Saturday, June 7, 2014

Review of "Blocking Paris"

Realizing I have not reviewed a book on my favorite sport to play, golf, I picked up this fictional golf story when it became available on NetGalley.  Here is my review of "Blocking Paris."

“Blocking Paris” by Bill Thesken

Golf, fiction, romance, drama, humor

May 1, 2014

246 pages

3 of 5 stars (good)

A group of four men gather every day for a round of match play golf.  The stakes are low but the camaraderie is great and the guys have a good time.  Then one day, one of them announces that he is going to propose to his girlfriend in Paris and the others are worried about the end of the golf outings.  They, along with three girlfriends of the fiancée, then scheme to figure a way to stop the trip to Paris from happening.

This story has many elements that will keep the reader engrossed – there is some romance, of course.   An interesting link is that the three girlfriends each dated one of the other three men in the golf foursome, although all of them are now single.  There is drama in the story, especially as the reader will wonder if this rag-tag group can stop Archie from getting on that plane to Paris?  There is humor as many funny passages can be found throughout the book.

Also, of course, there are many passages about golf.   I do like how Thesken makes each of these men “regular” golfers, meaning they are regular hackers like most people who play on municipal course like theirs.   Of course, since the story is set in Hawaii, there is some beautiful scenery, but it doesn’t take away from the realistic golf scenes.  However, there is always a lucky break or two in each match.  Scenes like balls that are heading out of bounds always seem to hit a tree or rock and bounce back to the fairway happen regularly in this book.  I wish that would happen more regularly to me on the course!

The story moves along quite well with good interaction and character development of the other characters.  It leads to a very hectic final scene at the airport when they are trying to stop Archie and his soon-to-be fiancée from boarding the plane to Paris. This final scene, while at times hilarious, was a bit over the top for me in trying to resolve the story.  Without giving anything away, I just felt that this ending took too much attention and energy away from the real story of keeping the golf buddies together. 

Despite the last scene, this was a book that I enjoyed reading and would recommend it to readers who love golf.  Readers who also like some romance, drama and humor with the sports will also like this book.

I wish to thank NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I skim?

Did I feel connected to the characters?
Yes, especially Archie. While reading this book, even though he was clearly the foursome’s member with the most money and apparently didn’t need to work for a living like the other three, his moods, golf game and happiness because he was in love made him a very likable characters.  The others, both the men and women, were realistic as well, but I liked Archie the best.

Pace of the story:
It was very good up to the last scene at the airport.  At that point, it seemed like the story would not come to a conclusion.  Of course, it eventually did and with something of a twist as well.

Do I recommend?
Yes.  It is an entertaining story and golf fans will enjoy the long passages when the buddies are playing their matches.

Book Format Read:
ebook (Kindle)

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