Rub of the Green

William Hallberg, Author Doubleday Books $17.95 (325p) ISBN 978-0-385-24568-5
Six months earlier, newly minted pro-golfer Ted Kendall's future seemed perfectly laid out. His sport was a euphoric obsession that felt like an art form. His love life was a confused mess, but he thought he could bear it. And now, all of a sudden, he is serving two years' time in a Mississippi jail for committing vehicular assault on erstwhile golfing buddy and bete noire Dave Traynham. How can he have gone so wrong? It's difficult to imagine a literate golf enthusiast who wouldn't enjoy this paean to the sport in the guise of a novel. But you really don't need to be able to distinguish a divot fork from a fairway bunker to appreciate a gracefully written narrative that is, in effct, a profound meditation on the uses and meaning of all sport. In one revealing passage, narrator Kendall muses over the intricacies of a golf course constructed by Donald Ross, one of the great practitioners of the form. Ross's plan, he notes, punishes a bad shot as predictably as the sun goes down but nearly always rewards a good one. To combine such honesty with natural beauty is as clean an artistic statement as any man could make, he says. In this remarkable debut, Hallberg demonstrates that real sport (as opposed to the ballyhoo of big-time professional contests) is ideal in the Keatsian sense of art, a metaphor for life. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-553-34734-0
Paperback - 325 pages - 978-0-345-41749-7
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