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The Swinger: A Novel [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]

Michael Bamberger , Alan Shipnuck
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

July 12 2011
The most famous athlete on the planet is a bit off his game.

Maybe you heard?

His name, as we all know, is Herbert X. “Tree” Tremont, and he’s the richest and most celebrated athlete of our time—a multicultural golfing icon with fifty-three Tour wins, thirteen major victories, a smoking hot wife, and two adorable kids. Tree’s carefully cultivated image of country club values has made him so beloved by corporate America that he is the first celebrity in history to endorse Coke and Pepsi. The world kneels at his feet.

As it turns out, so do a good many agreeable young women. When a reporter uncovers evidence that Tree’s sexual appetites are as prodigious as his tee shots, his public and private lives collide, producing the juiciest scandal in sports history.

In this high-spirited romp that recalls the hilarious work of Dan Jenkins and Rick Reilly, two veteran Sports Illustrated writers have some wicked fun with recent events as they take us inside “Treeworld” and the secret society of elite golf. It’s a wild ride that whisks us between the ropes and the sheets of the PGA Tour, cracks open Tree’s cloistered inner circle, and propels us around the world in high style . . . from Tree’s top-secret compound in Florida to the wine cellar of Augusta National for an illicit tryst on Masters Sunday . . . from the deck of his $61 million yacht to the plush interior of his favorite private plane (he owns a few) . . . from the secluded beaches of Maui to an exclusive Southampton estate. 

As the scandal spirals out of control and Tree is forced underground, we get to know his entourage: Andrew Finkelman, his famously brusque manager who left IGM to manage Tree alone; Turner Darlington, the bizarre and charismatic founder and CEO of Tree’s main sponsor, Arrow Golf; Tree’s wife, Belinda, a hot-blooded Italian former bikini-model who doesn’t play golf but swings a mean fireplace tool; and a healthy number of the hundreds of women whose liaisons with Tree are brought to light as the plot unfolds.

Bursting with inside observations and anecdotes about pro golf and life on Tour, The Swinger is a fast, funny, and gleefully outrageous novel that illuminates the life of the modern world-class, life-by-the-tail athlete. It is also a meditation on love, sex, marriage, friendship, celebrity, and the media. It is written with a smile, not with disdain for athletes like Tree, but with empathy and affection. It ends with the hope that Tree’s transformation, redemption, and return to greatness may be just around the corner.

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Review

“A funny, fast-moving book . . . Dead on . . . The authors know their man and know their game. . . . Credible and brightly apt.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"In their roman à clef about Tiger Woods, Shipnuck and Bamberger thinly disguise as fiction plenty of gossip they've heard over their four decades, combined, covering the PGA Tour. . . . What’s more relevant to the story, and to the reader—including, possibly, Tiger Woods himself—is the way Tree approaches his post-scandal life. The authors’ idealized version of Woods comes totally clean about his past mistakes. There are no staged interviews, no clipped or dodgy answers. Tree Tremont lets his guard down, even cracks a few jokes about the absurdity of his situation. He starts enjoying the company of his fellow players and—gasp—the fans. Tree wins that Masters, his game even gets better, and yes, fans fall for him all over again. . . .When reading The Swinger, you can’t help but wonder: what if Tiger were more like Tree?” Time magazine

“Hilarious . . . A sensational novel of life on Tour.” Golf Magazine

“An entertaining, revealing, thought-provoking, and cautionary tale . . . As you read The Swinger . . . it’s easy to catch yourself wondering: Is this what really happened? No one may ever know exactly what happened to Woods, and the book is fiction — keep repeating that with each turned page — but it provides invaluable insight into the life and times of Woods. . . . The Swinger is a golf book, but it is a 21st century sociology lesson, too.” —Bill Pennington, The New York Times

“Not a fan of sports books, or golf, or Tiger Woods, but I loved The Swinger.” —Jennifer Weiner, author of Then Came You and Good in Bed

The Swinger is a raucous, lively and at times laugh-out-loud funny look inside the world of professional golf and modern celebrity. . . . The surprising ending should leave those still frustrated with Tiger’s post-scandal actions feeling satisfied. And I guarantee you’ll never think of Altoids, Vijay Singh, the wine cellar at Augusta National or, for that matter, Tiger Woods, the same way again.” —Geoff Shackelford

“A must-read for golf fans . . . I laughed out loud.” Yahoo! Sports

“It leaps to the top of the golf novel genre.” —Bradley S. Klein, senior writer, Golfweek

“An enjoyable and enlightening read . . . Equal parts an inside joke, an authentic glimpse into the PGA Tour, and a deeper look into journalism and society's treatment of celebrities. . . . Even though the story is a fictional account, Shipnuck and Bamberger pour invaluable insight into their alternate universe with little details that they’ve scooped up while covering golf for a combined four decades.” Monterey Herald

“The phrase ‘ripped from the headlines’ has never been more apt than in this entertaining, funny and surprisingly poignant and sentimental book by two writers who have been around since the beginning of the Woods Era. They skillfully weave reality and fiction to offer a morality play that, in the end, is more about hope than a tabloid slash-and-burn. Bamberger and Shipnuck’s knowledge of the game gives the book a reality rarely seen in golf fiction outside of Dan Jenkins. . . . There are enough laugh-out-loud scenes to satisfy fans of the Jenkins Era of golf novels such as Dead Solid Perfect. The one in the Augusta National wine cellar, for example, will leave you howling. Unlike the current problems plaguing Tiger Woods, The Swinger has a resolution and it’s one of redemption and optimism. Those who have admired Woods and his remarkable skills since he burst on the scene will finish the book wishing him the same fate.” Florida Times-Union

"Fast . . . Juicy . . . There's lots of insidery detail . . . Part of the fun is squabbling with the authors' speculation about what made Tiger—excuse me, Tree—behave the way he did." —John Paul Newport, The Wall Street Journal

“A devilishly fun summer read for sports fans, celeb-gawkers, or anyone that just likes a good story . . . If you had any interest at all in the Woods saga as it played out, you’re nearly guaranteed to love this novel.” Fortune

“Funny and raunchy . . . The book really shines when it provides an alternate-history version of how a smart, sensitive, self-aware Tiger might and should have handled his return to the tour.” —Jeff Neuman, Real Clear Sports

“Yes, it is fiction, but it will tell you more about Tiger Woods than we knew for years . . . And yes the golfer in the book is nicknamed ‘Tree’ instead of Tiger, and yes there is an upbeat ending, but in many ways this is a scary novel about the greatest golfer in the world who lost his own soul on the way to the green.” —Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal

No, they didn’t! Oh yes, they did! . . . An entertaining, clever work of fiction that gives readers an inside look into pro golf and life in tour . . . I'm still laughing.” Wei Under Par

About the Author

Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck are senior writers at Sports Illustrated.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Rude and crude Dec 7 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in book. Part of the reason is having read the columns in SI by the authors I always enjoyed their insight and felt they depended too much on the graphic sex escapades of Tree to complete the book. It may be close to reality but sometimes we are better of not living in the gutter.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  65 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Page Turner July 11 2011
By Paul Koehorst - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I really enjoyed this novel by two golf reporters who I've followed for years. As you may know, this story parallels the travails of T. Woods. The intriguing part of this book is that it offers a look into the mindset of what the world's #1 athlete might have been during his march to the top and devastating career implosion. There are also some interesting insights into life on tour, both on and off the course. The book also leaves you guessing: are some of Treemont's antics based on actual events that the authors may have learned about "off the record." You gotta wonder... It's a fast read, funny and entertaining.
29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Over the top Parody July 22 2011
By Barbara braunohler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really expected to enjoy this Roman a clef story, feeling it would be funny and constitute an inside look at what went wrong in his life.

The subject is obvious, but the characters are so thinly drawn and one-dimensional that it soon bogged down in silly exaggerations and totally over-the-top episodes. The story is so unbelievable and delights in kicking a guy (as well as his family) when he is down. I was never a fan of the obvious subject, but this book is really mean-spirited and serves no purpose other than making money for the authors and ridiculing its subject.

The fairy tale ending seems like it was written by a high school junior and lacks all credibility.

Seriously don't waste your time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Waste of Money May 26 2012
By oleuncleandy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
An obvious parody of Tiger Woods' recent troubles. I don't know who would enjoy it. It has little to do with golf. It gives little insight into what the PGA Tour is like. It is horribly written. It is like a romance novel I imagine, with dumb cliches and no depth. My favorite quote (paraphrasing), as the main character is having sex with a woman "Bite the pillow, I'm taking the dirt road home". That about sums up the book. Who would even write that line? I didn't finish the book despite spending two hours in a doctor's office waiting room. I stared at a wall instead.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Entertaining...a worthy read Sept. 27 2011
By Jamiar Tucker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first came upon this novel as an excerpt in the Golf Magazine. Read the clip and was curious. Went out a couple weeks later and purchased. Very pleasantly surprised and entertained. For those that poo-pooed the book, just understand it's not Shakespeare. It is written to entertain and poke fun in some cases.

There is no great development of characters or in-depth look into society. Just one guy and his coming to terms with his shortcomings. Mixed in between are some giggles and laughs. I actually laughed out loud several times.

Good, quick read that was entertaining. I would reccommend to golfers and non-golfer...

JMR
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You just can't make this stuff up!! Aug. 8 2011
By H. Hooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you follow pro golf The Swinger will bring tears to your eyes------from laughing. The authors did a great job of weaving present day events in to a very entertaining story with just enough bends in the road to keep it from being someone's (who could that be?) bio. I rarely read fiction (and I'm not so sure I just did) but The Swinger was so well hyped that I had to make an exception. The Swinger was a easy read and fun diversion.
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