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Lifetime Loser: 08/02/08
It's been about twenty years since the last time I read a novel based around golf. The last one was the very funny The Greening of Thurmond by Michael Zagst (1986).
Lifetime Loser by James Ross covers roughly twenty years in the life of J. W. Schroeder or J. Dub to his friends. He is tricked into buying a share in an illegally purchased golf course after washing out of his own chance at a golf career. The rest of the book follows how the initial swindle plays out for all the parties involved.
The man behind the swindle is Lewferd E. Zermann whose motivations seem to come down to a love of money and a love of evil. Midway through the book we learn of his shrine to Hitler and he goes from being a plausible greedy bastard to being a character on loan from Springtime for Hitler.
The book has its moments and J. Dub is a likeable character but the awkward written narrative gets in the way. Too much of the characterization is done by attributes alone. So an so is the "best at this" or "the worst at that" and frankly that's not enough to build interesting, believable or memorable characters. The book also suffers from weird mistakes involving incorrect word usage, poor grammar and general typesetting errors. More than anything, Lifetime Loser needs tighter editing.
Read more at Great Books Club.