AN UNCONVENTIONAL LIFETIME JOURNEY by Bill Faulhaber

AN UNCONVENTIONAL LIFETIME JOURNEY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut author covers his life inside and outside of the golf sporting-goods business in 269 email reminiscences.

Books have been compiled from the collected letters of Mark Twain, Michelangelo, and John Cheever, so why not Faulhaber? The Ohio-born author, a 35-year employee and sales manager for a golfing-gear company Spalding, concocted this sort of epistolary autobiography out of email mini-narratives he sent out on a daily basis to his large family. They recap his experiences since childhood, on and off the links and the job (with Faulhaber keeping the grammatical and spelling errors of his original cyber-missives). Punctuating the individual chapters/emails with notices to stay tuned for the next episode to find out what happens (or warning of a detour while the author remembers something else, because the order of the offerings is less than perfectly chronological), Faulhaber recalls a 1930s-’40s rural childhood with outhouses and a boyhood exposure to golf. He tells of toiling as a paperboy the day an issue announced the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt; relocating to Pittsburgh and serving weekends with the Coast Guard while trying a variety of sales jobs that ultimately led to Spalding; marrying at age 24 (which was old for his circle) and buying a house (for about $12,000); learning techniques of salesmanship; and planting marketing and promotional ideas in the head of Toney Penna, a golf pro and entrepreneur for whom Faulhaber also worked during a hiatus from Spalding. In addition to stories about meeting celebrities such as Bob Hope and Lorne Greene, the author includes details of his own business, travels, church and Knights of Columbus activities, and cardiac bypass and rehabilitation in his longtime state of Florida. At the end, he wraps up with “I wonder why in the world my personal life would be of any interest to strangers.” A good question for many readers, as the volume tops out at more than 700 pages. But as an idea of where e-media is taking the genre of the memoir, the author may be onto something, even if unintentionally. Golf enthusiasts may be the ideal readership, while others may find the sporting-goods boardroom minutiae just tedious. Ultimately, Faulhaber family members are the targeted demographic. One wonders what the author will write if he tries Twitter.

A series of meandering recollections that details adventures on and off the fairways.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5320-0264-9
Page count: 724pp
Publisher: iUniverse
Program: Kirkus Indie
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