Kobe in Colorado, fictionalized

First, there was the controversy over Peter Golenbock's 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel, a so-called "inventive memoir" published this spring that imagined the Yankee slugger recounting his sexploits to sportswriter Leonard Shecter (who helped Jim Bouton with Ball Four).

Now comes James Boice's MVP: A Novel (Scribner paperback), which imagines a Kobe Bryant-like phenom who gets entangled in rape and murder charges. Born in California and now living in Boston, Boice has written for Esquire and McSweeney's. Here's the plot synopsis of MVP from Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Labrecque (who gave the novel an A- grade): "Basketball star Gilbert Marcus, the refined son of an ex-jock, enters the pros straight from high school, gets a rival teammate traded after three straight titles, and is accused of a violent crime while committing adultery. Sound familiar? James Boice's MVP is a brutally incisive roman ΰ clef. Boice may not be an insider, but he seems to have opinions about Kobe Bryant. His jarring stream-of-consciousness prose clicks once you realize he's given his narcissistic protagonist the deranged neuroses of a Bret Easton Ellis character. His portrait of Marcus is a frightening trip through the misogynistic, homophobic mind of a professional athlete."

June 8, 2007 9:54 AM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor

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