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The Greatest Game Ever Played

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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  1,148 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Ouimet and Vardon were two men from different generations and vastly different corners of the world whose lives, unbeknownst to them at the time, bore remarkable similarities, setting them on parallel paths that led with a kind of fated inevitability to their epic battle at Brookline years in the future. This collision resulted in the big bang' that gave rise to the sport ...more
Paperback, Movie Tie-In Edition, 496 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Kingswell (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,851)
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Nick Washle
Greatest Game Ever Played
After reading this book, it seems to me as if a lot of things in life are done within the six inches between your head. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who is better than whom but who worked the hardest and who reached their potential. One issue that will catch your eye is the stereotype on young kids. They said that little Eddie Lowery could not caddy for an U.S. Open contestant like Francis Oeimet. But what if, at the end, a duo like that ended up winning th
...more
Jenna
It took me a while to get through this book; part of that was due to my busy schedule, and part of that was due to the book taking a while to really get going. The game referred to in the title takes up maybe a half of this 475-page read, but that second half is, by far, the best part of the book. The book is more of a social history of the late 1800's/early 1900's with golf and the biographies of the main players of the 1913 U.S. Open as its focal points. It is an interesting read, but because ...more
Judy
This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own, but it was a selection for a book club I belong to. I am not a golf fan, but somehow this very readable 475 page nonfiction book about the 1913 U.S. Open kept me very interested. Part of that was the excellent writing, and part was the truly interesting characters, characters I came to care about over the course of the story. Basically it boils down to four characters: Francis Ouimet, a poor, self-taught amateur golfer who grew up next to ...more
Corbin Tullis
I think the purpose for Mark Frost writing this book is to tell us how much enjoyment can come from the game of golf and how relaxing it can be. Mark Frost does a really good job of expressing the characters feelings on and off the golf course. This book revolves around the main character, Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old golf amateur from Massachusetts. He didn’t start out as a golfer, but as a caddy. This story is based on a true story and mainly takes place in in 1913.

The theme of the book is t
...more
Blaine Welgraven
Absolutely mesmerizing. I watched the film first, and like one of my favorite movie critics, Roger Ebert, was convinced that it probably couldn't be entirely true. It's too incredible, too fantastical, to Cinderella-like to be a historically-accurate narrative. Unlike Ebert, I did read the book--and not only is the story true, but Frost's exquisite work of recreating the entire social structure and scene surrounding "The Greatest Game Ever Played" creates a rich historical backdrop for understan ...more
Bill
This is a great book. Maybe it should be rated a five. It's an excellent history of when golf first started to capture an audience and become a major sport. I have a quibble in that Frost writes about a couple golfers who won many tournaments without winning a "major." This book takes place long before the current set of four majors were identified, which I believe happened in the 1960s, and before one of the four even existed. Furthermore, there were other tournaments that had some of that majo ...more
Sy De Witt
A very enjoyable read.....I was especially impressed with the behavior of Harry Vardon, Ted Ray and Francis Ouimet....They represented a different era....
Jim
A book written for the lovers of drama, sports history, and sports biography. This is the drama about the 1913 U.S.Open golf tournament played by Walter Hagen, Harry Vardon, and Francis Quimet. Quimet had not played until three years prior to this tournament. His father was a blue collar worker who wanted his son to follow in his foot steps, Francis had other dreams one of which was to play competitive golf. They lived across the street from a private golf course and Francis would go watch the m ...more
Pete
I really enjoyed this book. I toyed with the idea of giving it five stars, but feel that I have to reserve that rating for "absolute classics." It almost reached that level. Historical works like this are as facinating, and sometimes more so, than fiction. This is more than a book about golf; it's a book about another time, before the world lost it's innocense with the World Wars. Sometimes, today, it seems we are shaped by events. In the early years of the 20th century, people shaped events. Th ...more
C. Patrick
It seems to have become a bit of a cliche in recent years to isolate a specific time or event in history and give it far-reaching implications. Frost suggests the 1913 US Open and it's exciting climax with the improbable win by amateur Francis Ouimet resulted in the skyrocketing of golf's popularity. My sense is the flywheel that was American enthusiasm for golf was already off and running to a degree, and like all the major sporting interests in the country were on the verge of gaining signific ...more
Angela
Oct 25, 2008 Angela rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dad
I am not a golf fanatic by any means, but I certainly enjoyed reading The Greatest Game Ever Played: A True Story.

If you are just interested in hearing what the story is about, just watch Disney's movie version of the book--it is very close to what really happened. If you want to know more background about the details of how a young boy grows into a young man and ends up in a golf tournament playing against his idol--Harry Vardon--then you will want to read the book!

By no means is the book borin
...more
Tung
The nonfiction account of the 1913 US Open that pitted the world’s greatest golfer at the time (and one of the greatest of all-time, Harry Vardon) with an amateur (Francis Ouimet). This match captured the nation’s attention in the same way the Seabiscuit races did, and propelled golf from an obscure rich man’s sport to a popular rich man’s sport (OK, OK, upper middle class sport, too). For golf fans, this is a must-read, as Frost makes the tournament come to life and provides a great backstory o ...more
Maisie
Mark Frost's purpose for writing The Greates Game Ever Played is to tell reads about an amazing story of two great golfers, Harry Vardon and Francis Ouimet. Frost wants readers to see how they came from almost nothing and made it to the U.S. Open.
The main theme of The Greatest Game Ever Played is never give up on your dreams. Frost shows this through out the novel throuhg the character Francis Ouimet. Fancis' father hated the game of golf and told him to give up on his dream of becoming a prof
...more
Brian
Dec 02, 2007 Brian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sports Fans
The Greatest Game Ever Played Book Review
The novel that I chose to read was The Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark Frost. Frost has written other stories that include The List of Seven, The Six Messiahs, Before I Wake, and The Grand Slam. The Greatest Game Ever Played is the story of golf greats Harry Vardon, professional, and Francis Ouimet, amateur, and the story of the 1913 US Open in Brookline, Massachusetts.
The story was did have interesting elements to it. It gives a lot of background the
...more
Fphillip Ehbrecht
I like this book very much. From start to finish it was flat out amazing. Francis Ouimet is a really inspiring and fascinating person and especially in the golf world. The fact that he came from a poor family and nothing was given, made the story that much more interesting. It was crazy how he managed to be a great golfer when it was a rich mansand was only supposed to be for high class gentleman. Francis Ouimet defeated all odds and on top of that he beat two of the best golfers in the game at ...more
Kathleen
Working class golf caddy wins 1913 US Open, defeating British champion Vardon and others. I watched the Disney movie, 2005. Might read the book, too. Maybe it'll become an audiobook, much like The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Al
An extremely well-written account of Francis Ouimet's unlikely victory in the 1913 U.S.Open golf tournament as a 20-year-old amateur beating the two best players in the world in an 18-hole playoff (Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. Frost also essentially provides biographies of Ouimet and Vardon in the process of recounting the story. Vardon was widely acknowledged as the best player in the world over the preceding decade and was expected to easily defeat the unproven amateur.
Jock Mcclees
I didn't think you could describe a golf match almost shot by shot and have it be this gripping. But that comes at the end. In the beginning, it describes the birth of golf and the characters and personalities involved. I had never heard of Harry Vardon, but after reading the book feel that he was probably the greatest player to have played the game. The book brings to life the people, the times and the competition. And I am not a golfer and still liked it.
Jackson
This is one of the greatest books I have read in a long time. It is the story of the 1913 US Open, a year when golf in America was still in its infancy. At Brookline Country Club, little known local amateur Francis Ouimet, a mere 20 years old, finds himself in an epic match with two of Brittain's best champions, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. As the American crowd galvanizes around this amateur, golf entered a height of popularity from which it has never retreated. With the skill of a poet, Mark Fros ...more
Jennifer Burke
Story from the early 20th century and the changing times of golf -- when "genteel" amateurs were still considered 'proper' golfers and those who played for money as 'pros' were often working class and looked down upon, despite their great success. Tale of the personalities and event behind the upset win of Francis Ouimet, a young American amateur (of working class background - quite unusual in those days), over legendary pro, father of modern golf, Harry Vardon.
Great job of telling as much about
...more
Peter
Who knew reading about golf could be so exciting? Apparently, lots of people, given the bushels of golf books published every year. But even for the non-golfer, this is one of the most thrilling sports stories ever recorded. Everyone loves an underdog, and Francis Ouimet was the quintessential underdog. In these days of pervasive professionalism in sports, there is much to admire in Ouimet's insistence on competing as an amateur. Although famous and talented, the great Harry Vardon had no less o ...more
Justin
My favorite books of all time. I saw the Disney movie first, which was a good but not great movie. Later, I saw the book at a store and decided to pick it up. I couldn't put it down. TGGEP is simply my favorite story of all time. Mark Frost does a great job telling the story of not only Francis Ouimet but also of other major players in the book. Harry Vardon is a fascinating character, and it seems like someone should do a miniseries on his life alone.

The book moves along at a great pace and pr
...more
Abbey
Mark frost takes you on a journey through the lives of Harry Vardon and Francis Ouimet from the very beginning of their golfing careers leading up to and through the 1913 U.S. open. Mark explains the differences in golf between the beginning of the game and modern day play, and how they affected harry and Francis. The book is descriptively styled and effectively tells the reader about the two men's golf games and mind sets. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. some parts of it got a little monotonous ...more
msleighm
Wonderful, a page turner, there were times I couldn't put it down or was eager to get back to it.

It's a true story about the 1913 US Open and the various personalities involved.

If you are a golfer, you may love it.

If you are a wanna-be golfer (like me) and have a moderate understanding of the game you may love it (I did, I just skimmed when it got too detailed into the layout of the holes and how each person hit each ball at each hole-that could get a little tedious at times).

If you are not
...more
Jane
I haven't *played* golf since I was 15, but my parents did, as do many of my family, and I have watched a lot on tv. The book culminates with the U. S. Open of 1913, played in Brookline, Massachusetts, just over 100 years ago now - the book was published in 2002. It goes into detailed background of Vardon & Ouimet, both of whom had hard lives. Ouimet was only 20,Vardon 23 years older. The professionals expected Ouimet to clutch under the pressure, like nearly every other newbie.

I wouldn't re
...more
Nathan
I'd always wanted to read this, as I've seen the movie, but wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it through a 500 page book about golf. Fortunately, Mark Frost is such a good writer, you don't need to have more than a passing interest in golf to find it interesting. The story at the heart of the book is what really sucks you in, but I found even some of the old, old history of the game to be fascinating as well. And you need to know that history to fully appreciate the story of the 1913 U.S. Open. ...more
Chad
An extremely well written book centered around the 1913 U.S. Open. Frost leads into the tournament with great background stories of those involved and what it took for them to be in the position to participate in this tournament and golf in general.

The bulk of the book deals with the Open and the wonderful drama surrounding it. Frost then follows up with a post-script of sorts following up on all of the major players and personalities involved.

This book is a great read, especially for fans of
...more
Kevin
The third book that I've read or listened to by Mark Frost and it was excellent, just like the other two. I have the DVD movie and as usual there are many more details in the book. It is the story of a young amateur winning the U.S. Open at Brookline just across the street from his home. Francis Ouimet defeated Harry Vardon and Ted Ray from Great Britain in an 18 hole playoff becoming an unlikely champion over his idol. The details are fascinating but you'll have to read the book to get them. Th ...more
Lloyd
The Moby Dick of golf writing, The Greatest Game Ever Played is a majestic tour of golf in Britain and the U.S. before the First World War, culminating in Francis Ouimet's improbably upset of Harry Vardon at the U.S. Open in Brookline in 1913. Frost is a major league writer who brought an historian's interest and attention to his subject. While some of the documentary detail may feel unnecessary, the overall effect is one of immersion in a time most of us know next to nothing about. The section ...more
Darin
This book is the true story about how an amateur golfer, Francis Oimet, took on the world's greatest professionals, including famed Harry Vardon, in the 1913 U.S. Open Championship. The novel details what golf was like back at the turn of the century and describes the event that brought the sport to the front pages. More than about golf, it is also about the social class struggles prevalent in the U.S. and U.K., as well as the internal family struggles Francis experienced as he pursued his love ...more
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