Cricket Stories and Sketches

Published: 1958
Pages: 19
Author: Mailey, Arthur
Publisher: In Sydney
Rating: 3.5 stars

The majority of the small publications by Arthur Mailey, printed in the 1920s, are expensive items and most can’t justify the 300+ pounds for a reasonable copy. So the item under review, which you can pick up from 20 pounds, may be the only way to own an Arthur Mailey. My copy has a price written in pencil on the front page as $2.00 Aus – which I picked up, before the internet, when you could regularly find bargains in the second hand bookstores.

Cricket Stories & Sketches differs from Mailey’s efforts from the 1920s, with less drawings and more words. The format is also smaller. The sketches while, fewer than his earlier efforts, are still of a high quality and feature the best caricature of Richie Benaud this reviewer has seen. Unfortunately this is the only large scale sketch in the booklet and as such, their lack, reduces the enjoyment compared to Mailey’s 1920s efforts.

With less drawings there is more room for the Mailey deprecating humour and some of the stories are quality even if a number have been lifted from his classic autobiography 10 for 66 and all That. Mailey eloquently explains this in his introduction ‘if I choose to use them (stories) a second time I do so, like I do with the hat that belongs to me.’

If the above quote sounds strange then that just means you have not been indoctrinated into the world of Arthur Mailey – trust me, once you read one of his little publications you will chuckle out loud at the above quote.



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