The Tennis Partner

The Tennis Partner

Book - 2011
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Verghese's marriage is unraveling. He relocates to El Paso, Texas, hoping to make a fresh start as a staff member at the county hospital. He meets David, a medical student and former tennis pro, and their matches reawaken Verghese's passion for the game. As David's life takes some disturbing turns, Verghese finds himself forced to choose between his role as friend and that of authority figure.
Publisher: New York : HarperPerennial, 2011
ISBN: 9780062116390
0062116398
Branch Call Number: 610.92 V496t 2011
Characteristics: 345, 10 p. ; 21 cm

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A memoir of men, doctors, friendship, tennis, addiction, disintegration and the lies we tell each other and ourselves. Verghese brutally depicts the secretiveness and alienation of addiction, "the contrast between the appearance of things and what lay underneath." Fabulously well w... Read More »

When Abraham Verghese, a physician whose marriage is unraveling, relocates to El Paso, Texas, he hopes to make a fresh start as a staff member at the county hospital. There he meets David Smith, a medical student recovering from drug addition, and the two men begin a tennis ritual that allows the... Read More »


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DorisWaggoner
Oct 01, 2015

I know nothing about tennis, and admit I ended up skimming some of that. Verghese makes that easy by putting much of it in italics. This book's not really about the game, though, except as a metaphor for the various compulsions that rule our lives. Tennis also serves here as the glue for a relationship, and as such it's fascinating. Verghese tries to be honest about the relationship with David, his medical student and soon his best, and only friend. Yet there are multiple blind spots in that friendship that keep him from diagnosing what's going on with David in the way he does with his patients. Both of them suffer from some of the same failings, for some of the same reasons. The writing itself is exquisite.

kelleypoole Sep 15, 2013

I have mixed feelings about this book, given that parts of it were fascinating to me and other parts I skipped. The drama of the story is captivating, but it is watered down with narratives on tennis that went on for too long. I realize the author is obviously obsessed with tennis, but the drawn out descriptions of grips and replays of matches between famous players took the attention away from the real meat of the book. I was also rather shocked that the author was so oblivious to his friend'd drug abuse and the warning signs of relapse. His views on sexual addiction were close minded and revealing. Such is the reality of being human.

k
kareneb
Nov 29, 2012

Just finished this wonderfully rich memoire which entertwined tennis, medicine and addiction. Beautifully described and intimate in the descriptions of this friendship in all its stages. An excellent read.

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