Squeezing the OrangeArchie Mac |
Author: Henry Blofeld
Publisher: Blue Door
Rating: 4.5 stars
A non-cricketing friend, yes I have a few, told me during the latest Ashes series that he was now a fan of a cricket personality; one Henry Blow-Field. Now my non-cricketing friend would not be able to tell you how many balls there are in an over. So for him to happily admit he now found some enjoyment in cricket, shows how much personality Henry Blofeld has, and his unique ability to entertain even the non-cricket heathen.
In Australia we do not have that much access to Blofeld. We hear his posh accent and discussion of buses on average every four years for the Ashes. So although I knew of him from his commentary on TMS, it is for his writing that I am an unabashed Blofeld admirer.
I didn’t discover Blofeld the writer until the year 2000, when my wife bought me It’s Just Not Cricket as one of four new cricket books for Christmas. I must have screwed my face up when I opened the Henry Blofeld offering as she said “I thought you liked him?” I left the book on the shelf for six months but once I read it, I was a convert. Over the next two years I tracked down all of his books and devoured them. So when I heard there was a new autobiography I read it all over a weekend and loved it.
Squeezing The Orange, which refers to the author’s attempts to live every day to the full, is Blofeld’s second autobiography, the first A Thirst For Life* was released in 2000. I had concerns that this latest effort may simply be an update with huge slabs copied from the first. My fears were quickly alleviated as Blofeld has rewritten new entries even for those events covered in depth in A Thirst For Life.
Henry Blofeld’s story of how he became a cricket author, commentator and performer is surprising, fortuitous and always entertaining. It is rare for a person to transcend his chosen field, however Henry “My Dear Old Thing” Blofeld has that ability and I am sure my non-cricketing friend is just one of many non-believers converted by his infections love for cricket. His latest book is a must read and is highly recommended.
*I discovered a review of this book inside the dust jacket. So expect to see a review of Henry Blow-field’s first autobiography in a few months. Yes, we waste nothing here in the book review section of Cricket Web.