Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Playmates, Audio Edition

Monday, October 30, 2017

Playmates, Audio Version (1989/1990) Robert B Parker narrated by Michael Prichard

Spenser is hired to look into accusations of point shaving at Taft University. He relatively quickly finds the answer, but finding a solution is going to be much harder.

This is one of the Spenser books I really like. Not my top favorite, but very good nevertheless.

I particularly like Dixie (the coach). He’s a blow-hard, but once Spenser finally gets him to listen, it’s clear he’s not actually a completel jerk.

I picked up my gym bag and started out the door.

“Spenser,” Dixie said. I stopped and turned my head. “I didn’t know he couldn’t read,” Dixie said.

“Makes you wonder how he maintained a two point three average, doesn’t it,” I said.

“Maybe we ought to find that out too,” Dixie said.

The other fascinating thing is how none of the teachers colluded to cover up that he couldn’t read. Some didn’t care, some did, but somehow the system just let it happen.

“Do you know that he can’t read?” I said.

“I don’t know it,” Wagner said. “But I suspected it. He missed the midterm, and prevailed upon me to let him do a paper instead. He got an A on the paper. He said he was going to have to miss the final because of basketball. I said he’d have to make it up. I was skeptical about the paper. He missed two scheduled make-ups. He said an incomplete would make him ineligible to play. That Coach Dunham was a martinet, not his phrase, about such things. I knew what was riding on his having a good senior year. I said he could take a D for the course. His grades in his other courses were such that a D wouldn’t make him ineligible.”

“And that was it?” I said.

“No. I spoke to Dr. Roth, the academic coordinator for basketball. I said Dwayne was academically troubled. That I questioned his basic skills and that I thought perhaps he should be tested to see if we could help him.”

It’s fascinating and horrifying, and you can bet it’s still happening today.

Also, Spenser really starts to think and talk about food more here.

Susan was having dinner with friends tonight. I was playing a Matt Dennis tape in my car and planning supper. Fresh crabmeat, maybe, sautéed in olive oil and white wine with red and yellow and green peppers, and mushrooms, and served over rice. Or I could pound out some chicken thigh cutlets and marinate them in lemon juice and tarragon and a drop of virgin olive oil and cook them on my new Jenn-Air indoor grill. I could have a couple more beers while I waited for them to marinate, and I could eat them with some broccoli and maybe boiled red potatoes. I’d put a honey mustard dressing on the broccoli. Or maybe some tortellini …

Remember, this is 1989. Guys were not foodies. We might have been moving past meat & potatoes, but we weren’t that far past it.

Spenser also admits to have fought in Korea in this book.
Rating: 8.5/10

Publisher: Random House Audio


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