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The golf-book genre usually falls into two categories: bios of the game's great players, first, and quasi-spiritual agons, second, such as Steven Pressfield's The Legend of Bagger Vance (1995), in which sulking has-been linksters return to the fairways to redeem themselves. The former are written for golfers who like to read, the latter for readers who like to golf. Reilly's debut, however, stands on its own, with a gaggle of loopy characters plucked off the country's municipal courses. They have nicknames like Two Down, Thud, Crowbar, and Stick, and their course is a dogpatch strip called Ponky, where the hazards aren't sand and water but abandoned cars and shopping carts. Stick, a.k.a. Raymond Hart, is a fine golfer who's allowed his talent to decline into lethargy, whiling away his days trying to fleece his golf buddies (the "Chops"). But his life is irrevocably altered when unexpected damage to a hedge reveals an enticing view of the Mayflower, the original snooty WASP haven. The men become consumed by the private Mayflower's perfectly manicured expanse and create a sizable betting pool to reward the first of their brethren managing to play a full 18 holes. Ray should win in a stroll; his father, unbeknownst to the other Chops, is a Mayflower member. But Ray has Oedipal problems, so he vacillates over asking his Old Man for a round. Meanwhile, his buddies devise increasingly elaborate schemes to snare the dough. The first half of the book ends with the winning of the bet. The second involves Ray's love life and a grudge match with his father.
A loving, knowledgeable, laugh-out-loud portrait of the Hardest Sport There Is, as practiced by the blue-collar rakes who compose golf's most devoted fans.
"You don't need to know your bogeys from your birdies to find at least three laughs per page in this novel."
—The New York Times Book Review
"If you're obsessed with the 'green game,' and it's raining or snowing, or we're under nuclear attack so you can't get out on the course, Missing Links should give you a temporary fix."
—Rocky Mountain News
"Snappy prose, believable characters, and the funniest take on blue-collar hacking and gambling since Dan Jenkins's The Glory Game at Goat Hill...it's social satire and pure irreverence that keep this story in the groove."
—Los Angeles Times
"Part Damon Runyon, part Raymond Chandler, and part Caddyshack...I was hooked for the full 18."
"A great piece of fiction."
Posted December 9, 2011
This book was so funny that my wife would come in to check on me. She'd find me laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my cheeks. This is not something that happens often.
You don't have to play golf to enjoy this book.
I live near Cape Cod but felt compelled drive over an hour to play "Ponky" myself after reading this book. It's awful. Thanks Rick.
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Posted May 26, 2014
I had some unexpected flight delays and was in search of a new book to pass the time. Missing Links was the perfect answer. I nearly finished it before arriving at my final destination - I just couldn't put it down. I plan to also buy and read the sequel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 25, 2014
Strong Enough- Part 8•|<p>The word 'labrynth' tugged at a feeling in my core but I couldbt put a finger on what it was. I shurged my bag off my shoulder and opened it up. I was talking as I pulled out the blank book and ice pen. "How long are we going to be here?"<br>"Not long." Came another simple and short reply. I gave a small shake of my head before speaking again.<br>"If you dont mindIm just going to... write a journal entry." The lie slipped easily onto my tounge with only a moments hesitation. Jade didnt need to more about me than she had to. She just shrugged in acknolegedment.<br>I opened the journal to the first page. I had to talk to my parent about my dream, i just didnt know where to start. Lamely I wrote the simplest thing possible: hi. No pen marks appeared on the page, and I took a starange comfort in the fact that it hadnt changed.<br>A simple word took form on the page but it wasnt mine.<br>No<br>No what? I wrote back.<br>I know what you are thinking Zia. Its not the right choice<br>The dissadvatages of having a parent with imense power. I let out a silent sigh and began to write back. I have to, its only right. I sat for a minute waiting for answer but none came so I wrote again. I cant risk killing another.<br>At a painfully slow rate the nest set of icey blue letters apeared.<br>Believe me Zia, it is for the best<br>The words faded faster than they appered. I got the feeling that was the en of the conversation and so I sat there, slupmed against the wall watching a girl who was more than likely at risk to fall victims to my uncontroabke curse.<br>My life is just a mess of blood.<p>|•Its good to be back. Next part nest res. And some SE news: parts 1-5 have been posted on my website. Comments are aperciated•|<p>••
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Posted March 26, 2014
Posted March 12, 2014
Posted May 22, 2009
Loved this book as well as the sequel, "Shanks for Nothing". A very fun and funny story suitable for anyone who loves the game of golf. This is one of those stories you wish you were apart of. Reilly's writing style keeps you entertained at all times. I read most of this book while on an airplane during my travels for work. Great book for travelers! Helps time go by fast!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2007
Best fictional sports book I have ever read. Enjoyed the characters, the plot, the bets and the love affairs, which go from mundane to truly bizzare. I also appreciated the diagram layout of the course up front in the book. I have played the real Ponky on a few occasions and this is only slightly an exaggeration. Sadly, the real Ponky, really is a Donald Ross designed course (actually 2 courses)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 24, 2001
Posted November 5, 2001
Posted August 22, 2001
It happens nearly every time we play Golf. One or more really 'suck' that day. Reilly's nicknames add more depth to this book than non-golfers can imagine. We all have nicknames stemming from our adolescent days. Thank God that most of us have not inherited any of these. These names are earned after many years of toil and Reilly blends them beautifully throughout his novel. Any true golfer, Country Club or Public, will read this book in no more than three sessions and most will read it non-stop if time allows.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2001
Posted January 28, 2001
I borrowed this book from a friend who claimed it to be the best book he has ever read. I was expecting something great and that's what I got! Missing Links is a revealing story about social class and human behavior.....also, very funny. I'm telling everyone I know.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2001
Posted November 30, 2000
Posted July 3, 2000
This is a truly awesome read. It is hilarious, irreverant and true about the thousands of golf courses around the country. If you can't find some personifications of the people at your course you must not be playing the right courses. This book is a must read every winter/sprng as I begin to dream of summer and all the things that make golf synonomous with life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2000
Posted June 3, 2000
Posted May 27, 2000
Posted July 6, 2011
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Posted August 31, 2011
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