RARA-AVIS: Sports Noir

From: T. Kent Morgan ( tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 14 Feb 2007

I'm almost afraid to suggest some book as noir on this list. Despite all the discussion about noir over the past few years, I am more confused than ever as to what might qualify. But, please, not more explanations, at least for awhile.

John Williams mentioned David Peace's The Damed UTD. After reading it late last year, on the this list I called it as possibly the first football (soccer) noir. John would know better. Definitely noir is The Great Molinas by Neil D. Isaacs, a novel based on the life of basketball star Jack Molinas. He starred in college, played in the NBA where he was kicked out for gambling, became a lawyer, did jail time and was rubbed out by the mob. As it states on the dust jacket, "if you have to go bad, you couldn't do it with more success than Jack Molinas." I'm not a basketball fan, but this novel rates right near the top of my persoanl sports fiction list.

The Jook by Gary Phillips also should qualify. The late Barbara Serenella blurbed it as follows:

Zelmont Raines is a former Super Bowl-winning wide receiver who has self-destructed himself out of the limelight. He's trying every way he knows to reclaim the life of fast women and big money. All this leads to the end zone run of his life.

The Last Season by Roy MacGregor about a hockey goon also might fit the bill.

Kent Morgan

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