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The Basketball Expatriate
by C. Bradford Eastland
Price: $7.50
ISBN: 1-886420-54-8

When is a story about a basketball player not even about basketball?

When the basketball player spends a couple hundred pages trying to convince you that it is.

The time is July 1987. A nameless man boards a plane in Los Angeles, headed for London. A ballplayer. Or at least until recently. Injuries have compelled the worst team in professional basketball to cut him from the squad. But another team will surely pick him up. Only a matter of time. In the meantime, he reckons, he will put some welcome distance between himself and the country that is trying to take from him his livelihood.

The tale starts out innocently enough with the man making a nuisance of himself with everyone he encounters across the pond.  He tells of his troubles, the people who have wronged him, the bad breaks he's had....while all the while he woos women, yells for more ale, eats his way out of shape, spews opinions, and drives his rental car as if he's starring in a speed-crazed cartoon.

Yet we soon discover what is really driving him and that he is a man heading for a meltdown.

Courtesy of this reluctant and clueless expatriate in a rented sportscar, we are allowed a glimpse of the verdant fields of Sussex, the whiff of a crowded West End pub, the hopeful wails of the railbirds lining the stretch at Glorious Goodwood Racecourse, and the multiple sensory delights that make up a ten-o'clock sunset over a swath of water they call the Little Minch, in northern Scotland. 

Even for those not paying close attention, quite a journey. 

We offer short stories from his UK JOURNAL collection on our Freebies page.

About the Author

C. Bradford Eastland was born in 1955 in Iowa, but didn't stay long. By 1964 his family had caught the "restlessness bug" and moved to suburban Southern California where, aside from a two-year tour of duty in Berkeley to pick up a degree in History, he has remained in residence ever since.

Though not a regionalist by nature, most of Eastland's fiction takes place in his adopted Los Angeles County. The Basketball Expatriate, a mid-80s detour through England and Scotland, is an exception. Based on various sights and experiences gleaned from his many trips to the United Kingdom during the last fifteen years, The Basketball Expatriate is the most experimental of the author's  four novels and 19 short stories.