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The Mysterious Montague

A True Tale of Hollywood, Golf, and Armed Robbery

Leigh Montville

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


John Montague was a boisterous enigma. In the 1930s, he was called “the world's greatest golfer” by famed sportswriter Grantland Rice. He could drive the ball 300 yards and more, or he could chip it across a room into a highball glass. He played golf with everyone from Howard Hughes and W. C. Fields to Babe Ruth and Bing Crosby. Yet strangely, he never entered a professional tournament or allowed himself to be photographed. Then, a Time magazine photographer snapped his picture with a telephoto lens and police quickly recognized Montague as a fugitive with a dark secret. From the glamour of 1930s Hollywood, to John Montague's extraordinary skill and triumphs on the golf course, to the shady world of Adirondack rumrunners and the most controversial, star-studded court trial of its day, The Mysterious Montague captures a man and an era with extraordinary color, verve, and energy.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 18, 2008 – When John Montague died alone on May 25, 1972, age 69, in a fleabag hotel in Studio City, Calif., his body went unclaimed for a week. Hardly a fitting end for a man who once rubbed shoulders with Bing Crosby, Richard Arlen, Oliver Hardy and the other Hollywood swells who golfed, drank and caroused at the Lakeside Country Club in L.A. In the capable hands of bestselling sportswriter Montville (Ted Williams), Montague's is a quintessentially American story of a man from a hardscrabble background who found himself in the glamorous, easy-money world of Hollywood. But Montague had a past that caught up to him. Having fled a charge of armed robbery in upstate New York, Montague was brought back in 1937 to stand trial, and though he got off, his life quickly unraveled. Hyped by the great sportswriter Grantland Rice (who called him “a golfer who would be a wrecking whirlwind in any amateur championship and on a par with any pro”) and other newshounds, Montague struggled through a series of increasingly embarrassing attempts to go legit on the golf circuit. An entertaining read for the golf lit completist, this doesn't rise to the level of compulsion for the average reader.

Customer Reviews

Enjoyable Read for Golfers Only

I can see why there is a wide range of stars for this book due to the fact it is geared to a golf audience. If you have not or do not golf this is a 2-3 star book. Great stories & tall tales about an enigma of a man make this a fun read...EAF

The Mysterious Montague
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Golf
  • Published: May 06, 2008
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings