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The Kingdom of Shivas Irons


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About the Author

Michael Murphy, who cofounded The Esalen Institute in 1962, is the author of Golf in the Kingdom and The Future of the Body. He is the coauthor of In the Zone and The Life We Are Given. Murphy lives in San Rafael, California.


One of the pioneers of the human potential movement, Murphy co-founded the Esalen Institute in 1962 and, 10 years later, expressed his beliefs in the bestseller Golf in the Kingdom, which told readers about golf pro and mystic Shivas Irons, with whom Murphy had played a transformative round of golf in 1956. Here, Murphy details his recent (beginning in 1987) search for Irons. The golf pro had introduced Murphy to supernatural practices resulting in amazing golf shots, but Murphy seems to have forgotten most of what he learned‘or perhaps he never really understood it. Now he haunts golf courses in Scotland and travels to Moscow to spend a little time with a Sufi shaman, all in hopes of finding Irons. Eventually, he realizes that he must turn his attention inward to learn that the truth, the answer, the possibilities are all there, within him and everyone else. Murphy spins a good yarn and has the ability to inspire readers to want to change their lives, inner and outer. But his brand of self-transformation here, as in his major nonfiction work, The Future of the Body, relies heavily on the potentialities of the body and on whether humans can transcend their ordinary limitations in order to enjoy such powers as traveling instantaneously, appearing and disappearing at will, or becoming a "luminous embodiment" with only the vaguest cloud-like form. His emphasis on superhuman physical powers undermines his talk of heart, soul and spirit; after all, there's no substantial reason to assume that Moses, Jesus, Muhammad or Buddha could have shot par. $200,000 ad/promo; simultaneous BDD audio; author tour. (Sept.)

The long-awaited sequel to the classic tale of sport and mysticism, Golf in the Kingdom.

"Michael Murphy has achieved a rare feat; he has penned a sequel that not only amplifies and extends his earlier masterpiece but creates a new vision of future possibility."
--James Redfield, author of The Celestine Prophecy "The Kingdom of Shivas Irons takes you on a quest of altered states. It will catch your imagination and proffer the questions of golf and soul."
--Gary McCord

Twenty-five years ago, Michael Murphy described a mystical round of golf he played in 1956 at Burningbush‘a fictitious golf course in Scotland‘with an enigmatic Scottish golf-pro named Shivas Irons in Golf in the Kingdom (LJ 7/72), a tale that includes hidden interpretations of the game and penetrating insights regarding life in general. In this sequel, Murphy journeys back to Scotland in 1987 to find Irons and the answers he thinks the Scotsman may have regarding golf and the "life to come." In Scotland, he meets Buck Hannigan, a mathematician engaged in the study of hyperspace who is also looking for Irons, and Hannigan's girlfriend, a beautiful Russian expatriate and necromancer who convinces Murphy to call on the mystic forces of old Russia to help him with his search. New Age themes abound along with an absorbing mix of parapsychology and spiritualism. Although some may feel Murphy's latest effort is somewhat like a cross between Brigadoon and Caddy Shack, considering the avid interest in golf and the paranormal, public libraries can expect demand. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/97.]‘Peter Ward, Lindenhurst Memorial Lib., N.Y.

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