This is going to sound like a negative review, so let me state from the start that I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed reading things that only someone behThis is going to sound like a negative review, so let me state from the start that I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed reading things that only someone behind the scenes of the PGA tour would know. But I enjoy golf in general, so learning little-known facts about people I watch all the time is always fun.
That said, this book isn't amazing. Maybe it's that Mr. Ryan (or his editor) does not know the difference between who/whom, sunk/sank, shrunk/shrank and others. Maybe it's because editorial oversights like "Rory shot out his arms out in surprised protest," and "scruff of the next" made their way into the finished product. I nearly questioned myself at one point when reading a list of distinguished golfers and, stumbling upon the name "Sneak," I wondered who that was. No one, I realized. It should have said "Snead." There were plenty of other errors like these. Too many.
The face of golf these days is constantly changing. Anyone who follows it even a little knows of the "parity" all the golf-heads talk about and how that parity has leveled the playing field considerably on the PGA Tour. Rory dominated the end of the 2014 season (chronicled in this book.) But just a few weeks after this book's release, Jordan Spieth is in the driver's seat. The fact that golf is so fickle coupled with the atrocious editing in this book make me wonder if "Slaying the Tiger" was rushed through editing in an effort to keep it from being totally outdated when it was released. Get that thing on the shelves before everything changes again!
It is interesting that Ryan chose to chronicle the 2014 season for this book. He could not have known when he began his expedition whether the results of the 2014 season would bolster or undermine his thesis (that the young guns were overtaking Tiger's dominance.) Bolster they did. But one thing Shane Ryan knew for sure about the 2014 season is that it was a Ryder Cup year. And make no mistake, Ryder Cups sell, no matter your thesis.
The 2014 Ryder Cup ended up providing enough material for an entire book of its own. But why was it in this book? Ryder Cup certainly appeals to golf fans, but here it did nothing to advance the idea of the young guns "slaying the Tiger" - especially given that Tiger wasn't even there. Maybe Tiger's absence was evidence enough. But that doesn't make much of a chapter. So instead, Ryan gave considerable ink to the selection of the captains' picks and the subsequent machinations of Webb Simpson. Why? It had nothing to do with "slaying the Tiger." My hunch is that it's included because it's good gossip that few golf fans have heard before. And that sells books! (As do musings about Watson's leadership style, the details of Team Europe's drunken presser after their win, and the little-reported reactions of team USA to the Mickelson mutiny. They're in here too - for the wrong reasons, if you ask me.)
And what about the curious tenth chapter in which Ryan, throwing thesis to the wind, trashes all things Augusta National? True as his observations may be, why are they in this book? The chapter just doesn't belong. Reading it left me with the sense that Ryan harbors some animosity toward the golf establishment. That, on its own, is fine. I realize that all writers have biases and that a good reader has to be aware of them. But particularly when it comes to biographical sketches, I tend to wonder how reliably authors judge the character of their subjects, and the vibe I got from Ryan in the tenth chapter left me doubtful about whether I could trust his assessments of the golfers he covered. He seemed sour about the Masters. It wasn't the first time he seemed sour about something (hello, entire state of Florida,) but here he allowed himself a chapter to do nothing more than vent. I had to wonder - what, or who, else was he sour about? If he can't hold it in check enough to see when it's irrelevant, is he holding it in check at all? And how does that affect the judgment calls he makes about the golfers he covers?
To conclude, I generally enjoyed this book, though I do think it is mis-titled. All things considered, I think Ryan just wanted to write a book where he got to speak plainly about what he's observed behind the scenes of the PGA tour. And I think that he (not even secretly) hoped to put a few nicks in the shiny image of the tour that many people have bought into. Fair enough. However, there is, in my opinion, no excuse for typos and poor grammar. And if the book is really about slaying Tiger, then the inclusion of the Ryder Cup and Augusta chapters were off-topic and come off more like cheap attempts to garner more buzz. Taken together, all of these gave the book the feel of something that was meant to sell rather than to be savored. But overall, the content was interesting. I'm not sure I buy all of Ryan's character assessments, but they were interesting nonetheless. (And I definitely didn't buy the book. Thank you, public library.)
(This review is of the hardcover/library edition of the book.)...more
This book had me completely hooked. I could not put it down all through the first half. Then I read a bunch of reviews on Goodreads, many of which staThis book had me completely hooked. I could not put it down all through the first half. Then I read a bunch of reviews on Goodreads, many of which stated that the book got really bogged down in the second half.
Was I influenced by the reviews, or did the book just really start lagging all on its own? I don't know. I did find I was getting frustrated at the amount of writing dedicated to the movement of armies during WWI. The degree to which Bailey detailed some of this seemed unnecessary. I wanted to hear more about John and his mother.
I also had a very difficult time following her reasoning as she put pieces of the mystery together. The chronology was not linear. Also, several times I wasn't quite convinced that there was more to investigate when she seemed to think there was. I don't attribute this to a faulty assessment on her part but more to the confusing manner in which she related the story. I also found that I often didn't fully understand her explanation of the letters she cited. (But I struggle a bit with reading comprehension, so this could be my own fault.)
As it is, I really enjoyed the first part of the book. The second half needed to wrap up quicker. Altogether, it was in interesting read....more
What I appreciated the most about this book is that it gives a simple word picture (the trellis and the vine) that anyone can use to distinguish betweWhat I appreciated the most about this book is that it gives a simple word picture (the trellis and the vine) that anyone can use to distinguish between the types of church work they are doing. I believe the word picture allows us, in fact, to actually see a distinction in church work that many never really see. Are we devoting our efforts entirely to maintaining church structures or to helping others grow into more committed followers of Christ?
Marshall and Payne don't just stop at telling us that we need gospel growth, but they tell us what it looks like, and how churches can start moving toward it. I wanted to jump out of my chair in excitement and relief when they repeatedly set the training focus on mature, committed believers, suggesting that we need to target, train, and build ministries around them. These, in turn, are trained to train others, following the model of 2 Tim 2:2. This effectively creates a ministry model in which disciples are taught to disciple.
This is not to say they ignore evangelism or the needs of young believers. There is considerable focus given to them. In fact, useful organizers are presented for evaluating where people are spiritually so that they can be ministered to effectively. That the authors have presented a model that doesn't leave mature believers to fend for themselves at the top of the church hierarchy is refreshing. And effective. Too bad more churches aren't doing it....more
**spoiler alert** My thoughts: an interesting spy story with a very sweet romance on the side. Great historical fiction that helps solidify some aspec**spoiler alert** My thoughts: an interesting spy story with a very sweet romance on the side. Great historical fiction that helps solidify some aspects of ancient Egyptian history. I think this book would make a great movie, and I was surprised to find that that hasn't happened.
My kids did not like this book. The plot was too predictable, according to my son. And they said they preferred stories that don't wrap up with a perfect ending. Go figure....more