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Thread: Cricket Books

  1. #1186
    SJS
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    Check your mail Archie.

  2. #1187
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Perm's Avatar
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    Hey guys, I'm looking at getting a few cricket books in the next month or so. What are some of the best you have read?
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  3. #1188
    Cricket Web Staff Member stumpski's Avatar
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    That's a tricky one actually, it kinda depends on what you're after ... personally, I tend to steer clear of players autobiographies (with a few exceptions - Nasser Hussain's was very good, but those from current players tend to be rather 'safe'). My own favourite writers are probably David Frith, Stephen Chalke, David Foot and Gideon Haigh, and you can't go too far wrong with Wisden - although New Zealand has its own almanack I believe. Might I suggest the best starting place is perhaps to click on the 'Book Reviews' section and seek out some of the four star reviews?

  4. #1189
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perm View Post
    Hey guys, I'm looking at getting a few cricket books in the next month or so. What are some of the best you have read?
    Well, I can tell you what are the things I prefer.

    Firstly, in autobiographies, I prefer those written after the end of a players career. Those written midway are mainly to en-cash on their popularity to make some quick money and rarely does any great effort go into doing a good and thorough job.

    In biographies, I prefer those from writers who have seen the player in action rather than those who are writing based purely on research. I mean, if I need to buy a biography on Victor Trumper written by Ashley Mallett, I would seriously think if I really need it. I might write it myself Sometimes, of course, one does not have a choice and if you still want to study the subject cricketer, you will buy the book based on research. In that case, I wil try and stick to a known reputed writer like Gideon Haigh on Warwick Armstrong life.

    In both cases, I prefer the life stories of older players (those I havent had the good fortune to see myself) over the more recent ones.

    In the case of essays and general writings on the game including portraits of great players etc., I go for the quality of the writer more than the subject matter. The books by the master writers like Cardus, Thomson, Swanton, Ray Robinson, Martineau, Brodribb, CLR James etc are always great to read.

    The more recent quality writers include Gideon Haigh, David Frith, David Lemmon, etc.

    All cricketer turned writers do not make great writers (excluding the autobiographies of course) so I stick to those amongst them who I know write well like PGH Fender, Ian Peebles, Monty Noble, Trevor Bailey, Arthur Mailey and Jack Fingleton etc.

    Then there are the comentators who have written books. Amongst them John Arlott, Alan McGilvray and Brian Johnston are eminently readable.

    When reading books by cricketers, I never think twice if there is a book from one of the legends. Thus a book by WG Grace, or by Ranji, or Bradman or Larwood or Jessop is a must buy for me.

    Finally there is the early cricket literature. The books by Nyren, James Pycroft, Richard Daft, EV Lucas or the hundreds of priceless action pictures by cricketer turned early photographer Beldam, in two massive volumes, are absolutely invaluable if one is interested, as I am, in transporting myself, spiritually, into those really ancient times cricket-wise. These books, unfortunately, are invariably expensive and except in the few cases where later reprints are available, they will make big holes in one's pocket..
    Last edited by SJS; 17-08-2008 at 12:19 PM.


  5. #1190
    School Boy/Girl Captain Dave Gregory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    In biographies, I prefer those from writers who have seen the player in action rather than those who are writing based purely on research. I mean, if I need to buy a biography on Victor Trumper written by Ashley Mallett, I would seriously think if I really need it. I might write it myself Sometimes, of course, one does not have a choice and if you still want to study the subject cricketer, you will buy the book based on research. In that case, I wil try and stick to a known reputed writer like Gideon Haigh on Warwick Armstrong life.
    So, under your rating system, I am screwed either way with my book on the Gregorys

  6. #1191
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    There are a lot of ways to start your cricket book reading, I would be tempted to read some general history books or some pen portrait type publications

    There has not been a really good history of cricket book written for quite awhile, but there are some older ones around.

    Try the one by Frith England V Aust. a pic. book of the history of the Ashes, there have been so many of these (I have about 5 myself) that you should find it in most 2nd hand book stores and not pay very much for it.

    On Aussie cricket 'The Top 100 and First XI' is not too bad, although getting a bit old now (1987), it is quite fun as you try and work out who will be in the all time XI which is at the end of the book in a colour drawing (see if you can resist peaking before the end)

    As for Bios try the Wally Hammond effort written by David Foot, great stuff
    You know it makes sense.

  7. #1192
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Gregory View Post
    So, under your rating system, I am screwed either way with my book on the Gregorys
    Personally I am looking forward to it - when is it likely to see the light of day?

  8. #1193
    School Boy/Girl Captain Dave Gregory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    Personally I am looking forward to it - when is it likely to see the light of day?
    I can send you the first 80,000 words or so if you want. It always helps to have another proof reader

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Gregory View Post
    I can send you the first 80,000 words or so if you want. It always helps to have another proof reader
    well that would be very civilised of you

  10. #1195
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Gregory View Post
    So, under your rating system, I am screwed either way with my book on the Gregorys
    Considering that I do not have a biography OR an autobiography on any of them, I think I will buy one - and maybe manage to get you to sign it for me

  11. #1196
    International 12th Man neville cardus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpski View Post
    That's a tricky one actually, it kinda depends on what you're after ... personally, I tend to steer clear of players autobiographies (with a few exceptions - Nasser Hussain's was very good
    His publisher almost had a coronary failure when he said otherwise at the launch. I thought it magnificent, though -- somewhere between Allan Donald's and Michael Atherton's.
    Cheers,
    Rodney Ulyate

  12. #1197
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by neville cardus View Post
    -- somewhere between Allan Donald's and Michael Atherton's.
    He should be in mortal danger from those snorters from Donald then

  13. #1198
    International 12th Man neville cardus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post
    As for Bios try the Wally Hammond effort written by David Foot, great stuff
    What do think of those books which bear Hammond's name as author? And, more importantly, did he actually write them? I thoroughly enjoyed both Cricket My Destiny and Cricket My World.

  14. #1199
    International 12th Man neville cardus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    He should be in mortal danger from those snorters from Donald then
    Har, har.

    Did you receive my confirmation of receipt?

  15. #1200
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by neville cardus View Post
    What do think of those books which bear Hammond's name as author? And, more importantly, did he actually write them? I thoroughly enjoyed both Cricket My Destiny and Cricket My World.
    One can never say who actually wrote which book but at least it is safe to assume, the book says what he wants to say. Yes, they are both fine books.

    It is interesting to see how the players in the past, even the SUPER-super stars like Hammond, wrote much slimmer volumes than we see nowadays. The Steve waugh autobiography is a monstrosity. Since, due to generosity of my former employees, I got two when I retired, I am thinking of giving both to the gym in our club to use for weight training.



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