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Playing Through: A Year of Life and Links Along the Scottish Coast Hardcover – 1 Jul 2002

3.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743209257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743209250
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,873,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

'This book by the well-respected author, Curtis Gillespie, offers an interesting and unique mix of golf and autobiography amid the game’s hallowed settings in Scotland -– the experiences of a golfing historian turned writer. The descriptions tickled fond memories for me.'
ARNOLD PALMER

'Curtis Gillespie is a beautiful writer, with an exquisite touch reminiscent of John Updike. He can describe the ephemera of the natural world and the fragility of human relationships with the same sure hand. PLAYING THROUGH is a book about golf, history, friendship and the love of family; it is compelling and evocative and memorable in the very best sense.'
ALISTAIR MACLEOD, author of NO GREAT MISCHIEF

'PLAYING THROUGH is one of those special books that comes along only about as often as your favourite links course appears on the Open Rota –- an elegiac tribute to life’s most wonderful and complex game and the enduring bonds it creates, a beautifully rendered meditation on what it means to be a good son, a loving father, and a lasting friend of the game. If I could recommend but one book this year, this would be it.'
JAMES DODSON, author of FINAL ROUNDS

About the Author

Curtis Gillespie has received numerous awards for his fiction, including the Danuta Gleed Literary Award from the Writer's Union of Canada. His non-fiction has appeared in publications in Canada, the United States and Great Britain, and his writing on politics, sports, science and the arts has earned him three National Magazine Awards. He lives in Edmonton with his wife and two daughters.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is not just book about golf more about the triumphs and disasters of the journey from boyhood to manhood.
The author starts his journey in St Andrews where he is studying for an MA. I suspect that he did most of his studying on the golf course and in the bars of St Andrews though as he is soon asked to leave.
Later having married, had children, and lost his favourite golfing partner his father, he returns to Scotland to spend a year writing and playing golf. The friends that he makes along the way, especially the mercurial Jack, all facinate in their own way.
Anyone who has a true golfing soul and appreciates the view from the 7th at Gullane 1 will enjoy this, if you are after an instruction book on golf, forget it.
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Format: Hardcover
Day 3 of the open championship 2002 and the rain begins to pour. I ran for shelter whilst the more hardy sole continued to line the fairways. Had I not run for shelter I would have never known about this book. Thank-you rain (for a change).
I'm usually more of a science fiction fan, and came to this book 5 times before I gave in and bought it. I thought it would end up being nothing but a souvenir of my visit to Gullane, but it turned out to be much more.
The book looks at the life of Curtis and those around him, whilst giving an in depth insite in to golf in East Lothian.
So whether your a biography fan, golf fan, a historian of any description, or just a lover of a good story, this could appeal to you. I find myself unable to put the book down when I start to read, and already I want to know more about golf in East Lothian and Curtis Gillespie.
In simple terms this really is a masterclass of biographical writing.
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Format: Hardcover
Presumably this book was written to appeal to golfers rather than as purely for Scottish local interest. There is a shortage of well written and genuinely interesting golf books around and I bought this book as it had a great cover and offered echos in it's content of James Dodson's excellent "Final Rounds", which combines an interesting journey around the courses of Britain with a very emotional account of his final times with his father. "Playing Through" is basically a variation of this theme, but intertwines the author's time living in Gullane, with stories about his father who he clearly loves and worships. The problem is it's just not very interesting and despite one chuckle to myself part of the way through, isn't funny either. It's overly sentimental and lacks charm. When I reached the middle of the book, it seemed to repeat itself, until I realised that the book had been wrongly bound and about 30 pages were duplicated by mistake. Rather than return the book in disappointment, I was actually delighted to be 30 pages closer to finishing this boring book! Sorry, but this book was just a poor attempt - read "Final Rounds" instead.
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Format: Paperback
Were I to be sitting in a pub, being plied with drinks by the author, whilst listening to his ramblings, then I might, just, believe that I was having a good time.
The cover photo, and the title, both suggest that this is a book about golf. It is not. It is a runaway tale of the author's life, his guilt complex about the early death of his father, his stay in Gullane, with a bit of golf thrown in.
The standard of writing may indeed be high, but more than anything this book is a supreme example of the power of marketing. Take an unexceptional story written by an unexceptional person, give it a misleading title and wrap it in a sexy cover. Sit back and watch the cash roll in.
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