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The Putt at the End of the World Hardcover – May, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Edition edition (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446526002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446526005
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,054,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There's a great tradition of golf fiction, stretching from P.G. Wodehouse's Edwardian follies to John Updike's narrative birdies and chip shots. The Putt at the End of the World is a worthy addition to the canon, in spite of the fact (or because of the fact) that it's a team effort. Nine authors, including such worthies as Dave Barry, Tami Hoag, Tim O'Brien, Lee K. Abbott, and Les Standiford, have contributed chapters to this farcical thriller. The premise, which is less wacky than it initially seems, involves a software tycoon named Phillip Bates, who's built a deluxe golf course north of Edinburgh. To kick things off he convenes a celebrity invitational, and draws not only a clutch of world-class hackers but several terrorists, counterterrorists, and what appear to be counter-counterterrorists. Clearly there's more at stake here than a mere 18 holes.

Slapped together by one author after another, the crazy plot is surprisingly consistent. Yet the contributors have made no effort to disguise their individual styles, which range from Barry's potty-mouthed slapstick to Richard Bausch's tonier stuff to James Crumley's pulp fiction. Indeed, this shift in tone is one of the book's great pleasures. So is the sex and satire, if not necessarily in that order. Still, the ultimate reason to read The Putt at the End of the World is for its strange-but-true evocation of the game itself. Here's Tim O'Brien's take on a ball with a mind of its own:

For the first thirty feet, the old Titlist did not touch the earth, heading for orbit, engines roaring, but then suddenly the rain and wind and fog forced a scrubbed mission. Gravity reasserted itself. By pure chance--a miracle, some would call it--the ball dropped heavily onto the green, not five feet from the cup.... It caught a sidehill slope. It wobbled off line for a second, then straightened out and continued its erratic pilgrimage toward destiny.
Fictionally speaking, at least, that's what we call a hole in one. --William Davies

From Publishers Weekly

Regrouping a few of Standiford's Naked Came the Manatee gang, this outrageously funny, multi-authored novel by (in order of tee times) Standiford, Ridley Pearson, Tami Hoag, Lee K. Abbott, Tim O'Brien, Richard Bausch, Dave Barry, James W. Hall and James Crumley is a treasure. The world's richest man, computer czar Phillip Bates, invites three exceptional but going-downhill golfers to play a celebrity pro-am on his brand-new course at ancient Rathgarve castle in Scotland. Lured by the serious cash Bates delivers, aging, vision-impaired senior tour member Alfonso Zamora; the incorrigible Rita Shaughnessy, a debauched, long-driving amazon from the LPGA; and Billy Sprague, an amateur champ with a gambling problem all fly to Scotland. Joining the trio is an impressive assortment of world leaders, celebrities and hotshots, but only Bates knows the reason for the decadent, mysterious tournament. Add to the mix an FBI agent who joins operatives in London to stop a terrorist with 20 kilos of Semtex explosive, and all manner of zany things start to happen. The plot to save the world meshes with the plan to party like crazy at the Bates castle, where Fidel Castro, Augusto Pinochet, Tony Blair, Al Gore, Mu'ammar Qaddafi, Brad Pitt, Jane Fonda, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Madonna, Bob Hope, the pope, Sean Connery, Dan Quayle and other celebs are on hand to witness an exhibition of carnal swing mechanics unrivaled since the orgy scene from Caligula. This droll, absurd fable is just mainstream enough to keep even the nongolfing masses, who don't know a mashie from a niblick, guffawing out loud.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

The New York Times has pronounced Dave Barry "the funniest man in America." But of course that could have been on a slow news day when there wasn't much else fit to print. True, his bestselling collections of columns are legendary, but it is his wholly original books that reveal him as an American icon. Dave Barry Slept Here was his version of American history. Dave Barry Does Japan was a contribution to international peace and understanding from which Japan has not yet fully recovered. Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys is among the best-read volumes in rehab centers and prisons. Raised in a suburb of New York, educated in a suburb of Philadelphia, he lives now in a suburb of Miami. He is not, as he often puts it so poetically, making this up.

Customer Reviews

This book is simply awful.
Andy Moye
This book reminds me of the Steve Martin Saturday Night Live Sketch about "not phoning it in".
Best Hubris
This group-written book has two things going for it: Colorful characters and a promising plot.
Brian Hulett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on May 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The talented Authors that put this book together combined to make a story that was very entertaining. Fast paced, non-stop readability! Sometimes erotic, sometimes violent, often darkly humorous. This is the rare gem that you'll likely read in a day, whether your a golfer or not. Unique characters along with a great story and locale bring this very original book together nicely.
Highly recommended
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Computer mogul Phillip Bates proves he is the richest person in the world when he invites three former golf greats to play a round at his new course. If Senior pro legend Alfonso Zamora, women's great Rita Shaugnessy, and amateur champion Billy Sprague comes to his course at Rathgave Castle, Scotland, Phillip will pay them several hundred thousand dollars each. Alfonso may be losing his eyesight, Rita may be turning into an alcoholic has-been, and Billy may have gambled away his future, but each agrees to join the pro-am event along with many world leaders and celebrities.
However, an uninvited guest sees this tournament as an opportunity to cause massive destruction by blowing up a list of who's who. An anti-terrorist law enforcement team hopes to thwart the activist before the planned explosion makes a deep divot that wrecks havoc on the world scene. However, their bumbling reactions seem to only encourage the enemy whose goal is a special hole in one.
THE PUTT AT THE END OF THE WORLD is more than a golf thriller. The story line is a crazy eighteen holes punctuated by a group of weird charcaters with different agendas. Nine highly regarded authors contribute chapters to the novel. Though their styles vary, not one of them wavers from the main plot. In other words, readers gain a satirical anthology within a novel environment that is fun to read.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John W. Bates on June 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It is said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Since a camel is very efficient doing what camels are intended to do, then the remark must mean that a camel is a very funny looking horse. Well, in The Putt at the End of the World, a committee of nine individually popular writers has turned out a very funny golf story.
The Putt at the End of the World is apparently the brainchild of last-listed author Les Standiford, shown as editor and compiler. It also seems to be a salute, at least in part, to recently deceased British writer Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy series which includes The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. It is certainly reminiscent of Adam's work, with zany characters interacting amidst nefarious schemes, all centered around a golf tournament. But not just any golf tournament. Computer zillionaire Philip Bates has bought a Scottish castle and cleared original growth timber to construct the ultimate golf course-as well as rehabbing the castle into an exotic hideaway retreat. This infuriates both environmental terrorists and the last of the MacLout clan, who claims that the MacGregor sellers usurped his family's claim to the property and he should have gotten the money. Then Bates (no relation to this reviewer) scheduled a conference and golf tournament inviting all of the world's political leaders and top golf players.
One of the invitees is Billy Sprague, club pro from Squat Possum Golf Club in rural Ohio. Billy is a magnificent golfer, unless there is money involved in which case he can't even get the ball of the tee.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
At first I thought this was going to be a serious mystery novel, until I realized that each chapter was written by a different author. It was almost like they were challenging each other, coming up with situations that were more and more ridiculous. I found myself laughing out loud. I should have known something was up when I saw that Dave Barry was one of the writers. It's a great book for those who like golf and for those, like me, that have never swung a club.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
This was a terrible book. Multiple authors were not able to successfully make the book flow from chapter to chapter. Character development was disjointed to say the least. Way tooooo much celebrity name dropping...it almost read like People Mag. Buy "The Greatest Player Who Never Lived" instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Cartwright on May 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A ridiculous romp over nine chapters penned by nine different authors each one more loony than the previous. Pretty fun spoof of the PGA, the LPGA, Microsoft, ESPN, political leaders everywhere, the CIA & MI5, and that whole Sansabelt fashion thing. This tale rolls along with all the straightforwardness of a 50 foot sidehill putt at Augusta.
True golf aficionados will be advised to stick to Herbert Warren Wind, but fans of Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson and other Harvard lampoon style goofballs will enjoy the light reading, zany story. Perfect reading for the plane or Winnebago ride to Myrtle Beach. A better gift for your golfer than another useless distance-finder.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My opinion shifts each time I think about this book. Liked, in fact, thoroughly enjoyed parts of it. Shmuck in places got in the way for me personally, while others might just like it because of its raw side. Golf story was intriguing, although the detective plot overrode any golf in too many places.
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