Synopses & Reviews
When acclaimed golf writer James Dodson leaves his home in Maine to revisit Pinehurst, North Carolina, where his father first taught him the game that would shape his life and career, he's at a point where he has lost direction. But once there, the curative power of the sandhills region not only helps him find a new career working for the local paper but also reignites his flagging passion for the game of golf. And, perhaps more significantly, it inspires him to try to pass along to his teenage son the same sense of joy and contentment he has found in the game, and to recall the many colorful and lifelong friends he has met on the links.
This wise memoir about finding new meaning through an old sport is filled with anecdotes about the history of the game and of Pinehurst, the home of American golf, where many larger-than-life legends played some of their greatest rounds. Dodson's bestselling memoir Final Rounds began in Pinehurst twenty-five years ago, and now A Son of the Game completes the circle as it follows his journey of discovery back to where his love of the game began--a love that he hopes to make a family legacy.
"Given that it's written by one of the sport's premier chroniclers and is set mostly in and around the bucolic grounds of Southern Pines, N.C. a resort town based mostly on the pursuit of golfing there is surprisingly little golf in this homey memoir, though that's probably for the best. Dodson (Ben Hogan; Final Rounds) recounts how he was gripped by a midlife crisis after a shakeup at his magazine and the deaths of several close friends and family members. These events, plus a desire to give his son the same memories of golf that his father imparted to him, sent the Maine journalist scampering back to his Southern childhood home. Although Dodson knows perfectly well that possibly uprooting his whole family is little more than indulging a 'chance to live out a boyhood fantasy' of being a smalltown newspaper man, he makes the idea as appealing as possible. There is not much forward momentum in this excessively ambling and self-satisfied work, and it suffers from Dodson's tendency to record conversations with a level of detail that sometimes strains credibility. However, it's all painted in a glossy, buttery hue of such fine vintage nostalgia that it's all the reader can do by the end to not immediately light out for the central North Carolina hill country." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Jim Dodson's new memoir reveals the depth of his love for golf, fatherhood, and his ancestral home--the Sandhills of North Carolina. A Son of the Game
also showcases Jim's amazing skill with a pen, and his wisdom about the human condition. This is a wonderful book." --Curt Sampson, author of The Slam: Bobby Jones and the Price of Glory
"Dodson's lack of pretense and his wealth of conviviality give readers a sense of investment in the man and his modest work, which is long on sentiment but not extravagantly so. A humane, insightful memoir of elemental composure and meaning regained." -Kirkus
"What do you get when you combine an engaging rites of passage story together with interesting golf history as relayed by a skilled storyteller? The answer would be A Son of the Game
by James Dodson . . . A great gift for the golfing father or son." --Golf Today
The Raleigh News and Observer
"In his warm, personal new book, A Son of the Game
, James Dodson brings together the charm of both the game and the place in a story that you need not be a golfer to appreciate . . . Dodson's gift is in feeling and sharing the attachment to a game that is as bewitching as it is maddening . . . [His] book is time well spent. It captures the spirit of a game and a place that has captured so many of us." --The Raleigh News and Observer
"A magical memoir of midlife crisis, teenage uncertainty and the power of a legacy gently handed down." --BookPage
"Jim Dodson has in his many books shown a rare ability to take the reader into landscapes both physical and mental, and burrow deeply into each. He again accomplishes this in A Son of the Game, and demonstrates that he is a virtuoso in conveying why Pinehurst is a special place in the golfing firmament, and, moreover, why it provides the ideal setting for him to resolve matters within himself, and with his own son. This memoir will make you feel as if you are in Pinehurst with the author, and it will reveal timeless truths about the game, and human nature, as they seep through and out of the soil of one of golf's timeless places."-- Lorne Rubenstein, author of A Season in Dornoch: Golf and Life in the Scottish Highlands
"Draws on the deep, near archetypal feelings that dedicated golfers have for the game, its history, and their own connections to the fathers and mentors who first put clubs in their hands."--Booklist
"My good friend Jim Dodson seems to come up with one good book after another. But he produces something particularly powerful, something extra when he writes about his own life experiences, as in his first book, the highly acclaimed Final Rounds, and his latest, A Son of the Game. He is now the father, passing on to his son, Jack, the love and contentment he has rediscovered in golf and family. Once again, Jim touches the heartstrings." -- Arnold Palmer
"Painted in a glossy, buttery hue of such vintage nostalgia that it's all the reader can do by the end to not immediately light out for the central North Carolina hill country."--Publishers Weekly
In this wise memoir, acclaimed golf-writer Dodson returns to Pinehurst, North Carolina, where his father taught him the sport. "A Son of the Game" follows the author's journey as he rediscovers the joy and contentment he had initially found in the game.
About the Author
James Dodson's bestselling Final Rounds was named the Golf Book of the Year by the International Network of Golf in 1996. He is the author of six other books, including the acclaimed biography Ben Hogan: An American Life. He lives with his family in Southern Pines, North Carolina.