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Description - The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield

In the Depression year of 1931, on the golf links at Krewe Island off Savannah's windswept shore, two legends of the game - Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen - meet for a mesmerizing thirty-six hole showdown. They are joined by another player, a troubled war hero called Rannulph Junah. But the key to the outcome lies not with these golfing titans but with Junah's caddie and mentor, the mysterious, sage and charismatic Bagger Vance - for he is the custodian of the secret of the Authentic Swing...Written in the spirit of Bernard Malamud's The Natural and sharing the magic of the celebrated Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams, Steven Pressfield's first novel - never before published in the UK - reveals the true nature of the game. Page-turning, spellbinding and affecting, it is a novel for golfers and non-golfers alike - a story in which the search for the Authentic Swing becomes a metaphor for the search for the Authentic Self. 'A marvellous, life-affirming book' Mark McCormack 'Golf and mysticism...a dazzler and a thought-provoker' Los Angeles Times 'Good stuff...a philosophical fantasy imagined on a golf course, heavy with fog, storm, fireworks and the howling winds of supernatural forces' New York Times Book Review 'Memorable. ..a played a foot or so from Alice's looking glass, with mystical realms poised to engulf the reader at every turn' Sports Illustrated

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780553813074
ISBN-10: 0553813072
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 17mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Jan-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield

UK Kirkus Review » A tale overtly about golf that is in fact about much more besides, the search for the authentic swing serving as a metaphor for the search for the authentic self; subtitled 'a novel of golf and the game of life', it is a kind of 'zen and the art of the hole in one'. Set in America's Deep South in the Depression of the early 1930s, the story focuses on a game of golf - the eponymous Bagger Vance is a caddie, and a golfing guru - interweaving this with chunks of semi-mystical philosophy. A pacy read, with a high feelgood factor, recently released as a film. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Golf as pastoral ode? Not for screenwriter Pressfield, whose captivating first novel borrows more from Homer's record of heroic clashes than from Wordsworth's musings on lakes and verdancy. It's 1931, and while the country struggles through the Great Depression, Adele Invergordon of Savannah, Ga., presides over an exhibition match between Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones held at her family's spectacular new coastal course, Krewe Island. To appease Savannah's city fathers, Invergordon is compelled to allow local hero Rannulph Junah to compete alongside the two golf titans for the $20,000 purse. A troubled WW I vet once in possession of "every virtue of shining Southern manhood," Junah has been wandering the globe, searching for enlightenment in the company of Bagger Vance, his companion, confidant, and sage. Reluctant to test his rusty talent against stellar competition, Junah relents only when Vance, a black man, offers to be his caddy. What follows is not so much a report of the match as a sometimes awkward metaphysical fugue that integrates sport, spirituality, and the quest for individual fulfillment. Vance is no average caddy: He's an immortal warrior god who just happens to groove on golf, offering his champion the incontrovertible wisdom of the Authentic Swing while showing him how Hagen and Jones tap into their auras to reach linkster Nirvana. Junah's 36 holes against the dashing Hagen and the quietly brilliant Jones follow a pattern as old as Hellenistic verse: After a shaky start and the requisite sulking, Junah gathers himself and scorches the final 18. Along the way, Vance teaches him to play as if he, his game, and the course were a continuous expression of the examined life. Throughout, Pressfield displays his limber knowledge of a nobler golfing age, when gentleman players wore plus-fours and wielded clubs with hickory shafts. His hymn to the sport is less convincing when his classicism drops acid - Vance sometimes sounds precariously like Timothy Leafy - but such lapses are forgivable. Altogether, then, a swift, dandy debut. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield is the author of the novels The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War and Last of the Amazons. He lives in Los Angeles.

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