The Awful Truth

Published: 2004
Pages: 642
Author: Hansen, Brian
Publisher: Brian Hansen Publications
Rating: 3 stars

There were only three problems with this book. The first was the author’s habit of repeating himself, sometimes two or three times in the same paragraph. The other small criticism was his habit of confusing dates. For instance he has England touring Australian in 1968-69. These however, are minor criticisms.

The third problem is no fault of the author, it is simply that this barely qualifies for our review section and the bi-line on the cover should have served as a warning.

“The inside story of crime & sport”

There was a lot of crime but the real problem was the sport. Instead of cricket the vast majority was dedicated to Australian Rules Football. Still author Brian Hansen has co-written a cricket book. So on that pretence, the green light to review the cricket portion of this book is; go.

  • Hansen, claims to have on occasions ghosted Keith Miller’s English newspapers cricket column, when the great all-rounder decided he rather spent a day at the races. His association with Miller brought him into contact with Freddie Trueman and this leads to more cricket anecdotes most of which are unfamiliar to the well read cricket tragic.
  • Hansen was given the controversial Bobby Simpson book <i>Captain’s Story</i> and was expected to give it a favourable review for the publisher. The problem was, Hansen was a mate of Ian Meckiff and was not impressed with Simpson’s claims that Meckiff was not only a chucker but he deliberately chucked. Hansen’s scathing review of the book in the newspapers saw the publishers forced to pulp all copies of the book and re-print with the controversial comments removed. An original first edition before the forced changes is now considered a collector’s item.
  • The author claims that Ray ‘Slug’ Jordon, once punched his then captain Bill Lawry in the nose after ‘Slug’ was inexplicably left out of the Australian team. He also alleges there was no love lost between Jordon and both Ian Chappell and Doug Walters. Those who have read Ashley Mallett’s biography on Chappelli may recall Chappell labelling Jordon a cheat.

So there you are, not a lot of cricket but you always seem to find original and previously unknown cricket stories in books of this type. For that reason <i>The Awful Truth</i> deserves to be reviewed in this section and if you like Aussie Rules as well as having an interest in Australian crime, you will enjoy this book all the more.

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