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The Basketball Expatriate

The Basketball Expatriate by C. Bradford Eastland
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When is a story about a basketball player not even about basketball?

When the basketball player spends a couple hundred pages trying to convince you that it is.

A nameless man boards a plane in Los Angeles, headed for London. A ballplayer. Or at least until recently. Injuries have compelled the worst team in professional basketball to cut him from the squad. But another team will surely pick him up. Only a matter of time. In the meantime, he reckons, he will put some welcome distance between himself and the country that is trying to take from him his livelihood.

The tale starts out innocently enough with the man making a nuisance of himself with everyone he encounters across the pond. He tells of his troubles, the people who have wronged him, the bad breaks he's had...while all the while he woos women, yells for more ale, eats his way out of shape, spews opinions, and drives his rental car as if he's starring in a speed-crazed cartoon.

Yet we soon discover what is really driving him and that he is a man heading for a meltdown. Courtesy of this reluctant and clueless expatriate in a rented sportscar, we are allowed a glimpse of the verdant fields of Sussex, the whiff of a crowded West End pub, the hopeful wails of the railbirds lining the stretch at Glorious Goodwood Racecourse, and the multiple sensory delights that make up a ten-o'clock sunset over a swath of water they call the Little Minch, in northern Scotland.

Even for those not paying close attention, quite a journey.

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Bitingduck Press; January 1999
140 pages; ISBN 9781886420540
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Title: The Basketball Expatriate
Author: C. Bradford Eastland
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