Miami Quarterback, Famous Ballerina Tangle in Seductive Mystery
David “Lizard” Hochmeyer is a former Miami Dolphins quarterback who’s now a successful chef. At almost 7 feet tall, he towers above most mortals, yet he is far from the only colossus in Bill Roorbach’s eventful, elegiac novel of sports and murder, food and finance.
“Life Among Giants” also introduces Lizard’s wild big sister, Kate, a tennis pro showered with endorsement deals for Victoria’s Secret and spermicidal jellies. Kate is married to her former Yale professor, author of a hippie pop-psych classic. Even Lizard’s first love, Emily, a half-black, half-Korean dancer, becomes a celebrity.
Dwarfing everyone is the couple who owned High Side, the mansion across the pond from Lizard’s childhood home in Connecticut: British rocker Dabney Stryker-Stewart, who becomes a still-greater legend after dying in a car wreck, and his ethereal widow, a famous ballerina named Sylphide.
It’s a seductive world whose beautiful, damaged women, easy grace and lights across the water evoke F. Scott Fitzgerald. No surprise, then, that these charmed lives are riven with violence and madness from the novel’s start.
In opens in 1970 when Lizard’s parents are gunned down outside a restaurant. Lizard is still in high school, and in the decades that follow he and Kate obsess over catching their parents’ killer….
From the Boston Globe:
“Life Among Giants” ranges across a sprawling landscape, encompassing football, food, ballet, and crime. Its sibling protagonists are both somewhat coy in revealing themselves, whether to a reader or to each other, but each is ultimately worth the investment. While Roorbach writes stunningly about the varieties of lust and near-love that David feels for a parade of women, the book’s most enduring, aggravating love story is between brother and sister. Part thriller, part family drama, “Life Among Giants” is deliciously strange and deeply affecting.
From the Wilmington Star-News:
“Life Among Giants” is a long, strange trip, but an enthralling one.
A controversial quarterback gets more ink than Tim Tebow in the latest novel from Roorbach (“Big Bend” and “Summers With Juliet”) — this one about the “giant” forces of celebrity, death and sports. At 17, 7-foot-tall David “Lizard” Hochmeyer has a football scholarship to Princeton and promising future when his parents are murdered in what looks like a mob hit. Lizard’s life then takes a turn that includes an affair with a famous ballerina who lives with a rock star, a stint as a celebrity chef, time as the QB for, not the Giants, but the Miami Dolphins — and the quest for revenge.