on 13 March 2001
Golf and the Spirit, while starting off as an interesting and thought provoking read ends up being just a bit to longwinded (I didn't manage get past the Fifteenth hole before heading to the club house!!). Also although I know the book is amied at both golfers and non-golfers, I did feel that it ended up dumbing down the game for anyone but the complete novice.
on 29 June 1999
A fascinating idea (not the only time someone's tried it, though) which ends up being somewhat pretentious and forced. In terms of the running metaphor which Peck uses throughout, he's played a nice shot, struck the ball quite cleanly, but either his feet or his hands weren't in exactly the right position, and the ball ends up in quite a tricky bit of rough, from where he'll have difficulty with the iron to the green. Cashing this out, he does explain a lot for the non-golfer (some of it a bit ponderous for the golfer, who is the much more likely reader), but the lessons he draws from the game to the rest of life often feel somewhat forced. Granted that golf is indeed one of the best games for bringing out, or for inculcating, human character, I think Peck's material here was worth perhaps a 90-page paperback, not this rather long treatment. The best thing about the book was the invisible subtitle which I guessed at: The Fairway Less Traveled.