Too Soon to Panic

Too Soon to Panic

by Gordon Forbes
     
 

Gordon Forbes, professional tennis player in the fifties and sixties, has gained certain immortality in his eloquent and hilarious best-selling memoir, A Handful of Summers. Too Soon to Panic is Forbes's long-awaited sequel.With complete entrée into the sport's hidden corners and the keen insights and scrutiny of a writer undercover, Forbes reveals the

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Overview

Gordon Forbes, professional tennis player in the fifties and sixties, has gained certain immortality in his eloquent and hilarious best-selling memoir, A Handful of Summers. Too Soon to Panic is Forbes's long-awaited sequel.With complete entrée into the sport's hidden corners and the keen insights and scrutiny of a writer undercover, Forbes reveals the goings-on of the international tennis circuit from the late sixties to the early nineties - first as a player, and then as an observer. Too Soon to Panic is a court-level look at the tour from the era of Arthur Ashe through the reigns of Vilas and Borg and into the period dominated by Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi.Consorting with the top players, coaches, and myriad other characters of the tennis world, Forbes bears witness to their moments of great triumph, humiliating defeat, bad behavior, and daring escapades. He has troubles of his own, constantly battling bouts of panic and an astonishing sleepwalking affliction. Along with Abe Segal, his outrageously funny doubles partner, he travels the world from Wimbledon to the U.S. Open and beyond, bounding from one adventure to the next in an effort to make sense of the world of tennis and the world at large. Too Soon to Panic is a heartfelt and hugely entertaining chronicle of his days on the courts of life. (61/4 X 91/4, 340 pages)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Former South African tennis star Forbes (A Handful of Summer) writes less about the game of tennis than about the places where it is played and the ambiance of each, subjects on which he is both sensitive and articulate. His favorite cities are Paris, where he is still caught up in the mystique of the City of Light, and London, the center of the universe for a colonial raised by a nostalgic Briton; he enjoys Rome and is more than slightly ill at ease in New York, where the pace overwhelms him. His reminiscences range from his youth in the 1940s, through the 50s and 60s, when he was an internationally ranked player, to his career as a businessman and his current status as an observer of and commentator on the sport. Looming large in this memoir is Forbes's former doubles partner Abe Segal, an urban Jewish compatriot, earthy and outspoken, whose presence enlivens the text and who once told the author a few days before a match, "It's too soon to panic" (after which, Forbes claims, he himself began to play better). Forbes dedicates the book to his late sister, Jean, the wife of his ex-teammate Cliff Drysdale; her sudden disappearance may explain its somewhat wistful tone. (May)
Library Journal
This is a lighthearted, humorous look at the professional tennis tour from a former player who was on the South Africa Davis Cup Team in the 1960s. In this, his second book about professional tennis (the first being A Handful of Summers, LJ 5/15/79), Forbes draws on his memories and observations to describe the players and tour in New York, Paris, Rome, and London in the 1950s through the 1990s. As a former player and a knowledgeable spectator, he brings a depth of understanding to the sport. However, this is not the book to read for a look at life in South Africa in the last 40 years. In fact, Forbes seems blissfully unaware of any political or racial problems there. Overall, as a book of memories this is mildly entertaining and humorous. Buy for demand.J. Sara Paulk, Coastal Plain Regional Lib., Tifton, Ga.
Kirkus Reviews
A glossy and literate paean to life on the glamorous pro tennis tour.

Forbes, a former championship player from South Africa, is now best known for his occasional television commentary and written dispatches from the posh sidelines of the mercenary world of pro tennis. In this book, "Forbsey," as his chums call him, holds forth on a number of topics, many only peripherally related to pro tennis: Paris during the French Open; London during Wimbledon; New York during the US Open; Rome during the Italian Open, and so forth. Unless one has had the privilege of getting out of the gallery and beyond the velvet rope, most of what Forbes commits to paper—and Forbes, admittedly coming from a "family of note takers," commits a lot—is just this side of a crashing bore. Moreover, Forbes's lovely but static prose is tainted somewhat by the specter of his nation's past. While Forbes never addresses directly the subject of South Africa's history of minority rule, his unqualified admiration for Sun City (the once-whites-only South African resort that served as a lightning rod for international censure), his frequent use of pidgin English dialogue, and his inclusion of a passage that seems to lament the passing of an Anglo-Saxon London, makes this book a disquieting read.

Swell reading for the swell set, perhaps, but not for the common folk or the easily offended.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558215665
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/1997
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.11(d)

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