Hardwood is a comedic romp narrated by Jimmy Tribeca, a white point-guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., playing for an otherwise all-black Lewis & Clark College basketball team. Through a fluke, the tiny Portland, Oregon-based college shocks the collegiate basketball world by recruiting one of the nation’s most sought after high school graduates, a scoring machine named Trevor Windgate. With superstar Windgate setting scoring records, the Lewis & Clark Pioneers are in hot pursuit of an undefeated Immaculate Season, until the story reaches its madcap crescendo when two catastrophic events imperil several careers and the team’s perfect record.
Tribeca is a psychology major battling the persistent Portland rainfall and a nasty case of Seasonal Affective Disorder — as well as an aberrant relationship with his on-and-off girlfriend and a relationship of questionable closeness to his mother. The protagonist’s curriculum includes brutal and revealing therapy sessions with a German émigré named Meghan Himmler, a decorated psychologist Tribeca both admires and resents.
The standoffish Windgate is a nature-loving country boy (hence, his decision to attend Lewis & Clark to study environmental law) who has more in common with Tribeca than his black “brothers” from America’s inner cities. One militant teammate starts a mail correspondence with Louis Farrakhan and decides to join the Nation of Islam at mid-season and insists on changing his name, setting off a fresh round of tumult.
The team’s head coach, Roman Hoyt, is prescribed a cocktail of anti-depressants to endure the mounting pressure, a situation exacerbated by threats of dismissal from the college’s Athletic Director if Hoyt doesn’t finally win the Northwest Conference Championship – especially after the department bent recruiting guidelines to get Windgate’s letter of intent.
“This is a fantastic book – original”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Chip Jacobs
This is a fantastic book – original, lacerating, beautifully rendered — and should appeal to both sports buffs and arm chair sociologists. You might not have heard the name Mike Consol before, but after reading his prose you won’t forget him. Writing is absolute. Either one has “it” or one doesn’t, and Hardwood proves Consol’s chops beyond pale. The interracial, human angle of small-time college basketball that he presents is so believable and searing you’d think it was about a real team, and the dynamic between the star point guard and the coach is worth the ride just by itself. I ABSOLUTELY love this book, written admittedly by a friend, and as a fellow author learned from someone who has that ‘it.” Come meet Jimmy T and his band of high top wearing misfits as they strive to make March Madness or just not kill each other in the process. Winner!
About the Author
Mike Consol is a career-long journalist, working as a reporter, editor, writing coach, publisher, blogger and podcaster for companies such as Knight Ridder, American City Business Journals and Institutional Real Estate, Inc. You can learn more about him at www.MikeConsol.com. Hardwood is his first novel. His second novel, soon to be published, is titled Family Recipes — A Novel about Italian Culture, Catholic Guilt and the Culinary Crime of the Century.