Item description for Playing Right Field: A Jew Grows in Greenwich by George Tabb & John Strausbaugh...
One of a handful of Jews in the WASPish enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut, and undersized at that, George Tabb was routinely kicked around by the other kids --- one blind, another one with one arm --- as well as by his father. Playing Right Field refers to an early experience of the author and his brother, Lloyd, who played Little League together; they were forced to share one team T-shirt because their father the multimillionaire was too cheap to buy one for each of them. George and Lloyd chose right field because hardly any balls ever got hit out there and they thought it would be safe and provide them with lots of space. This book is a series of vivid remembrances --- morality tales with an absurdist edge --- that trace Tabb's growing sense of isolation and rebellion. Each is illustrated by noted underground cartoonist Fly.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 7.5" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date May 14, 2004
Publisher Soft Skull Press
ISBN 1932360409 ISBN13 9781932360400
Reviews - What do customers think about Playing Right Field: A Jew Grows in Greenwich?
Absolutely loved this book!!! Apr 2, 2006
I first met George Tabb at a club one night last year and found out we had some old friends from the past in common. He said he had a book out called Playing Right Field that I might like and another one, Surfing Armageddon, that will be coming out in a few months. The first one was a childhood memoir, the second is about his high school and early college years. I found George really interesting to talk to, so I was determined to look up these books, and read about this guy. As my friends and I were leaving the club, he said if I was interested, I can check out his web site. So the next day at my office, I found the site and glanced at a few of his blog entries. This guy was very funny. And I thought anyone who loves their little Yorkie that much clearly has a big, big heart. So I looked up his books on this site, and read their descriptions.
Now, being the Jewish child of Holocaust survivors, and having emigrated to the U.S. with my family when I was five, from communist Romania, where a Jew was a second-class citizen, I related to his painful daily abuse at the hands of those fascist little Greenwich aryan bullies who had it in for him and his little brothers for nothing but their ethnicity. But his home life wasn't any safer. Yet the stories themselves sounded hilarious. I was intrigued, so I ordered the first book. The second one wasn't out yet at the time.
The guy sitting in the cubicle next to mine asked what book I was ordering and I told him Playing Right Field, a childhood memoir by a guy called George Tabb whom I met last night. He says, "George Tabb? You mean the guy who wrote those hilarious columns for the New York Press?" I said I don't know, he just told me about his books, and they sound really funny from their descriptions on this site. He says Tabb's columns were his favorites. He'd been a big fan of his writing for years, since he first saw his columns in Maximumrocknroll, a publication I'd never heard of. He says, "Hold on a minute," and emails me a bunch of links to George Tabb stories.
And after reading them, I'm just blown away. One after the other, they're all clever and witty and sweetly self-deprecating. And laugh-out-loud funny. So I couldn't wait to read the book.
I was not disappointed! It is one of my favorite books ever. It breaks your heart while cracks you up laughing, and in every bizarre story (all of them are bizarre) there's a lesson learned. And you find yourself smiling. After finishing the book, I emailed him that I really enjoyed it, as did my teenage son who generally doesn't like to read, but he loved this book. So did his friends who borrowed it. So I ordered it for friends and family for as holiday gifts. And in that email, I also told George I was really sorry that I didn't know any of his writing or his music when we met.
The funny thing is, for a writer so well respected and so well known in the music scene, he's anything but a snob. He is the nicest, kindest, most approachable person you'd ever want to meet. It's surprising, considering he grew up so filled with rage at his abusive sadistic father, that he didn't turn out to be a serial killer!
By the way, I just finished his new book, Surfing Armageddon, in which George's family leaves Greenwich for Tallahassee FL, where Jews are appreciated as much as, if not more, than they were in Greenwich! But now teenage George with hormones raging--inspired by the bad-ass music of a little band from Cleveland called The Dead Boys and that lovable NY punk band that leveled the playing field for outsider everywhere who thought they couldn't be cool, The Ramones--is on a quest to do what any healthy, red-blooded, sex-obsessed teenage boy is after. Lose his virginity. But like everything else in George's life, the road is filled with a few hilarious bumps along the way. Another gem. See my review of that one.
George's dad sure as heck wasn't mr C think his dad may of been my dad too..... Feb 3, 2006
Ahoy, if you're looking to buy this book you're proboly already familier with George Tabb's style of writing. And, so this book is more or less compiled as his column's tend to be written. Most of the stories are in proper order with a few a bit out of place but, no big deal. This is more a book to read here and there on one's lunch break not a sit down and read it from cover to cover. George reminds us what it's like to be on the receiving end of childrens cruelity and dealing it out mostly on the receiving end though. Arn't most punks the rejects of the so called norm children? George also shows the era for them young punks what kids did before they had video games and all that crap. They beat the crap out of each other had crazy adventures avoided their crappy parents and more or less just pain flat survive the bs years. This book would've been a five cept the first few chapters are rather ackward.....They seem to be structed rather oddly. They offer an early peak at George and that's perhaps why they're ackward cause they're from when he was 6 and a bit under while other chapters are 6th grade up to high school so, i think his memory is a bit hazy to add his style of humor to the story whilst keeping it on the tab or real. If you like George's writing overall you'll not be disappointed. Or, if you or someone you know's just likes to read stories about others that aren't really famous than this is also a good book to pick up. So, stop reading those F'n opera books and pick up a book about real life adventures from the Seventies. See George shoot his pop, see George puke at carney island, read about his adventure of killing the tortise that ate goats and kittens, also why one should avoid the left hand of the blind child and is wrestling a fag sport?!? Find out first hand from George if it is indeed and what the hell is Fourth Trumpett!!!!! All these wonderments and questions are in this book! After you're done reading this book you'll feel like drinking and being lazy. Or just like why the hell am I still working this crap job......
George Tabb Is A Genius. Aug 10, 2005
I had never heard of George Tabb until my friend Jenni recommended that I read his book, it was all of $8 including shipping so I figured, why not?
It was seriously one of the best books i've ever read, and I cannot wait for his new book to come out.
The book really makes you feel for young George as a character and absolutely abhor his father.
I reallly regret saying as a character since it's based on the real events of George's life. I plan on collecting all of George's writings that he's ever done for magazines now.
I read it in one night! Sep 17, 2004
George rules! This book rules! It's great to know that other people are pussies too, and that they are proud of it. I don't think I've laughed as hard as I did at the crucified frog in ages. It really brought all those scary uncomfortable primary school memories back to the front of my mind. I even remember the name of the bully I concussed in fourth grade for the first time since I whacked him one. Thanks for the great read George.
effort is sweet, bittersweet, and never self-pitying Sep 1, 2004
George Tabb is a man of the people. That is to say, he knows a heck of a lot of people and a heck of a lot of people know him. He is an approachable, likeable guy and when I began reading his Maximum Rock 'n Roll columns back in the late 80s I had no idea that he was actually such a friendly person. Due to his long-standing punk rock celebrity/credibility he doesn't have to be. The fact that he IS such a great person is a testament to his character, glimpsed here in "Playing Right Field: A Jew Grows in Greenwich."
This book is a collection of essays that span Tabb's early childhood and teen years. It is all at once heartfelt and heartbreaking. When I finished it I felt the urgent desire to seek out and brutally punish anyone who'd ever been mean to George, and believe me when I say that would be a time-consuming process!
The bottom line is that this book is full of poignant, bizarre, and sometimes upsetting memories presented in amazingly rich detail. Tabb's capacity for recall is the mark of a great writer and a true talent.
I believe this book is an incredibly valuable manuscript that takes the reader back to the sometimes cruel state of childhood, all the while reminding us that back then we always strove to remain optimistic in our belief that Tomorrow would be a better day. I believe that George Tabb is still optimistic - despite everything - and that this both confusing and inspiring characteristic distinguishes him as a complex man with an important voice.