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The Greatest Player Who Never Lived: A Golf Story Paperback – March 13, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (March 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767907167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767907163
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for J. Michael Veron and The Greatest Player Who Never Lived:

“J. Michael Veron’s first novel is golf’s literary rookie of the year.”
— Dave Anderson, New York Times

"Talk about a well struck first shot. Michael Veron hits a literary hole-in-one…a tale that mixes crime, mystery, and courtroom drama."
USA Today

"Solid as a shot that nestles up to the cup from a 3-wood distance...a golf whodunit, southern style."
—-Pat Sullivan, San Francisco Chronicle

“A page-turning mix of golf history and mystery, almost as if John Grisham played 18 holes with Bagger Vance and decided to write about their day together.”
—-San Diego Union-Tribune

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Customer Reviews

For any fan of golf (and golf history) this book is a must read.
Edward McGloine
Mr. Veron brought Beau Stedman to life and made Bobby Jones alive once more.
Carol J. Griffin
Lots of factual history interwoven with a wonderful fictional story.
steve watson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By nick campbell on April 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am equal parts history buff and golf enthusiast. I could spend all day reading about two events: the sinking of the Titanic and the 1986 Masters. I am sure ther are many others out there like me. if so, the novel "The Greatest Player Who Never Lived" by Michael Veron, was also written for you. It is difficult to describe how captivated I became while reading about the relationship between Beau Stedman and Bobby Jones. Veron's writing style could not be clearer; his character and plot development are as compelling as any Grisham, Clancy or Follet novel i've read. The ultimate compliment for an author comes when the reader is so enthralled with a book that the reader feels an ovewhelming urge to contact the author personally to thank him. I am in the process of trying to locate Mr. Veron.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bob Hampton on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I had heard about this book and when it arrived, the back cover had the Miami Herald comparing it with To Kill A Mockingbird. It is rare when such an endorsement is backed up with what is actually between the books covers.
After the first 30-40 pages I couldn't put the book down. Every time I thought I had the plot figured out, it twisted another way. The way the main character, Beau Stedman had his life ripped away from him at such an early age, and had to carve a new one was spectacular. The development of the characters, the southern setting and the plot were all very well done. The author's writing style was very crisp and very readable.
I would highly recommend this book for any avid reader of fiction and certainly anyone who has any interest whatsoever in golf.
One question I did have, how much of this book is based on fact, as a majority of the book was so realistic, I just don't think the author could have thought it up, or if he did, he will undoubtedly get a big following.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are debating on whether you want to read this book please don't hesitate another moment. Even if you aren't a golf fan this clever novel will keep you fixated on the wonderful mysterious friendship between two friend - Beau Stedman and the legendary Bobby Jones.
If you are a golf fan, it should be required reading over the summer. An absoultely terrific novel from Michael Veron. I can't wait for The Greatest Course that Never Was.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Carol J. Griffin on June 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am so impressed! What a terrific book! Mr. Veron brought Beau Stedman to life and made Bobby Jones alive once more. I don't think I can come up with enough superlatives for this book. It was great in every way. The writing was superb; the plot-line kept you going until the end; the descriptiveness of the golf courses made you feel as though you were there. I had to continually remind myself that this was, in fact, fiction as I felt myself wanting to look up information about Beau Stedman to find out more about him. I know Mr. Veron is a lawyer but I think he has a great career ahead of him as a writer. I highly recommend this book and look forward to his next book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Look out Grisham, because Michael Veron has done it with this one. The Greatest Player who Never Lived has been masterfully written and keeps you wondering as Charlie Hunter, a young law clerk reveals in Bobby Jones's old files the great playing record of Jones's private protege Beauregard Stedman. What he reveals next is the twisted secret that would keep this young man from ever competing in professional golf. This book keeps you yearning for more and leaves you wishing it were all true fact. A great can't put-it-down novel by Michael Veron.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David E. Levine on March 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book is fiction but there is a lot of golf history which serves as a back drop to the story. A summer associate at Bobby Jones old law firm is assigned to go through Jones' files. He stumbles accross records of a protege of Jones who, because of a murder allegation, had to go underground and play the world's greatest golfers under a series of assumed names. Of course, one of the focuses of the novel is to get to the bottom of the allegations. As a 'whodunit" the outcome is predictable but, there are several other twists and surprises which are masterfully woven into the plot. A highlight of the book is a blow by blow account, replete with course descriptions, of a round of golf played at Augusta National, the famed home of the Masters. I noticed one huge mistake, the author states that the world famous Greenbrier golf resort is in Virginia. Uh uh!! It's in West Virginia. Despite that error, it is an enjoyable book which I read in a day and deserves five stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Rendine on May 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by a friend and his overwheling endorsement convinced me to read it. I can never thank him enough ! This is without argument one of the finest books I have read and it is an amazing effort by J. Michael Veron. For anyone remotely passionate about golf this is a must read. This book transports you to another era, to when golf was in it's infancy and our nation was as well. The name Bobby Jones has always conjured up images of insurmountable golf achievements, this book brings to life the man and his unshakable devotion to someone seemingly unworthy of his cosideration. Loyalty, True Friendship, Devotion, Respect and Honor are all attributes that emerge in this captvating book. Anyone who reads this will forever have a deeper appprecation of the above traits and an increased fondness for the essence of the great game of golf.
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