Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cad Alert!

At this year's Tournament of Champions in New York I was walking over to the bar when there before me was a fellow with books to sell. It turns out this was Aubrey Waddy, author of Sex and Drugs and Squash'n'Roll, who had set up a little table and was hawking his book. Mr. Waddy and I exchanged quick howdy-dos and sure enough I bought his book. However, after long custom, I put the book at the bottom of my book pile, where it would have to wait until I had finished reading the 6 books above it. Those books tended towards Scandinavian murder mysteries, and included Karin Alvtegen's "Betrayal," Anders Roslund's "Box 21," Yrsa Sigurdardottir's "The Day is Dark," Lars Kepler's "The Hypnotist," and, in a stretch, a book of poetry, in Swedish, by Tomas Transtromer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature last year. 

So I had a lot to get through before the squash novel. But when I finally cracked the book, with its goofy cover art and its problematic typography, I have to confess I was a little dubious. It just didn't look like I was cracking open a first-rate yarn.

But I'm ready to admit I can be wrong, and boy was I wrong about this. Sex and Drugs and Squash'n'Roll lives up to its billing, providing plenty of lusty sex from the very first page, drug use by some of the protagonists that gets our squash hero into trouble, musical interludes from the squash player's avocation of mixing tapes, and, of course, a ton of squash. The author knows what he is writing about... Well, the squash, at any rate; about the sex and drugs and rock'n'roll you will have to ask him. Though I have my suspicions... 

Sometimes flat-out funny, the story includes the spicy bits but also interesting detail about how to make it on the pro circuit. Plus, the novel features one of the worst mothers in recent literature, and a very deranged father -- though of another player. Plus there is attempted murder....

You can get the book cheaply via Kindle or throw caution to the wind and buy the print version (here).

Mr. Waddy, you cad you, you've written a great book.

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