THE MEMBER-GUEST by Anthony Robinson


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 Readers who come to this second novel (after The Whole Truth, 1990--not reviewed) expecting a lighthearted skewering of American country club elite are in for something of a shock--and a delightful read. Robinson has produced nothing less than a contemporary horror story set against the backdrop of the American Dream. The member-guest of the title is Augie Wittenbecher, a divorced, middle-aged lawyer invited to play golf as the partner of an old college chum at the posh Easthelmsford Country Club on Long Island. But Gordon McSweeney, whom Augie has not seen for years, is a man whose life and career are going to seed. His frustrated, sex- starved wife Catherine makes it obvious from the start that her only interest in the weekend is bedding (and re-bedding) Augie. The club turns out to be a most unfriendly place indeed, centerpiece of a world in which golf has become such an all-consuming obsession for many that a young woman has a nervous breakdown at a dinner party and begins eating her wineglass. And when the most beautiful woman he has ever met seems inexplicably drawn to Augie, she turns out to be the fiancÇe of his old prep-school rival. Battered, beaten, but never defeated, Augie and partner struggle on to the championship round against a team of that schoolboy nemesis and the autocratic father of the woman they both love. Even then, things aren't settled until a final ``nineteenth hole'' confrontation. Golfers with a sense of humor--and perspective--should enjoy this often hilarious look at their sometimes inbred little corner of our culture almost as much as a perfect afternoon on the links.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1991
ISBN: 1-55611-268-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1991