From the author of Kill Your Friends comes a tale of infidelity, contract killing and ... golf.
Michael and Pauline seemed like the perfect couple- young, good- looking, made for each other. The moment she walked into his mother's grocery store in the Polish neighbourhood of Baltimore, he was smitten. And in the heat of World War II fervour, they were hastily wed. But they never should have married. Pauline, impulsive and impractical, tumbles hit- or- miss through life; Michael, plodding, cautious, and judgemental, proceeds deliberately. In time their foolish quarrels take their toll. A 17- year- old daughter disappears, and some years later this fractious pair is forced to rescue her little boy, named Pagan, from drug-infested San Francisco, to take him home and raise him. From the sound of the cash register in the old grocery to the counterculture jargon of the sixties, from the miniskirts to the multilayered apparel of later years, Anne Tyler captures the evocative nuances of everyday life during these decades with such telling precision that every page brings smiles of recognition. Throughout, as each of the competing voices bears witness, we are drawn ever more deeply into the complex entanglements of family life in this marvellous, multifaceted novel- one of Anne Tyler's finest.
“Screamingly funny...beneath the rough surface of effing and blinding lies a surprisingly sweet story of family, friendship and romance....uproarious entertainment...Unlike the amateurs in his plot, Niven's prose is executed with the comic timing of a pro. He gets the golf right, and just about everything else too”
“A novel about golf that is not only hilarious, but gripping, sexy, violent and outrageous...Niven combines his increasingly bizarre plots, and some shocking behaviour, with considerable skill and, of course, large helpings of humour”
“I laughed out loud more times than I can remember. Niven's ear for dialogue, particularly the foulmouthed, is fantastic. Who would have thought that "Golf meets Gangsters in Ayrshire" would work? But it does - in spades”
“A story so completely filmic you will yell 'it's Gregory's Girl meets Local Hero with weapons-grade swearing!' while still sat in your armchair. Brilliantly funny too”
“Peppered with brilliant moments”
“Niven is a very funny writer and the pace and colourful characters recall the dizzying daftness of early Carl Hiaasen”
Evening Herald (Ireland)
“A book that's impossible to put down”
“The most riotously funny writing on golf, sex and violence since the police report on a certain golfer's marital dispute”
News of the World
“Believe it or not, this novel makes golf look interesting. Trust me. This is a writer who could wring laughs out of pretty well anything... Hilarious”
Kate Saunders, The Times