The golfers in this thrilling story are complex characters who bring a blend of flawed personalities into the braided plot lines.
From boardrooms and fairways to laboratories and seedy motel rooms, Howard Jahre spins a tale of high-stakes intrigue set amid the pomp and prestige of the lucrative world of professional golf in The Revenge of the Golf Gods, an emotional climb from rock bottom to redemption.
Gordon Howard, GH to his friends, seems to live a charmed life. Employed by his father, he spends his days entertaining prospective clients at the club while perfecting his long shot, and his evenings relaxing over drinks with his live-in girlfriend, Liz. But no one knows better than GH that things aren’t always as they seem. Years of being abused and feeling inadequate, unappreciated, and unloved come to a head when GH confronts his father in an attempt to take control of his life, which has been reduced to meaningless encounters and thoughts of suicide. Finally able to chase his dreams, GH, along with his wise and faithful longtime caddy, Swifty, endeavors to break into the pro-golf tours, but his insecurities lead him to look for help in dangerous places … risking the wrath of the Golf Gods.
Linksmen in the know and fans of golf in general will appreciate Jahre’s expertise regarding all things golf. Famous strikers like Ben Hogan and fan favorites like Tiger Woods are paid homage as techniques are dissected and play-by-plays described throughout GH’s atypical rise to pro status and stardom; GH even partners with Golf Hall of Famer “Phil Michelson” [sic] for the Sony Invitational. Love of the game is evident everywhere.
In addition to prolific golfing lingo and lifestyles, The Revenge of the Golf Gods delves into relationships and character growth (and regression) with a fully developed main and supporting cast. In particular, GH’s relationship with his father, Alan, and stand-in father figure, Swifty, are front and center. Jahre manages to evoke sympathy for the villains and disdain for the heroes through a believable blend of flawed personalities. As GH says in summation of his relationship with his father, “I hated him as much as I loved him.”
Three main story lines—that of Alan Howard’s hedge fund company; the golf hopefuls, GH and Swifty; and pharmaceutical genius/racketeer Norman Berger, dubbed “voodoo man” by a concerned Swifty—all converge in an increasingly far-fetched yet exciting plot that includes a misused cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease, insider trading, and multiple suicides and unexpected deaths.
Part sports fiction, part character study, with a dose of medical thriller thrown in, everyone in between will find something in The Revenge of the Golf Gods.
Pallas Gates McCorquodale
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