Playing Out the String
B. J. Leggett
If Alfred Hitchcock had lived to direct a movie about the abuse of political correctness, it would have been Playing Out the String. This is a frightening novel of rabid political correctness, mistaken identity, mounting circumstances, and the will to destroy a man. Robert McCabe is a professor of film at a Tennessee university. Until this semester he’s passed his time trading film quotes with another professor to make a game of current events. Then a woman accuses him of exposing himself over the summer in the university library, and the quotes take on a new seriousness, starting with Ernest Borgnine’s “playing out the string” from his movie The Wild Bunch. Borgnine says this directly to indicate a fatalistic will to continue despite overwhelming odds. And sure enough, he and his friends are killed by gunfire. Amid mounting accusations will McCabe end in a similar spiral? Especially after he refuses to hire a lawyer and contacts a local journalist to give his side of the story . . .
ISBN, trade paper: 1-931982-44-9, $14.95 Sale $7.50
ISBN, library edition: 1-931982-43-0, $25.00 Sale $12.50
B.J. Leggett grew up on a farm in West Tennessee. After receiving a doctoral degree from the University of Florida, he joined the English Department of the University of Tennessee, where he holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Humanities. A study of the last poems of Wallace Stevens, LATE STEVENS: THE FINAL FICTION, will be published next spring by LSU Press. PLAYING OUT THE STRING is his first novel to go public.
| Excerpt From
He traced its beginning more or
less arbitrarily to a Saturday morning in October when he stopped at a liquor
store on Kingston Pike and found that he was missing a credit card. The lost
credit card was of little consequence—it had no real connection with what
happened subsequently—but there was a link in his mind since it was in
retrieving it he first realized he might have a problem.