Book Review: “The Racket” by Richard Kent

I recently had the opportunity to read Attorney Richard Kent’s latest sports book, and first novel, The Racket.  Kent tells the story of Darrell Howard, an African-American boy from Hartford who is introduced to the game of tennis and improbably develops into a star. 

In the first of Kent’s many references to real personalities and events from the tennis world, Howard becomes hooked on the game when he meets James Blake at the Pilot Pen in New Haven.  He plays high school tennis on dilapidated inner city courts or on suburban courts against more experienced players.  He goes on to earn a tennis scholarship and eventually turns pro.  As Howard begins to experience professional success, a beloved family member gets Howard tangled up in a gambling scandal that threatens Howard’s reputation, career and freedom.  Whether Howard’s success will be ruined by this scandal and its aftermath, or whether he’ll overcome it, become a pivotal point in the story.  This story is not, however, a cliché about someone from an underprivileged background brought down by his entourage.  It’s much more nuanced and subtle than that.

Kent, a matrimonial attorney from Fairfield (and guest blogger for Connecticut Sports Law), shines when setting the stage for the legal issues that are central to The Racket.  From Howard’s initial consultation with an attorney to direct examination at trial, Kent neatly and succinctly takes the reader through the legal issues facing Howard without bogging the story down in excessive legalese.

Although my knowledge of the game of tennis is admittedly limited, Kent’s passion for tennis is obvious in The Racket.  He describes Howard’s matches in great detail, and also sets out the significance and history of the various tournaments in which Howard plays.

Perhaps my favorite element of The Racket is the reference to people and places familiar to Connecticut residents.  The Pilot Pen is featured.  As mentioned above, James Blake is mentioned.  Various other references to UConn athletes and coaches are made.  Kent features the US Open, which many readers of The Racket have likely attended.

The Racket provides for a brisk and entertaining read for tennis fans, Connecticut residents, and those who enjoy the stories of transformation and redemption that often arise from competitive athletics.

The Racket can be purcahsed at Amazon.com.

Comments

  1. Miranda Writes says:

    LOL What a Jackass.

  2. Miranda Writes says:

    LOL. He’s such a jackass.

  3. тут на данном магазине можно заказать интернет магазин автозапчасти для иномарок Тюмень.

Trackbacks

  1. […] book and his first novel, “The Racket,” about the rise of an unlikely tennis star. Read a review here  Print This Post |  Email This Post | SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Hoop du Jour", […]

  2. […] emailing him at bewbr@aol.com.  Richard is also the author of a number of other books, including The Racket, a sports […]

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