Book Review: The Autumn Leaves

Posted on: 29 September 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Roger Blount's book reviewed by one of the 50connect Bookworms.

The publisher's blurb might give the impression that this book is in the mould of Last of the Summer Wine. After all, here is another group of elderly retired men, who enjoy using their leisure time for getting up to mischief.

They, however, have none of the naivety of their small screen counterparts; their tricks are much more sophisticated. The setting for their mischief is a small American town ironically called Wannabee; more specifically at the exclusive Wannabee Golf and Country Club.

It is here that the foursome regularly plays golf together. Harry, the ringleader and mischief maker-in-chief is ably abetted by two of the others, Al and Rick.

They were not above playing a trick on the fourth man, the money obsessed Sol. It was designed to gently part him from the five dollar stake for which they all play. Although sure he was duped, he could not quite work out how it was done. In spite of this fun at Sol’s expense, they do have a fondness for him that later becomes apparent.

The Club Secretary, Dinsdale, who saw this particular trick, thought he might turn the knowledge of money being exchanged to his advantage. He disliked these men, particularly Harry who was a thorn in his side. In fact, it was his ardent wish to get rid of all four of them. He prided himself on his efficient running of the club and they upset the orderly balance.

Dinsdale was tired of the frequent complaints about them, particularly from the Lady Captain and a group of lady members. They were frequently held up by the men’s deliberate slowness on the greens. It so infuriated them that, together, they plotted to get revenge; particularly on the ringleader.

However, in spite of his detestation of Harry, in many ways, he had a sneaking admiration for the man. When he found that there was a serious problem regarding the franchising of the club, the Secretary was worried. He was not above taking Harry into his confidence and enlisting his help to make sure that the franchise would never happen.

The tale continues with the twists and turns of Harry’s tricks and the plots against him. It would be unfair to give them away. It is much more fun to follow them one by one as they are disclosed.

From the first chapters, it feels that this is more of a book for men, rather than having universal appeal. Then, as the story progresses, the background of each of the quartet is revealed and his family life introduced. This element draws the reader’s sympathy and understanding and a certain warmth creeps in. 

Review By Patricia Nugent

You can purchase Autumn Leaves by Robert Blount from all good bookshops priced £16.99.  Alternatively you can purchase it from Amazon for £11.21.

Have you read this book?  What were you thoughts?  Leave a comment below or discuss in the 50connect forums.

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