Playing Right Field: A Jew Grows in Greenwich -- George Tabb
From Chapter Two, A Jew vs. Jesus:
Religious symbols and the concept of evil fascinated me when I was a little kid. I remember seeing Rosemary's Baby and The Omen, and feeling something that wasn't fear.
It was jealousy.
I wanted to be Mia Farrow's devilish offspring. I wanted to be Damien, to have cool dogs around me, to kill people with plates of glass. I especially wanted to be Damien in Omen II, where he went to boarding school and killed tons of bullies.
No such luck. I was stuck being a Jew in Greenwich, Connecticut. The only antichrists around were the other kids, who kicked my ass every day.
Playing Right Field is an extremely funny book about an extremely miserable childhood. I responded to it the same way that I responded to Running with Scissors: I smirked and giggled my way through the book, but after finishing, when I let it all sink in... Ooog. George Tabb even got beat up by a blind kid. A blind kid.
His father and stepmother were peaches:
My stepmother, pissed as hell that now she couldn't stay home in the mornings listening to Carole King or fucking the carpenter, yelled at us for the next few weeks. My dad got so angry about my stepmother yelling, he grounded us for a month.
And beat the shit out of me.
It took me a little while to get into his rhythm -- I suspect that he dislikes commas as much as I love them -- but once I fell into it, I just read and read until I was finished. It very definitely doesn't have to be read like that -- each chapter is pretty self-contained. He's an excellent storyteller.
There were some odd editing glitches that I found distracting -- a word repeated occasionally, or a 'the' instead of 'they' -- but nothing that made me feel violent. I'm really looking forward to his next installment. (I'm especially hoping that there will be a story that more fully covers the (many) brief references to his father wearing ladies' underwear. So sue me. I'm immature.)