Dan Jenkins books in order
Daniel Thomas Jenkins, popularly known as Dan Jenkins, was a renowned American sports writer and bestselling author of fiction.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, he studied at the Texas Christian University (TCU), where he played amateur golf on the varsity team.
Prior to 1985 when he retired from sports writing in order to focus on fiction writing on a full-time basis, Jenkins worked for many publications, including the Fort Worth Press, Dallas Times Herald, Playboy, and Sports Illustrated.
Of the more than sixty years that he spent as a writer, he spent more than 25 years with Sports Illustrated, where he primarily focused on covering golf and college football.
As an author, he was renowned for writing bestsellers like Semi-tough (1972), Dead Solid Perfect (1974), and Baja Oklahoma (1982), which were all adapted into films.
Jenkins was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Red Smith Award, the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing and many more.
He died on March 7, 2019 in his hometown, aged 90, after suffering from heart and renal failure.
Genres: Fiction, General Fiction, Sports
- Semi-tough (1972)
- Dead Solid Perfect (1974)
- Limo (1976)
- Baja Oklahoma (1982)
- Life Its Ownself (1984)
- Fast Copy (1988)
- You Gotta Play Hurt (1991)
- Rude Behavior (1998)
- The Franchise Babe (2008)
- Stick a Fork in Me (2017)
Bobby Joe Grooves
- The Money-whipped Steer-job Three-jack Give-up Artist (2001)
- Slim and None (2005)
- Fairways and Greens (1980)
- American Football (1986)
- The Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate (1988)
- You Call It Sports, But I Say It's a Jungle Out There (1989)
- Bubba Talks: Of Life, Love, Sex, Whiskey, Politics, Foreigners, Teenagers, Movies, Food, Foreigners, Teenagers, Football (1993)
- The Best American Sports Writing 1995 (1995)
- I'll Tell You One Thing: The Untold Truth About Texas, America & College Football, With Pictures to Prove It (1999)
- Texas Christian University Football Vault (2008)
- Jenkins At the Majors: Sixty Years of the World's Best Golf Writing, from Hogan to Tiger (2009)
- His Ownself (2014)
- Unplayable Lies (2015)
- Sports Makes You Type Faster: The Entire World of Sports by One of America's Most Famous Sportswriters (2018)
Detailed book overview
This novel follows the outsize adventures of Billy Clyde Puckett, star halfback for the New York Giants, whose team has come to Los Angeles for an epic duel with the despised "dog-ass" Jets in the Super Bowl. But Billy Clyde is faced with a dual challenge: not only must he try to run over a bunch of malevolent incarnate, but he has also been commissioned by a New York book publisher to keep a journal of the events leading up to, including, and following the game.
Director: Michael Ritchie
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson, Jill Clayburgh, Robert Preston, Bert Convy, Roger E. Mosley, Lotte Lenya, Richard Masur, Carl Weathers, Brian Dennehy
Don Imus said it best: "Dan Jenkins is a comic genius." And nowhere is that genius more evident than in Dead Solid Perfect, his uproarious 1974 novel about life on the PGA Tour. To some, Kenny Lee Puckett, the star of Jenkins's ribald saga, is a more important figure in the history of golf than Bobby Jones himself.
Director: Bobby Roth
Cast: Randy Quaid, Kathryn Harrold, Jack Warden, Corinne Bohrer, Brett Cullen, Larry Riley, DeLane Matthews, John M. Jackson, Bibi Besch, Billy Akin, Linda Dona
Decades before it saturated the airwaves, Dan Jenkins and Bud Shrake actually invented reality TV--and skewered it into a comic novel that was way ahead of its time.
Frank Mallory is a big gun at one of the four major networks. Cruising around Manhattan in his "Silver Goblet," a Rolls Royce limo, he finds that life in the fast lane is beginning to unravel. Having to deal with the departure of his wife, his boss "The Big Guy," and crazed Hollywood stars--while at the same time having to maintain a high-stakes job--all tend to make Frank Mallory, well, act out.
After Frank struggles to fill all his number-four network's prime-time slots--it tends to lag behind CBS, NBC, and ABC--the Big Guy forces him to create a show called "Just Up The Street," which is meant to entertain ordinary Americans with the "real" lives of other ordinary Americans. Ultimately the resulting script causes the Big Guy's downfall and forces everyone else to return to a reality that comes without scare quotes.
NB: Co-authored with Edwin "Bud" Shrake.
Juanita Hutchins can cuss and politically commentate with the best of Jenkins' male protagonists. Still convincingly female, though in no way dumb and girly, fortyish Juanita serves drinks to the colorful crew patronizing Herb's Cafe in South Fort Worth, worries herself sick over a hot-to-trot daughter proving too fond of drugs and the dealers who sell them, endures a hypochondriac mother whose whinings would justify murder, dates a fellow middle-ager whose connections with the oil industry are limited to dipstick duty at his filling station—and, by the way, she also hopes to become a singer-songwriter in the real country tradition of Bob Wills and Willie Nelson.
That Juanita is way too old to remain a kid with a crazy dream doesn't matter much to her. In between handing out longneck beers to customer-acquaintances battling hot flashes and deciding when boyfriend Slick is finally going to get lucky, Juanita keeps jotting down lyrics reflective of hard-won wisdom and setting them to music composed on her beloved Martin guitar. Too many of her early songwriting results are one-dimensional or derivative, but finally she hits on something both original and heartfelt: a tribute to her beloved home state, warts and all.
Director: Bobby Roth
Cast: Lesley Ann Warren, Peter Coyote, Swoosie Kurtz, Billy Vera, Anthony Zerbe, William Forsythe, Willie Nelson, Julia Roberts, Bruce Abbott, Carmen Argenziano
In 1935 Betsy Throckmorton’s father lures her from a New York job with Time magazine back to Claybelle, Texas, with the promise that she can be the editor of his Claybelle Standard-Times. Betsy brings along her husband, Ted Winton, an easterner and Yale graduate to whom she is constantly explaining Texas. Ted will run Ben Throckmorton’s radio station, KVAT, where Booty and Them Others sing in rivalry with the better known WBAP Light Crust Doughboys.
In Texas, it’s the middle of the Depression and the Drought. And Prohibition is barely over, liquor still a controversy. Every city has its hobo camp, and Claybelle has the Star of Hope Mission. But it is also the time of new oil money, high living, infidelity, and tangled love triangles. Betsy and Ted chain-smoke and drink often and long, they wouldn’t miss a Paschal High School or TCU football game, they party at the Casino on Jacksboro Highway, and dine at Claybelle’s Shadylawn Country Club.
Betsy is a serious journalist though, and she sets out to change the paper, clashing with the managing editor when she claims international not state news belongs on page one. She clashes with the columnists when she tries to sharpen their leads.
The Texas Murder Machine becomes her big story, when she suspects that Texas Rangers may be killing innocent young men to collect rewards offered by the Texas Bankers Association. Betsy’s journalistic determination leads to a personal tragedy that changes her life forever—and makes her a determined, relentless newswoman.
Jim Tom Pinch is a unabashed sportswriter who has followed around and reported on too many blonde-haired skiers, basketball players with names like Potatus Fry, and Russian figure skaters who want to know how much a house with a toilet costs in America.
Now he tells the story of a year of romance, cursing, bimbos, touchdowns, pandering, padded expense accounts—from the Olympics to the Indy 500 to the heavyweight championship—a year that will leave neither Jim Tom nor the wide world of sports the same.
Rude Behavior finds Billy Clyde Puckett, former New York Giant football god and later television announcer, as general manager and part-owner of a new NFL team, the West Texas Tornadoes. His old drinking partner-in-crime and favorite receiver, Shake Tiller, has written a bestselling book, The Average Man's History of the World, and his nearly perfect wife, Barbara Jane, is in Hollywood, making a movie with Shake, who happens to be her old flame.
Meanwhile, Billy Clyde's father-in-law, Big Ed Bookman, who is more Texas than oil and is majority owner of the Tornadoes, is trying to lure the old Giants coach, T.J. Lambert, to run his new team. And Billy Clyde has met a bartender named Kelly Sue Woodley, a wiseass beauty who works at a joint called "He Ain't Here" and causes some major marital discord.
All these folks are back to take part in some serious fun, which in Jenkinsland means football, plenty of "young scotches," athletic exploits on the field and in the bedroom, a lot of riffs about the stupidity of "gubmint reg-you-layshuns," and the sublime beauty of country music. Hilarious, stubbornly retrograde, and laced with affection for everything Texas football stands for, Rude Behavior is vintage Dan Jenkins.
Jack Brannon, a golf writer in his forties who has been bunkered more than once in the marriage game, covers the sport for a big-time magazine. Bored with the PGA, he decides to check out “the Lolitas,” on the LPGA Tour. Jack chooses as a magazine subject Ginger Clayton, a fiery eighteen-year old whose killer looks and killer game make her the kind of star who can take the LPGA to the next level.
She is, indeed, The Franchise Babe, and everyone wants a part of her, but someone, it seems, is trying to knock Ginger out of the competition-permanently. Filled with dead-on take downs of sports moms, adventurous promoters, suck-up corporate sponsors, double-dealing sportsagents, and just enough menace to make golf dangerous, Dan Jenkins latest tale of hijinks on the links is not to be missed.
Pete Wallace, a good old boy from Texas, paid his dues coaching football on obscure campuses in the boondocks of America until he landed the athletic director's job at Western Ohio University. For 15 years, he has steadily and skillfully guided the school into the high society of major college sports.
But now Pete, fed up with politically correct campus culture and babysitting fragile egos, is retiring from the "arms race." As he waits for the university's board of trustees to act on his early retirement package, he reflects on his career, the people he's come across, and what life will be like in retirement.
Bobby Joe Grooves
Dan Jenkins virtually invented the golf novel with Dead Solid Perfect, his rollicking account of the life and times of touring pro Kenny Lee Puckett.
After thirty years of waiting for the follow-up, Jenkins returns to the world of big-time golf in The Money-Whipped Steer-Job Three-Jack Give-Up Artist and finds a world where endorsements and course fashion matter more than the side bet.
His hero, Bobby Joe Grooves, is a hell-raising two-iron-wielding rogue trying to turn his one annual tournament win and considerable Texas charm into a spot on the Ryder Cup team. Standing between Bobby Joe and his little spot of golf heaven are two ex-wives, a girlfriend, various pious PGA officials, and his embarrassing lack of a career major.
A book that will teach you more about golf history than any weepy sunset-over-the-eighteenth-green retrospective, The Money-Whipped Steer-Job Three-Jack Give-Up Artist is an uproarious portrait of what it’s really like to play on the PGA Tour.
Bobby Joe Grooves is now forty-four and still without a win in a major championship. A student of golf lore, Bobby Joe is well aware that only a small group of stars have ever won a major at his age or older, and among them are such immortals as Nicklaus, Boros, Irwin, and Trevino. It’s now or never for Bobby Joe, and excuse him for thinking that his chances are slim and none.
So it’s off to the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and the rest of the PGA Tour for Bobby Joe, who’s leaving behind the prospect of a third ex-wife. On the golf courses he’ll face familiar competitors such as Knut Thorssun and Cheetah Farmer, but the rival who may loom the largest is the game’s newest child star, nineteen-year-old Scott Pritchard. His talents are the talk of the Tour—so is his arrogance—and so, by the way, is his stunning mom, Gwendolyn, a shapely adorable woman who captures Bobby Joe’s full attention and threatens not to let go.
After four decades of covering golf-not to mention "playing scratch from the blues and gambling for my own money when I didn't have any", Dan Jenkins most definitely knows golf. He may, in fact, know the game better than anyone on the planet.
Now, his latest and long awaited collection brings together his best writing on the game, from serious pieces on timeless classics like the 1954 Masters and the 1960 Open to humorous takes on everything from the best things in golf-the best bar is Club XIX in the Pebble Beach Lodge-to his unrequited love of golf carts. With a cast that includes everyone from Hogan, Palmer, and Nicklaus to all of the lurkers and spoilers on the PGA Tour, the book is a timeless addition to great golf literature.
Dogged Victims is a hilarious tale of the PGA tour by legendary sportswriter Dan Jenkins with additional golf stories that Jenkins wrote. Jenkins holds an insider's view of the tour and gives laugh out loud stories that only he and his inner circle would know. His story on his first time golfing in Scotland is worth the price of the book itself. Dogged Victims was voted on of the Top 25 golf books of all time by Travel & Leisure magazine.
You Call It Sports, But I Say It’s a Jungle Out There is a collection of his best work from Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Golf Digest, and his nationally syndicated column, and includes a stack of new pieces written especially for this book.
Jenkins spares no one in his search for the culprits who have taken the fun out of sports: NFL owners and refs, PGA Tour administrators, basketball players who can’t read, tennis players who can’t speak English (or say anything worth hearing when they do).
He also finds things worth celebrating: the electric charge given off by Arnold Palmer at his best, the excitement of a truly great college football game, or a real heavyweight champion, like Joe Louis.
Overflowing with good ol’ boys, great one-liners, famous sporting events, and barroom tales, this is the best of Dan Jenkins—which is to say, it’s as good as sportswriting gets anywhere.
Among the provocative social phenomena of our time, few have caught the public fancy as profoundly as that quintessentially American species known as Bubba. The conventional notion of Bubba is a Southern redneck who thinks a rented movie and a six-pack are quality entertainment. According to Dan Jenkins, this historical view has been advanced largely by "effete Easterners and West Coast ponytails who claim to like trout pizza and fat novels written by some kind of Ecuadorian."
Granted, says Jenkins, there is more than one Bubba from Georgia who has spray-painted his girl's name on an overpass. But there is also more than one Bubba from Chicago who will do his Christmas shopping at Graceland. Bubba, Jenkins concludes, is a state of mind, and he proceeds to let Bubba define himself by speaking on topics ranging from beer to ballet, from haircuts to the homeless.
The foremost sports writing annual anthology gathers twenty-five articles, culled from more than 350 American and Canadian newspapers and magazines, covering a variety of sports and sports figures, from female gymnastics to veteran batter Ted Williams.
Through the years, the nonpareil Dan Jenkins has been accused of being one of the funniest and most astute chroniclers of American Football. In both his fiction and reportage, being funny and being smart are mutually inclusive. In I'll Tell You One Thing, he reveals himself as wildly inventive, loyal, passionate and outrageous on the subject of college football--and particularly college football in Texas and his beloved SWC.
A TCU graduate, Jenkins unabashedly wears both heart and prejudice on his sleeve throughout this contentious mixture of fact, fiction and a whole lot of opinion. "A man of the college football persuasion is", he suggests, "capable of talkng for hours on the subject of why his game is better--more exciting, more interesting, more important--than any other team game" and Jenkins indeed talks--and debates--throughout with Billy Clyde Puckett, Tommy Earl Brunner and Coach T J Lambert, some of the most famous characters born of his pen.
What they're debating is quite real, though: college football players, games, statistics, biases. It's solid sports history and wonderful fun and so are the old game stories--also quite real--that Jenkins resurrects from the typewriters of the likes of Grantland Rice to show what the game was like when the college, not professional, game was king. If that's not enough fun, Jenkins provides even more with outrageous lists from who should have won each Heisman and the best college fight songs to the 10 stages of drunkenness and why the 30s are his favorite decade.
Here is a detailed book that includes never-before-published vintage photographs, artwork and memorabilia drawn from the school's extensive campus archives, including reproductions of old game programs, historic tickets, stickers and other amazing replicas inserted into dozens of pockets attached to the pages. Foreword by Gary Patterson and Afterword by LaDainian Tomlinson.
Legendary sports writer Dan Jenkins delivers a golf history lesson that is unrivaled in its scope and style.
In this seminal collection, Dan Jenkins has selected the funniest and most riveting stories from his epic career as a writer for Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest, where his wry reportage of golf’s most thrilling finishes, historic moments, and heartbreaking collapses brought legions of fans intimately close to the action. All the greatest moments of golf over the last sixty years are here: Jack Nicklaus at Pebble Beach, Arnold Palmer at Cherry Hills, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead at Oakmont, and of course Tiger Woods, just about everywhere.
As much about journalism and watching the growth of one of our most cherished sports writers, as it is about the great game of golf, Jenkins at the Majors is a must read for sports fans and golfers alike.
In His Ownself, Dan Jenkins takes us on a tour of his legendary career as a sportswriter and novelist. Here we see Dan's hone his craft, from his high school paper through to his first job at the Fort Worth Press and on to the glory days of Sports Illustrated. Whether in Texas, New York, or anywhere for that matter, Dan was always at the center of it all—hanging out at Elaine's while swapping stories with politicians and movie stars, covering every Masters and U.S. Open and British Open for over four decades. The result is a knee-slapping, star-studded, once-in-a-lifetime memoir from one of the most important, hilarious, and semi-cantankerous sportswriters ever.
In Unplayable Lies, Dan Jenkins takes us on a tour of the links as only he can do it. Here, Dan delves into the greatest rounds of golf he's ever seen, the funniest things said on a golf course, the rivalries on tour and in the press box, the game's most magical moments—and its most absurd.
Filled with well-known characters like Tiger Woods, to others like Titanic Thompson—gambler, golf hustler, accused murderer, legendary storyteller—Unplayable Lies is an ode to the game of golf and the people who play it. But it is Dan Jenkins, so nothing—even the game itself—can escape his wrath, his critical eye, or his acerbic pen. This is Dan Jenkins at his best, writing about the sport he loves the most.
Sports Makes You Type Faster presents a remarkable new collection of essays by one of America’s best-known and best-loved sportswriters. Served up with the acerbic wit that is Dan Jenkins’s hallmark, the essays range over the whole world of sports, taking aim at owners, players, fans, and franchises alike—with results that will make you laugh out loud.