A Son of the Game: A Story of Golf, Going Home, and Sharing Life's Lessons

James Dodson, Author Algonquin $24.95 (292p) ISBN 978-1-56512-506-3

Given that it's written by one of the sport's premier chroniclers and is set mostly in and around the bucolic grounds of Southern Pines, N.C.—a resort town based mostly on the pursuit of golfing—there is surprisingly little golf in this homey memoir, though that's probably for the best. Dodson (Ben Hogan ; Final Rounds ) recounts how he was gripped by a midlife crisis after a shakeup at his magazine and the deaths of several close friends and family members. These events, plus a desire to give his son the same memories of golf that his father imparted to him, sent the Maine journalist scampering back to his Southern childhood home. Although Dodson knows perfectly well that possibly uprooting his whole family is little more than indulging a “chance to live out a boyhood fantasy” of being a smalltown newspaper man, he makes the idea as appealing as possible. There is not much forward momentum in this excessively ambling and self-satisfied work, and it suffers from Dodson's tendency to record conversations with a level of detail that sometimes strains credibility. However, it's all painted in a glossy, buttery hue of such fine vintage nostalgia that it's all the reader can do by the end to not immediately light out for the central North Carolina hill country. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/23/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 292 pages - 978-1-56512-942-9
Open Ebook - 305 pages - 978-1-61620-005-3
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-1-56512-978-8
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