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4.5 out of 5 stars
160
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 April 2009
Don't read this book in a library or like i did on a plane. I can't remember the last time i laughed so hard, the poor girl sitting next to me wondered what the hell was going on. With tears streaming from my eyes i had to close the book and finish it in the comfort of my own home. If you are Scottish, like me, and a bad golfer, like me, then this is the book you've been waiting all your life for. Like Irvine Welsh at his best Niven writes about the "dark side" in a hilarious fashion. The seventeenth hole on the last day of the Open Championship will stay with me for the rest of my life. My jaws are still aching. BUY THIS BOOK. Brilliant.
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on 25 June 2017
Am not too sure of this, lots of graphic sex scenes, lots of Scottish dialect words, lots of swear words and lots of golf. It was not my usual kind of book but having bought it, I read it ,but not sure if I would bother to buy anything from this author again. I didn't hate it, it just wasn't for me. sorry
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on 10 July 2017
Not a classic, unless you are a keen amateur golfer, but laugh out loud funny, with some great characters. Thoroughly enjoyable, despite some quite dark parts.
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on 7 April 2017
good read
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on 12 January 2016
A rip roaring and very funny novel.
I love golf but can find golf novels quite dry. Not this one though . I couldn't put it down
and didn't want it to end.
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on 14 March 2015
This book is excellent, laugh out loud funny all the way through. It's written in the style of Irving Welsh but funny and with golf! What more could you want?
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on 16 June 2014
It's not rocket science but it is hilarious in places. I would recommended it - especially if you play golf.
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on 28 May 2009
I'm 42, female & I don't like golf or even begin to understand it however, that did not detract from my enjoyment of this book in the slightest. This book is 'laugh out loud' funny. Ok, maybe a bit crude for some (I wouldn't let my 80 year old mother read it) - but still funny crude. It's also very sharply written & the characters are brilliantly observed. 'The Amateurs' is about a hell of a lot more than golf so don't let this put you off! Overall I thought it was a thoroughly enjoyable read which had me in stitches throughout.
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on 8 March 2017
While on my search for a new book to read I came across an oldie but goodie that I've read countless times - The Amateurs by John Niven. If I was to make a list of the all-time funniest books I've ever read, this'd be high on the list.

I bought this way back in 2009 (I think?) after reading the blurb and knowing it was for me. This was back when I still bought paperbacks, and I imported it from the UK because I couldn't wait for shops in Australia to carry it.

I'm not a golfer, but you don't have to be to enjoy this story. Yes, the main character is obsessed with it but mainly because how bad he is at it. Until one fateful day he cops a golf ball to the head and his whole life changes. Sort of for the better, but a lot for the worse...

This book isn't for the easily offended. After our hero Gary catches a golf ball in the side of his head, he wakes up a little changed from who he used to be. The change for the better is that he's suddenly no longer the worlds worst golfer. The blow to the head has rendered it impossible for Gary to make a bad shot. He quickly climbs the ranks of his local club and even makes it through to the British Open where he gets to play alongside his golfing idol.

The downside is he's also woken up with a Tourette's syndrome and... well, an insatiable need to pleasure himself whenever he's stressed.

The secondary plotline involves his wife who is cheating on him with the carpet king of Scotland, his useless brother Lee and local crime boss Ranta, all of which plays out a story reminiscent of say Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.

There's a lot of heavy Scottish-ness in the story which doesn't bog it down too much even if I did have to read a sentence once or twice the first time to understand what they meant.
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on 12 September 2015
Extremely disappointed, "funny" I don't think so. Rude, crude and offensive, didn't get very far in when put down with disgust. Unfortunately bought three book deal, all straight to charity shop.
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