis, but this book was fascinating even though there is a lot about tennis in it. Verghese is a very good writer and can make any tale interesting and compelling. I recommend it to anyone who likes good writing. It will be a plus to have an interest in tennis, medicine, and marvelous characters.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-07-13 In his eloquent memoir, My Own Country, Verghese described a parallel story, that of a stranger (himself) and AIDS both becoming part of a rural Tennessee town. Once again, Verghese weaves his own story with that of a place and another person to come up with something moving and insightful. As he tries to cope with a new job on the faculty of Texas Tech School of Medicine, the move to El Paso and the breakdown of his marriage, he meets David, a medical student and former tennis pro. Tennis matches with David reawaken Verghese's passion for the game, and soon the two become regular partners. Their connection is complicated by their shifting roles: Verghese, David's teacher in the hospital wards, becomes his student on the tennis court. For Verghese, the matches offer an escape from loneliness; for David, a recovering drug addict, even more is at stake. Only on the court can they reach a state of grace: "our tennis partnership was special, different, sacred like a marriage." Ultimately, as David's life takes some disturbing turns, Verghese finds himself forced to choose between his role as friend and that of authority figure. While David's story provides the main narrative drive of the book, it's interwoven with Verghese's descriptions of his AIDS patients, his relationship with his sons and meditations on El Paso's distinctive landscape. It's a hard trick but Verghese combines all these elements into a cohesive whole, moving easily between moments of quiet reflection and anxious anticipation. If, as he writes, "to tell a life story [is] to engage in a form of seduction," then Verghese is a master of romance. Agent, Mary Evans. Author tour. (Sept.)
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