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The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese
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The Tennis Partner (edition 1999)

by Abraham Verghese (Author)

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5041729,747 (3.97)78
Member:carolacaldwell
Title:The Tennis Partner
Authors:Abraham Verghese (Author)
Info:Harper Perennial (1999), Edition: Later Printing, 345 pages
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The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
A memoir about a friendship, the practice of medicine, addiction, relationships and tennis. I found this an interesting read and well written. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
This was very good! It is mostly the story of a doctor and his troubled protege/friend. I also enjoyed the tennis references as both a player and fan of the pros. ( )
  nljacobs | Jan 19, 2016 |
This book is about the anatomy of a friendship, with all its darkness and light and shadows. I loved Verghese's novel, Cutting For Stone, and had heard that this memoir was worth a read, as well. He is such a fine writer, both in his insights and his ability to articulate them with sensitivity and clarity, as well as in his craft of telling a story. I am not a tennis player so the parts where he describes the games and the strategies, sometimes caused me to skim a bit, but not a lot. I knew this would be a sad story and felt in some ways that Verghese needed to write this book more for himself, as a way to come to terms with this very personal tragedy that he wasn't prepared for and could not prevent. Catharsis comes in many guises and Verghese allows us to travel this journey with him. ( )
  jessibud2 | Nov 23, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book. This book hits all the categories; marriage, work, friendship, among others. Because I work in healthcare I enjoyed the book even more than others who may not. I love the fact that he is a dark skinned, brown outsider like me. More importantly he is not ashamed of this fact. Indeed he uses it to make the book more interesting. His take on marriage, children, women, and race relations make the book a very interesting read. ( )
  ifisher | Jul 28, 2014 |
Such an amazing writer, so much insight into the complicated puzzle of life as it unfolds, twists, careens, levels. I'm a huge fan of Verghese and would list his My Own Country as one of my top ten non-fiction titles. Many fans of Cutting for Stone, but I find this author's non-fiction even more compelling. Verghese presents this tragic friendship within the passions shared by the two men: medicine and tennis. No holds barred here, nothing summary, casual or flip. The author shares his deep feelings and this heartfelt experience with the reader through the beauty of the details. Intense, critical details. Anyone who has every studied ANYTHING hard or dealt in any way with the heartbreak of addiction will resonate with this title. I wish I could count Abraham Verghese among my friends..... KH
  splinfo | Apr 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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For my sons, Steven, Jacob, and Tristan,
and especially for Sylvia
In memory of David Smith, M.D., 1959-1994,
James Searcy, 1936-1995,
and Adolph Sanchez, 1950-1996
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He had started rounds at five-thirty in the morning, working his way from one room to the next, writing progress notes as he went.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060931132, Paperback)

What is it about sports that makes some men wax as mystical as a Castanedan Yaqui? In the hands of writers such as David James Duncan and Norman Maclean, the simple, repetitive motions of baseball, fly-fishing, and golf have acquired almost numinous significance. In The Tennis Partner, Dr. Abraham Verghese takes on his own fascination with tennis and comes up with as good an explanation as any: "In the way we controlled the movement of a yellow ball in space, we were imposing order on a world that was fickle and capricious. Each ball that we put into play, for as long as it went back and forth between us, felt like a charm to be added to a necklace full of spells, talismans, and fetishes, which one day add up to an Aaron's rod, an Aladdin's lamp, a magic carpet. Each time we played, this feeling of restoring order, of mastery, was awakened."

For both Verghese and his tennis partner, a fourth-year medical student named David Smith, the game is a much-needed island of order in the midst of personal chaos. Both men are struggling to rebuild their lives, Verghese undergoing a painful divorce, Smith struggling with an intravenous cocaine addiction. For a brief, idyllic period, their friendship flourishes; Verghese mentors Smith in the examining room, while Smith, an Australian who competed briefly on the pro circuit, ends up Verghese's teacher on the court. But there are dark corners to David's personality, and under the mounting pressures of medical school and his increasingly complicated love life, these come to the fore. Even as he learns how to inhabit his new life, Verghese watches with horror as his friend relapses, dries out, then relapses again. The author of the powerful My Own Country, a chronicle of caring for AIDS patients in rural Tennessee, Verghese once again proves that the skills of a good doctor are strikingly similar to those of a good writer. Careful observation, compassion, restraint: these are the instruments Verghese uses to stunning effect in The Tennis Partner. A paean to the healing powers of tennis, this book is also a moving meditation on friendship, fatherhood, love, addiction, and the particular loneliness of physicians. --Mary Park

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:21 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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 addiction, and the two men begin a tennis ritual that allows them to shed their inhibitions and find security in the sport they love and with each other. This friendship between doctor and intern grows increasingly rich and complex, more intimate than two men usually allow. And just when it seems nothing more can go wrong, the dark beast from David's past emerges once again. As David spirals out of control, almost everything Verghese has come to trust and believe in is threatened. Compassionate and moving, this is an illuminating story of how men live, and how they survive.--From publisher description.… (more)

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