To The PointArchie Mac |
Author: Herschelle Gibbs
Publisher: Zebra Press
“Ja, I know that, but, like, it’s my book”
The above extract will provide an inkling of the literary quality of To The Point. As a result it is easy to dismiss this book. However if you can look past the literary shortcomings the story of Herschelle Gibbs becomes just about the most honest cricket biography written yet.
This honesty presents Gibbs as either a hedonist who does not know when he has had enough to drink, or an open generous bloke whom others take advantage of. Depending on which view you subscribe to you will either embrace or feel sorry for Gibbs by the end of the book, but you will be entertained.
One of the most enlightening chapters in the book covers Gibbs’ time in a residential rehab for excessive alcohol use. Gibbs entered rehab after he was given an ultimatum from team manager, Mickey Arthur, which was seek help or lose his place in the South African team. Gibbs, who, although he did not agree with the doctrines of the program, did seem to temper his alcohol intake after leaving rehab.
Before rehab, Gibbs on numerous occasions seems to have gone from a big night of women and alcohol straight out to open an innings for South Africa. On occasions he appears to have succeeded such as his match winning performance against Australia when South Africa chased down 438 in an ODI. Still you are left wondering if Gibbs could have achieved more if he did not party quite as hard, although he trained as hard as any in the South African team.
The partying Gibbs is given detailed coverage in the book. With salacious details of the South African tour to Australia in 1997-98, where after reading the South African players exploits, it is not surprising they lost. While Gibbs was attracted to the Australian women his description of their New Zealand cousins as not “too many lookers in New Zealand” may cause him some trouble if he again visits the Shaky Isles.
To The Point is in a similar vain to Roland Fishman’s Calypso Cricket, although not as well written it is an entertaining book and will be enjoyed by almost every cricket fan.