The Greatest Player Who Never Lived

Veron, J. Michael

Published by Sleeping Bear Press
ISBN 10: 1886947899 / ISBN 13: 9781886947894
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Unwritten in the annals of the sporting world is the story of a man with unlimited potential who was denied his rightful place in the lore of golf His story had remained a mystery for so many years, yet it wasnt a mystery at all, since he had long been forgotten. It is a story that may never have been told had Charley Hunter not accepted a summer internship at Butler & Yates, a prestigious Atlanta law firm. Bobby Jones, the legendary amateur golfer, had once been a partner at the firm and his old legal files had been severely neglected over the years. The task of cataloging these files soon presents the young law student with much more than he anticipated. Charley learns quickly that there is a compelling tale buried within the files of Bobby Jones.

Review: With very few exceptions--think Dan Jenkins's Dead Solid Perfect and Steven Pressfield's The Legend of Bagger Vance--golf's most notable fictions are generally consigned to the imaginative mathematics that weekend duffers jot down on their scorecards. Consider The Greatest Player Who Never Lived a truly rare birdie then. It's a thrilling golf novel that not only captures the game, but transcends it.

J. Michael Veron's engaging fantasy begins when young law student Charley Hunter accepts a summer internship at the Atlanta law firm in which the great Bobby Jones was once a partner. Assigned to catalog Jones's dusty files, Hunter comes upon an intriguing correspondence that hints at an extraordinary story. True to his name, Hunter then sets out to learn the truth behind the unlikely exchange of letters between Jones, golf's erudite and nonpareil pillar, and a semiliterate phenom named Beau Stedman, who, on the verge of golfing greatness in the early '30s, disappeared under the cloud of a murder charge. With Jones's secret help and support, Beau manages to survive. A fugitive determined to honor his golfing destiny, he emerges here and there to play the greatest golfers of the era. Hunter isn't satisfied just with uncovering Beau's past, though; his obsession turns into a search for Beau's present, with unexpected complications.

The novel is filled with lots of good golf, and with good writing about golf's enigmatic hold on those captivated by the game. But Veron, a Harvard-educated lawyer, aims beyond golf here--and holes it. In Player, he's crafted a solid legal thriller that smartly confronts issues of character, truth, justice, and guilt, which are, of course, pretty much the same issues every golfer confronts the moment he or she steps up to the first tee. --Jeff Silverman

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Title: The Greatest Player Who Never Lived
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine

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