Review – Clive Endive Ogive IV’s Private Clubs in America and Around the World…
Between the length of the title and the author’s name I thought I would really struggle with this work of ‘non-fiction’ but how pleasantly surprised I was. I read the foreword and instantly realized that my preconceptions of this book were wholly wrong and I needed to research the author some more before carrying on the reading. You see the foreword was written by Clive’s 112th generation grandfather on his wife’s side Plato, yes THAT Plato. As in happens Clive Endive Ogive IV is the comedic creation of American author Norm Spitzig and this ‘Guide’ is a work of fiction, a gentle nudge in the side of members and staff of private clubs, a tongue in cheek look at the life many of us can not afford. Congratulations Mr. Spitzig you got me! And by the way, the cover price of the book is worth paying for the foreword alone.
After you get over the shock at the brilliance of the foreword, the book launches into a series of chapters that include basic terms and phrases, talks about the reign of a full member being about as short as the stay of a Governor of Illinois, or Morning Glory, calls Senior members deadwood that can’t find their golf balls as they have forgotten where they were aiming. As an ex-restauranteur, the passages on food and beverages were particularly funny and the Annual Meetings is must read humor. The book has facts and statistics that, whilst the legitimacy of them is unknown, the entertainment value they contain are priceless, as is the section regarding the snootiness level of clubs starting at 1 – has a pulse, check cleared, and 10 – which is basically billionaire god.
The end third of the book is more story based and the majority is about Esther, whose surname is missed out to protect her privacy, and during this section I was laughing so hard I started to cry.
Thoroughly entertaining, very funny, incredibly well written, and you can’t hope to read this book without hearing a posh accent narrating in your head.
Spitzig’s other three books follow logically and naturally from this initial introduction of Clive and Esther to the literary world.
**** 4 1/2 STARS