LJ Reviews 2017 February #1
Arnold Palmer (1929–2016) was an open book—intriguing, personable, energizing—and the subject of numerous biographies, such as Adam Harrington's Arnold Palmer: A Biography and Charles Price's A Golf Story: Bobby Jones, Augusta National, and the Masters Tournament. Palmer, himself, authored memoirs, most recently A Life Well Played. Here, frequent golf writer Callahan (In Search of Tiger) provides an overview of Palmer's life. What is notable about this account is that it is organized chronologically and concludes with remarks from golfers who cite Palmer as an influence. Fans of Palmer will be familiar with many of the stories, although there are newer tales here as well. Some may quibble about the vignettes that were left out. Yet, in the church of golf, Arnold is a saint. And, like most saints, he touched the lives of many. VERDICT Consider this laudatory biography to be the screenplay for the movie.—Steven Silkunas, Fernandina Beach, FL
Copyright 2017 Library Journal.
PW Reviews 2017 February #2
Sportswriter Callahan (His Father's Son: Earl and Tiger Woods), known for intimate portraits and insider perspectives, breezily floats from story to story across the life of legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, describing dashing Palmer's enduring appeal from the moment he burst onto the new television screens of the 1950s. Callahan spent significant time interviewing Palmer before the golfing great's September 2016 death, and readers will enjoy the author's pointed questions and the Palmer's amiable answers. Callahan then blends his own experiences, primary sources, copious interviews, and a thorough appendix to create a joyful, definitive biography. The contributions of Gary Player, part of the "Big Three" along with Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, are particularly insightful. The stories extend well beyond golf, including Palmer's love of flying; his complex relationships with his father, aging star Ben Hogan; and friendships with the likes of Bob Hope, President Dwight Eisenhower, and Fred Rogers. Callahan shows obvious affection for Palmer, but he is not afraid to add his own takes on contentious topics such as Augusta National's race policy, the oft-chilly Palmer-Nicklaus rivalry, and Palmer's seminal partnership with agent Mark McCormack. Callahan successfully argues that Palmer's seemingly charmed life included great difficulty even as he revolutionized golf. (Apr.)
Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.