Most helpful critical review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Maybe a little over par...
on November 5, 2001
One of the most gifted sport commentators out there, Texan Dan Jenkins practically invented the golf novel with Dead Solid Perfect. Now, a decade or two later, Jenkins returns to the genre with the episodic The Money-Whipped, Steer-Job, Three-Jack Give-Up Artist which, in its rambling way, basically details a year on tour with an outspoken, somewhat befuddled pro golfer who, though a veteran of the game, has never quite become a star. With most of his money going to his two ex-wives (who are both wonderfully entertaining characters), the narrator spends most of his time telling anecdote-filled stories of golf history, detailing his fear of lizards (a potentially humorous motif that never quite pays off), and telling us of his rivalry with a European, superstar golfer who spends most of his time cheating on his wife and speaking of himself in the third person. Though the European golfer is a character that most readers have seen a million times in the past, his character is still crudely funny and the passages detailing his buffoonish vanity are amongst the book's best. Jenkins shines with his characterization -- though the characters are all somewhat shallow, Jenkins still creates vivid portraits of them and his dialouge gleams with a razor's edge. The narrator is, like Jenkins, from Texas and he tells the book's story in a laid-back, rather self-effacing drawl that makes for entertaining reading. However, plot-wise, the book never comes together and seems to wander rather aimlessly over the PGA tour. As well, if you're not a fan of golf, this book won't change your mind and Jenkins makes little attempt to make the book, with its litany of technical detail, understandable to those who might not be familiar with the game. Still, if you enjoy golf (like myself), this book is a pleasant little diversion. It won't change your life but it'll keep you entertained for a day or two.