Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Above par - writing about golf in Providence Noir
Supporting the idea re writing about sports - the smaller the ball the better the writing - old friend Thomas Cobb's story $1,000 Nassau in the Ann Hood-edited Providence Noir (Akashic) is pretty terrific writing, even if you don't like, or play, golf (like me). Simply, it's the story of a single round of golf, played by a golf hustler who joins 2 guys for a round on Triggs (a Providence course adjacent to RI College), plays a little below his ability and hustles the into upping the bet on their round well into the thousands - which he cannot cover and which he desperately needs - but the catch on at least by the back nine that he was suckering them as he plays just a little bit better, and gradually we realize these were not 2 guys to mess w/, shades of the Sopranos or, I guess, mob-world in Providence. Won't give the outcome away but even if some of the golf terminology eludes you this story will grip you beginning to end. I would say that the story is not particularly a Providence story, other than our knowing that there are plenty of wise guys who find time to spend part of their day on the links, and I wish TC had given some sense of the atmosphere of Triggs - I don't play so I don't know but guess it would be a pretty hard-scrabble public course, or at least it would propel the story a little more if we had that sense - but these are writers'-group quibbles - fine story in a strong collection.