Playing Right Field: A Jew Grows in Greenwich

Playing Right Field: A Jew Grows in Greenwich

by George Tabb
     
 

One of a handful of Jews in the WASPish enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut, and still under 100 pounds in his junior year of high school, Tabb was routinely kicked around by the other kids—one blind, another one with one arm—as well as his father. "Playing Right Field" refers to an early experience of the author and his brother, Lloyd, who played Little

Overview


One of a handful of Jews in the WASPish enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut, and still under 100 pounds in his junior year of high school, Tabb was routinely kicked around by the other kids—one blind, another one with one arm—as well as his father. "Playing Right Field" refers to an early experience of the author and his brother, Lloyd, who played Little League together; they were forced to share one team t-shirt between the both of this because his father the multi-millionaire was too cheap to buy one of each of them. George and Lloyd chose right field because hardly any balls ever got hit out there and they thought it would be safe and provide them with lots of space. The book will include many stories, all true – and some very hard to believe. Each story has a strong sense of morality, and the book will be fun as well as very educational. Using the idea of "right field", the book will trace Tabb's growing sense of isolation and rebellion from birth through near the end of tenth grade.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fistfights, bodily functions and raucous comedy fill this thin, episodic childhood memoir from a seminal New York City punk musician (Furious George)/journalist (The New York Press). Tabb was a nice Brooklyn-born Jewish boy who, after his parents' divorce, was forcibly relocated by his father to Connecticut's rarefied, WASPy suburbs. "Greenwich didn't like Jews," Tabb writes, "but for some reason, my father liked Greenwich." Facing what he found to be a hostile and frequently anti-Semitic community, young Tabb stood his ground, even when (as it often did) it meant he was beaten to a pulp. He eventually earned some respect by shoving a pair of hooligans out the back of a moving school bus; he earned some more by punching out a Little League first baseman and sparking a bench-clearing brawl. When he wasn't defending his heritage, Tabb was blundering through more conventional pratfalls of childhood: puking on carnival rides, ogling older girls and torturing local wildlife (one particularly uproarious vignette involves an ax, a rifle and a giant turtle's Rasputin-like refusal to die). Underlying all the raw humor is Tabb's clear pain over his parents' divorce and a searing rage against his abusive father. Some tales require suspension of disbelief (e.g., was Tabb really sexually assaulted by a monstrous dog? Did his school principal really help him get back at a blind bully?). On the whole, however, Tabb's wry recollections of growing up will be darkly funny and all-too-familiar to anyone who still smarts at memories of middle school. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Punk-rock musician Tabb (of Furious George) writes about his early years. Each of the episodes is tightly plotted and paced, offering almost equal doses of pathos, growing rage, and laugh-out-loud humor. Tabb was bullied not only by his father, but also by thuggish, anti-Semitic classmates during his elementary and junior high years. He writes of taking beatings from an obnoxious group of suburban kids for several years before getting revenge. Another bully, incredibly, was a blind boy able to pulverize the sighted and physically fit Tabb who, credibly, was disbelieved by the adults to whom he turned for help. In spite of all this blood and hate, the story isn't relentlessly grim: he tried to protect his two younger brothers by working the three of them into a team; his mother was both affectionate and concerned for him; and several of his juvenile enemies have their own personal miseries exposed. Tabb portrays his own ignorance-and occasions of righteous innocence-and bypasses anything like self-pity and goes straight to irony, cultural parody, and black humor. The vulgar language and crude behavior (usually on the part of others) are fitting to the tale. Not only will teens find this easy to read in itself, but it's perfect to pair with K. L. Going's Fat Kid Rules the World (Putnam, 2003) and other novels that feature strong characterizations and give due respect to serious subjects without losing any opportunity for wisecracking in the process.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932360400
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
04/09/2004
Pages:
220
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.52(h) x 0.49(d)

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