Friday, June 17, 2011

Review - Opur's Blade by James Ross

Genre: Fiction
Title: Opur’s Blade
Author: James Ross
Rating: 3.5/5

Owen Purler Jr.’s mom takes stuttering 12-year-old Owen to Prairie Woods Golf Course one summer to take advantage of free golf lessons. He learns about the sport and so much more.

J Dub Schroeder, the golf pro and manager at Prairie Woods quickly realizes the natural talent Owen has with a golf club. As is appropriate with just about everyone on the golf course, Owen Purler gets a nickname. His first and last name merge and he becomes known as Opur. Learning how good he is at golf helps Opur with self-confidence. As Opur grows up, he learns more about life through J Dub than his estranged father and comes to appreciate his mother’s sacrifices. The theme of Opur’s life seems to be that just when he can see his goal within reach he is blindsided by an action or event that forces him to reassess his plans.

Ross uses short chapters to keep the pacing of the story going, and it works well. It could almost be a young adult novel, except that it follows Opur well into his twenties and has adult topics in the back story of his father. In this novel, more than the previous three, Ross delves into the actual details of how to play golf. Ross uses his in-depth experience of the sport to include details that golf fans will understand, but also enough for people unfamiliar with the sport to be able to grasp and appreciate. Pulling the point of view around the golf course works especially well in this novel. The reader moves from the sportscaster’s booth, to the golfers’ shoulders as they discuss strategy with their caddies, to various spectators in the crowd commenting on what they are seeing, hearing, and experiencing. The shifting point of view can be distracting, but in this instance it helps add to the suspense of play at each hole and keeps the reader moving along with the game.

James Ross took up golf at the age of twelve. After turning fifty, he decided to pursue his creative side. He went to a keyboard and let the words flow through his fingertips. Opur’s Blade is fourth in a series of books centering on the Prairie Woods Golf Course. It follows Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course. His fifth novel, Pabby's Score is due out this year. When he’s not writing, Ross can most likely be found on a golf course.

Opur’s Blade is my favorite of the four I’ve read in this series, although the editing and ending leave a bit to be desired. Opur’s Blade is about keeping focused on your passion and pushing through any and all obstacles to reach your goals without being tempted to take what, at first glance, appears to be the easy way to the finish line. Persistence and patience will get you to your destination. It is a recommended read. Reviewer: Lisa Haselton, Allbooks Reviews,

Available through: and

Publisher: Nightengale Press
ISBN: 978-1-9334-4987-6
Pages: 472
Price: $18.95

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