GOLF DREAMS by John Updike


Writings on Golf
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This gathering of 30 previously published fictional works, articles, and essays demonstrates Updike's "impassioned but imperfect devotion" to the game of golf. "Golf," wrote Updike in a 1972 essay, "inspires as much verbiage as astrology." In this collection, it soon becomes clear that few other things have nourished the author's work more than his nearly 40-year-long relationship with golf and the golfing life. Included here are his reminiscences about first picking up the game at the age of 25 and his musings about growing up and growing old out on the links--all given voice here by his recurring fictional alter ego, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. When not pondering life's greater questions, Updike rails against the use of motorized carts by able-bodied persons; exposes the "Gimme Game," a unique and universally accepted form of cheating; studies the complex relationship between golfer and caddy; logs some valuable couch time watching televised golf; revels in the solitary joy of a late-season round on a desolate Massachusetts course; and dares to ask the burning question on every duffer's mind: Will success spoil the game of golf?. This collection, like golf itself, seems to dwell occasionally on the picayune. However, as with much of Updike's previous work, this volume read whole is more than the sum of it's parts. Besides, it's charming to read one of this generation's most accomplished men of letters describing his love/hate relationship with golf--a game that saps one's patience and retards one's fashion sense--as "one misery that doesn't necessarily love company." An enjoyable experience cover-to-cover and tee-to-green.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-679-45058-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1996


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