Picks and Pans Review: Love & Other Recreational Sports

updated 08/04/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/04/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By John Dearie

Jack Lafferty, the narrator of this slender first novel, has good reason to swear off women: Three weeks before his wedding, his fiancée cheated on him. But soon he meets charming, witty Sarah, who puts his pledge of abstinence to the test.

The former fiancée is so underdeveloped that she might as well have been named Psycho Ex. But Dearie has an eye for amusing details, and the book is a spirited ode to New York City. Love nearly conquers all of its flaws. (Viking, $23.95)

BOTTOM LINE: Lovely recreational read

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