A neighborhood bookie peddles athletes to college coaches and develops a sport betting operation centered on high school games. He recruits an accomplice to execute his last bet, one that could set them up financially for life but is fraught with danger. The Chicago Police investigate the greedy gamblers who might try to manipulate a high school basketball playoff game. A chance meeting between the father of a mediocre student-athlete and the bookie puts in motion a sequence of events transforming the player into a Division 1 prospect using unorthodox basketball training methods. Corrupt adults, who selfishly engage in risky and exploitive behaviors, surround the athlete: gangland profiteers, win-at-all-cost coaches, greedy street agents, shoe company representatives, college recruiters, disloyal lovers, and others. Advantage Disadvantage examines the motivations that drive the surrounding adults to corruption, betrayal, and greed.
Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful.
Riveting Tale of Dreams and Deceit
By David Shapiro
Advantage / Disadvantage is a cleverly interwoven tale of High School athletes who are unwittingly taken in by the sleezy characters that cling to the periphery of organized sports, and profit from them by means of greed and deception.
This book was eye - opening and shocking, and at other times touching and surprising - but never was it boring. The characters inspired hope as well as loathing, and made me think that High School athletics might not be as simple and innocent as we are led to believe. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the sequel. Well done, Mr. Jaffe!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful.
high school sports unveiled
By Dennis Batchelder
Yale Jaffe's "Advantage Disadvantage" weaves a plot around the money, politics, economics, and dreams of high school basketball.
Advantage/Disadvantage is the name of a con that a bookie has strung together with the help of a sports writer. But that's just one small piece of the book: Jaffe spins his story not only through their points of view, but also through the eyes of a player's parents, a referee, a newpaper editor, and a coach. He shows us snippets of their lives and puts them all together in this fascinating tale of the ecosystem that supports high school sports.
The characters who most grabbed my attention were Jamal and Marcus, the basketball team captain and his father. I enjoyed following their lives and watching both of them grow and overcome their obstacles.
I learned a ton of stuff about how the athletic systems work. Jaffe took me to jail, up and down a referee ladder, through summer leagues, and around coaching career dreams. If you're interested in seeing the guts of how high school sports work in a big city, you'll enjoy this book.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful.
Behind-the-Scenes Basketball Thriller
By S. Chang
Advantage Disadvantage is a nail-biting, behind-the-scenes pass into the world of high school sports and the people who make and break it. Set in Chicago, its innately urban backdrop is full of distinctly Windy City landmarks. This is the perfect read for sports fans that love an insider's view...an insightful and deliciously-sinful plot full of twists and turns. You'll find the perfect blend of bravery, betrayal and who-done-it adventure in this vividly penned thriller.