Games People Read About

Hearing a couple of golfers mention Cobra golf gear in Starbucks the other day, made me think about the way sports are depicted in fiction. You don’t see a lot of novels where there’s a dead body draped over the front of a Zamboni, or where love affairs take place in the SkyBox of a major arena, but sports and games are often used in fiction. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Harriet the Spy: Notebook Tag. The game in which you run around trying to knock people’s books out of their arms, until you are the last person left.
  2. The Dick Francis mysteries: Almost everything he ever wrote involved horse racing in some fashion, either because the protagonist was a jockey or trainer, or because a murder took place in the turf world. I used to read these like candy.
  3. The Harry Potter books: Who can resist the lure of Quidditch – I mean the notion of any sport played on airborne brooms is pretty cool.
  4. Sara Paretsky’s work: Hockey is prevalent in at least one of the adventures of V.I. Warshawski, and Paretsky always weaves in mention of the Chicago Cubs.

Your turn: If you’re reading this, tell me about some of your favorite uses of games and sports in fiction.