Victor Trumper, My Brother

Published: 2021
Pages: 130
Author: Fryer, John
Publisher: Taverners
Rating: 3.5 stars

I took a hiatus from reviewing books, but not from reading them. Since returning I have found it quite frustrating that the books I review have already been dissected, mostly by Martin.

Rather than be impressed with Martin and the fact he is providing such a great service to cricket book lovers, I have decided to be churlish and find it frustrating! So this week I have found a publication that Martin is yet to review. This is probably only because of his aversion to cricket fiction.

It was with a bit of trepidation that I ventured into reading this book, as I was concerned that the author may take the piss out of one of my heroes, Victor Trumper. These concerns were quickly allayed. Victor Trumper, My Brother, is lovingly and respectfully crafted. Author John Fryer certainly knows his subject and cricket history – I only noticed two minor factual errors.   

Pseudo-fiction can be unfulfilling as you are not sure what is fact and what is fantasy. Thankfully, Fryer provides a brief description at the end of his book to explain that apart from a few liberties with conversations between Test cricketers there are no other changes to the legend of Trumper.

The main fictional character is Trumper’s twin brother Charles Henderson. The concept of Charles came about since there is wide speculation that Trumper was adopted. Henderson grows up as a friend of Trumper and similarly to Sherlock’s Watson, we see the artistry of Trumper’s batting and other life travails through the average sportsman Henderson.

Apart from following the life of Trumper through the eyes of his ‘brother’ we also learn about one of the Boer Wars, Australia’s move to federation, and the cause of the Great War. There are some lovely photos reproduced in the book, which its large format complements. I also enjoyed the coverage given to Trumper and his involvement with the foundation of Rugby League in Australia.   

I was so impressed with Victor Trumper, My Brother that I ordered John Fryer’s other book Dr Grace’s Gnome, although I am not sure I should mention the title, otherwise Martin will buy a copy and rush through a review*!

Another bonus of purchasing one of Mr Fryer’s books is that all proceeds go towards the Lord Taverners charity.

*Sorry Archie, he already has, here

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