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Preferred Lies: A Journey to the Heart of Scottish Golf: A Journey to the Heart of Golf [Paperback]

Andrew Greig
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

18 April 2007
Surely golf is a game for posh people, country clubs and networking businessmen, for unfortunate sweaters, politics and trousers? Andrew Greig grew up on the East coast of Scotland, where playing golf is as natural as breathing. He sees the game as the great leveller, and has played on the Old course at St Andrews as well as on the miners' courses of Yorkshire. He writes about the different cultural manifestations of the game, the history, the geography, the different social meanings, as well as the subjective experience, the reflections between shots. He plays alone, with friends and brothers, with ghosts. He is looking for the essence of golf, the pure heart of it, which can be found, Andrew Greig believes, on the free 9 hole course on North Ronaldsay.

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Preferred Lies: A Journey to the Heart of Scottish Golf: A Journey to the Heart of Golf + Four Iron in the Soul
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (18 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753821567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753821565
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Greig's purely struck prose is not the only strength of this book. For one thing he has excellent taste in golf courses.' (Lawrence Donegan THE GUARDIAN )

'one you should look out for is novelist Andrew Greig's PREFERRED LIES. To describe it as a tour of the Scottish golf courses is to do it a grave disservice, as it is really a book of 'life thinking.' (Giles Foden CONDE NAST TRAVELLER )

'If you have, or ever have had, any interest in golf, buy this book and read it. Buy it for your loved one, your lost one, the Saturday morning medal deserter . . . They and you will love it, inhabit it, and possibly be transformed by it. It's the best book about golf I've ever read.' (Tom Moreton SUNDAY HERALD )

PREFERRED LIES is satisfying, demanding, allusive and provocative. I finished it not merely wishing I was as good at golf as Greig, but also as good at learning from it.' (Rick Gekoski SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY )

Greig....., has crafted a wonderful book about how it feels to be alive, in which the game of golf is a conduit for sensation. Here, golf isn't a metaphor for life - it is life. Sculpted in luminous prose, which echoes his work as one of Scotland's leading poets and novelists, this is a beautiful, affecting piece of work.' (Mike Aitken THE SCOTSMAN )

a wonderful and wise book, quite unlike any golfing book you will have ever read before. (Dermot Bolger THE IRISH TIMES )

'Thought-provoking and moving.' (Doug Johnstone THE LIST )

'PREFERRED LIES feels like quite a special book.' (Tom Cox THE INDEPENDENT )

'Greig writes engagingly. His observations are sharp, sometimes zany.' (Michael Lister THE TLS )

'he does have an ear for the way people talk and express themselves on and off the course.' (Ian Dunlop THE SPECTATOR )

'a triumph..... his beautiful prose and wry observations will keep you reading into the night.' (GOLF PUNK )

'The pleasure of this book is no doubt down to the fact that the author is an accomplished writer' (GOLF INTERNATIONAL )

'If you are looking for a seriously fine piece of writing and have a rudimentary understanding of a game which involves using a stick to hit a little white ball into a hole several hundred yards away, then PREFERRED LIES is worth reading.' (Brackley Sumner TRIBUNE ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A book about golf that will appeal to both players and non players, by Scottish poet and novelist.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Father's Day!!! 29 Jun 2011
By Loui358
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Had no idea on what to buy my hubby for Father's Day, whilst scrolling through books on golf I came across this little gem, he was absolutely over the moon with it, in fact it was a book he had already added to his wish list, great minds I suppose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fairway to heaven indeed 4 Aug 2008
A delightful book, not least because those who have played the courses Greig so lyrically describes cannot help but share his love of them. This is a delightful armchair read and is essential reading for anyone who loves golf, rather than simply plays it, and takes us truly into the spirit of this maddening yet joyous game.

My only reservation is that sometimes it veers almost towards psycho-babble and a talking of golf in terms of sex with his wife, to this reader at least, seems strained at best. However these are only minor quibbles. Having played some of the courses he describes I want to play them again, taking in as much of the atmosphere as Greig does, rather than remaining hell bent on the result of my game. Those courses I have not been so fortunate to play yet are stored away and will, hopefully, be played before too long.

This little book is an inspiration and a joy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves Sports Book of The Year 7 Nov 2006
I'm Scottish, my folks live in the Highlands, I now live a city-professional life, and oh yes, I love golf! OK, so I'm biased, but this book I bought took me on a journey that had golf as a metaphor for life itself, how to live it, see the positives, take risks, and to appreciate the time we have with one another, and the memories that remain and linger.

Andrew Greig is to be congratulated for a deeply touching piece of work, that encapsulates so many things we all find ourselves too busy to either give time to, or remedy. If this doesn't win the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year, then there is something wrong somewhere.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who feels they've lost touch with their past, or need to feel they belong in the world, and he plays some bloody good courses too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perferred Lies 8 Mar 2011
By Jim Jim
Preferred lies is a lovely book. Some of the prose is delightful and the descriptions of the courses and the joy of playing them are wonderful. The only problem is that reading this book just makes you want to pick up your clubs and go for a round. With that in mind, probably best to wait until the summer before picking it up
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a golf book 30 Dec 2010
The first circa two thirds of the book are by far the most interesting, where the writer rediscovers golf, having given up as a teenager, for the attractions of guitar and girls. Fascinating to read his visits to the traditional links courses in Scotland, some of which I have played myself, especially some of those off the beaten track, and catching up with old friends. The enthusiasm as he begins to play better comes through very well in the author's writing. The books tails off as he joins a sort of motivational group who play golf (you have to read it). However, overall a very good read. Left me with the strong desire to spend less time in the office in 2011 and more time on the golf course.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preferred Lies 27 Sep 2009
To paraphrase Lance Armstrong "It's not about (the) golf" but a lot to do with human relationships with golf as a basis.
Having said that, it was good to accompany the author round several minor golf courses , some of which were indeed verging on the coarse.
A view of the alternative Scotland in golfing terms, one seldom spoken or written about.
However readers who wish to place more emphasis on the relationship between father and son would be better served by obtaining a copy of 'Final Rounds' by James Dodson. Not easy to source as now out of print, but well worth the effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book about golf and life 11 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book of golf and life; a man in his fifties travels around Scotland and plays golf, meets people and contemplates on life and golf. If you are in a thoughtful mood and you are a golfer it's a great read.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Essence 8 Jun 2006
"Preferred Lies", like a once-in-a-lifetime round of golf on a special golf course, is something one savours as you move through it. Andrew's wit, insight, depth, humour, and choice of words delight the reader with their imagination and intention. It is an honest book - and therefore one that was easy to relate to and come away with impressions and thoughts that shall last. This is a work of art that comes not only from Andrew's creative and entertaining spirit, but from his heart. That is the highest recommendation that I think one can give for any endeavour.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Golfing intrigue
A good easy read, gave me the itch to explore some of the links courses mentioned in the book as well.
Published 2 months ago by Anthony Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars a great golfing journey!
If you love golf, then this is a must, although I have never played the Scottish courses, (yet,) I felt that whilst turning the pages I could imagine being there on each hole,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christine and Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Stuff
This is a great journey through golf and life and death, perceptively written by Andrew Greig. He captures much that I feel when golfing alone. Read more
Published 3 months ago by mr william a mcmillan
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Golfer's Tale
This book brings together all that is good about the game of golf. The author's story illustrates how the trials and tribulations of life make you begin to realise what is really... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jim Cumpsty
4.0 out of 5 stars Scottish golf
The courses he played on are very minor but they do form the basis for the 'people's game' in Scotland. He writes with real style.
Published 10 months ago by Professor A. G. Maran
3.0 out of 5 stars Preferred Lies
This is an unusual and useful gift for your active friends. A wonderful and uplifting lesson about golf and life for all golfers, whatever handicap.
Published 11 months ago by peebee
5.0 out of 5 stars Golf book with a difference.
An absolutely wonderful book of golf. Not a teaching book, but the best book on golf that I have ever read, marvellous!
Published 13 months ago by Peter K. Mullins
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Even as a keen golfer I was quickly bored with this book. Perhaps I have missed out as I couldn't get beyond the first half of the book
inwhich the author describes, in at... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Philip S. Flynn
5.0 out of 5 stars life, golf and everything
There are few books that i read more than once for the sheer pleasure in the reading, but this is one of them. Read more
Published 21 months ago by markr
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Read
I have owned a copy of this book for several years and have read it over and over. I was going to lend it to a friend but decided not to risk losing it so bought him a copy... Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2011 by jasa
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