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Beyond A Boundary Paperback – 7 Jul 2005

26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey; New Ed edition (7 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022407427X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224074278
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Great claims have been made for [Beyond a Boundary] since its first appearance in 1963: that it is the greatest sports book ever written; that it brings the outsider a privileged insight into West Indian culture; that it is a severe examination of the colonial condition. All are true" (Sunday Times)

"To say "the best cricket book ever written" is piffingly inadequate praise. A mental landscape triangulated by literature, socialism and cricket represents an ideal we should all aspire to, and this ennobling and beautifully written book should be read by anyone with the slightest interest in any one of the above" (Guardian)

"Anyone who has not encountered [Beyond A Boundary] should seize the chance now" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Years ago I had presumed, on being repeatedly told that C L R James' Beyond A Boundary was the finest sports book ever written, that it was the opposite; in fact, James' erudite tale probably warrants that label" (Independent)

"An innovative mixture of autobiography, sports journalism and political philosophy" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

'The most finely crafted book on cricket ever written' - The Times

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By John E. Davidson on 30 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
Beyond a Boundary reached number 3 in the Observer Sport Monthly’s poll of the best fifty sports books of all time. It is burdened with enormous praise; amongst the quotes included on the cover are: ‘To say “the best cricket book ever written” is pifflingly inadequate praise’ and ‘Great claims have been made for [Beyond a Boundary] since its first appearance in 1963: that it is the greatest sports book ever written; that it brings the outsider a privileged insight into West Indian culture; that it is a severe examination of the colonial condition. All are true.’
The praise is justified. The only way that this is not the best cricket book ever written is if you do not consider it as a cricket book. It is beautifully crafted, transcending the genre: an engaging combination of cricket book, personal memoir and political and cultural commentary. There are other very good books about cricket but this is something more than that. It is a cricket book, a history book, a sociology book and more.
CLR James is a fascinating man: widely travelled, spending long periods in England and the USA as well as Trinidad, an important writer and journalist, a politically active Marxist, instrumental in getting Frank Worrell appointed captain of the West Indies team. The book covers a wide range of subjects including his childhood in Trinidad; great cricketers he has known and watched; Caribbean politics amongst others. For cricket lovers one of the beautiful things about the book is that James loves cricket, he appreciates it as an art form. He possesses the clarity of thought and the prose to convey this love and appreciation to the reader.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
This beautiful, rich, complex and deeply satisfying book still haunts me nearly a year after reading it for the first time. James takes you through his life, the history of West Indian society and the role of cricket in both with a vigour and erudition that lifts the book from the mere 'sports' category.
Cricket, and the power it can have over an individual and a people, is central to his story. The development of cricket, people and politics in the West Indies was intertwined for most of the 20th century. And James does us all an immense favour by untangling these strands carefully, deliberately and intelligently and then for good measure shines a light on England and its' own cricketing heritage. It is a wonderful read.
Read this book if you love cricket, if you're fascinated by political history, if you love writing that is so good it leaves you breathless. Whatever your reason, just read it; and then spread the word.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Beyond a boundary is an extraordinary book, CLR James manages to seamlessly interweave anecdotes, cricketing technique, politics, his love for his country and his fellow men (cricketing and otherwise), legends of the game and the deveolpment of the game together with a tremendous sense of the importance of cricket in our culture and civilisation. It is not a light and easy read, or a book I would recommend universally, but the interest that you show in it is well rewarded with the depth of insight that you gain from every single page. I read it six months ago, and it remains in my mind far more vividly than many books I have read since for the renewed interest that it has given me towards a game I have always loved, but now look at with more reverence and understanding. Cricket is not life and death to everyone, but while reading this book it will appear that it could, or even should be.
It is more complex and thought provoking than any other sporting book I have ever encountered, and as such does not deserve the classification of sports book, though I couldn't begin to suggest how it SHOULD be classified!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jonathan Bayley on 18 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a most unusual book, part autobiography, part politics, part cricket. It is beautifully written, essential reading for those of us who think of cricket as a spiritual experience as well as a game. CLR James must have been an exceptionally well-educated man, and this shows in his ability to set his arguments out in an intelligent way. It is not too intellectual, but occasionally it goes off at some curious tangents. Most enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul WS Bowler on 26 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book on the strength of a blog post by Kenan Malik. I'm not a huge fan of cricket and reading this book was sometimes like reading a Patrick O'Brien novel (a lot of jargon) but it did not interfere with my enjoyment of the book. Though it did make me somewhat jealous of the affection, the knowledge and the passion, the author had for the game of cricket. It's difficult to say exactly what this book is about as it is parts autobiography, biography, paean to the game of cricket, a treatise on art, a social history of England, Trinidad & Tobago, an introduction to a national awakening and flowering, a literary review, a philosophical commentary, a window into the gradations of racism, the degradations caused by racism and the sun setting on an imperial power. I've never had the pleasure of reading something so eclectic and yet so informative.
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