The Greatest Tennis Match of All Time.
T he year is 2043. God and Satan are dining at a cute little Italian trattoria in Purgatory, when Satan challenges God to a wager: At stake is whether Good or Evil will prevail in the world. Both antagonists will choose someone on earth to compete in a winner-take-all athletic competition. If God’s choice wins, Good will prevail forever. If Satan’s choice wins… They select tennis as the ideal crucible in which to have this ultimate mano a mano sporting test of physical skills and inner strength.
Throughout the novel (which takes place in Florence, Venice, Rome, New York, Florida, Ohio, Paris, Barcelona, Melbourne, and Wimbledon), Italian wunderkind Ugo Bellezza (God’s choice) and American prodigy Jack Spade (Satan’s) battle both opponents and their own personal demons—and become the two greatest players in the history of tennis—until, in the final chapter, they clash in a titanic battle at Wimbledon, a cataclysmic, touching, and surprising dénouement in which (with everything on the line, literally and figuratively) the eternal battle between Good and Evil is ultimately decided.
Funny, thought-provoking, dramatic, and page-turning, this beautifully crafted novel is, all at once, a story about tennis, Italy and the U.S., family ties, love, joy and conflict, and the nature of athletic competition.