Review: Slaying the Tiger by Shane Ryan

A bonus review for you just in time for this week’s Masters: Shane Ryan’s Slaying the Tiger – a book so good I can’t shut up about it.

In Slaying the Tiger, Ryan tried to look at a crop of new young superstars who might overthrow the old guard, but instead ended up showing us just how human these superstars really are.

Ryan casts his net far and wide to see if the new breed could take charge – Bubba, Rory, Jordan, Jason Day, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley are all covered. In fact I’m pretty sure that anybody who is waiting to be a somebody on the PGA Tour gets a mention.

Take this story about Patrick Reed for example:

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Oh man! It must be completely draining to be Patrick Reed’s friend, right? Ryan has a way of picking out the right quotes – ones that don’t just sum up their talent, but their character too, getting beyond the cliches and platitudes that professional athletes usually speak in.

Ryan’s style feels like sits right in the middle of New Journalism  – factual stuff where style trumps objectivity with a point of view, and the writer immerses himself in the subject. I guess it is similar to writers like Tom Wolfe or Hunter S. Thompson. It has the effect of making you feel like you’re along for the ride, rather than looking objectively through some dry golf scores. Whatever the style, it makes for an enjoyable read.

Throw in Ryan’s ear for a story, and a healthy disrespect for authority, and you have the makings of the most entertaining golf book I’ve read in years.

Yep I can’t recommend this one enough. If you like you’re golf, then make sure it makes its way on to your bookshelf.

Oh, one last thing. Because of the libel laws in the UK, Ryan had to edit out all of the really juicy bits, so he renamed it Chasing the Legends. Make sure you get a second hand version from the US, or somewhere else, and that it is called Slaying the Tiger. You’ll thank me for it.

 

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