There is no mystery in honesty, and honesty can be a bitter pill. So can getting your ass kicked on a regular basis.
Playing Right Field: A Jew Grows In Greenwich is a book about getting your ass kicked for no good reason, and kicking some ass when necessary. It's also about living to tell the tale. It is a blunt, compact and often humorous reaction to a '70s Connecticut boyhood, a memoir that barks punk.
Author George Tabb clocks in with the first paragraph which ends: ""You're a Jew!'
And then came the fists."
There are no deductions in Playing Right Field, only observations. The only judgments are in the periods at the ends of Tabb's sentences. You draw your own conclusions.
"That's the point-you take away from the book what you want," Tabb said in a recent interview with CityBeat. "Laughs, cries, seriousness or utter stupidity. I like the last one the best."
Not only did Tabb contend with an onslaught of ignorant school-bus, summer-camp and, yes, blind bullies, but also attacks from his father, an abusive man who regularly gave Tabb the fist.
"I relate to him fine now that he's six feet under," Tabb said. "My father was psycho.... It's taken me years to be able to see that. But I'm glad I can. Because, that means I'm not."
In Playing Right Field, a young Tabb also defeats a carnivorous snapping turtle, fakes his way through fourth trumpet and pukes more than Linda Blair.
This book is a wildcard in the deck of contemporary memoirs. A sensitive outcast serves in hell and is released with a sense of humor, the ability to see himself in others and a damn fine first book.Yeah, Tabb got his ass kicked but never rolled over-he came back for more.