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Monday, December 4, 2006

The Legend of Bagger Vance

The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
June 21, 2002

I suppose if you like golf and you understand Eastern philosophy, Bagger Vance will seem like a good read. I have played no golf other than miniature golf, and I'm not really up on Eastern mythology, so this book seemed very, very odd to me.

I read it because I had nothing else to read and I liked "Gates of Fire" by Pressfield a lot, "Tides of War" was not nearly as good, and I hope to read "Last of the Amazons" soon. At any rate, I already knew the book was different from the movie (which I hadn't seen anyway), but I think I'll have to go rent the movie just to see if it sits better with me.

The first problem, to me, was that this book needed to be longer. Readers never get to know Junah or any of the other characters all that intimately, nor do we get to know much about our narrator Hardy, or the mysterious Bagger Vance. I think if Pressfield had slowed the story down, spent more time developing it and the characters, then it would have been a little better.

Still, unless you're an avid golfer, the idea that the Meaning of Life can be gleaned from golf seems just a tad overblown. Sure, games can teach important things about life, but I think Pressfield took things too far.

If you love golf, and you have a strong understanding of Eastern mythology, then I recommend this book. If you don't, then I would caution you to avoid it, because you'll end up scratching your head and wondering "What the heck was that?" just like I did.

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