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Cricket, Lovely Cricket?: An Addict's Guide to the World's Most Exasperating Game [Paperback]

Lawrence Booth
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 21 Aug 2008 --  
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Cricket, Lovely Cricket?: An Addict's Guide to the World's Most Exasperating Game Cricket, Lovely Cricket?: An Addict's Guide to the World's Most Exasperating Game 4.8 out of 5 stars (10)
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Book Description

21 Aug 2008

Cricket, Lovely Cricket is a sports book with a difference. It is an original and engaging journey around the perennially curious world of cricket, leaving no metaphorical leg-break unturned and peering at the game from every conceivable angle. Written by Lawrence Booth, who had little option but to turn a youthful obsession with cricket into a means of paying the mortgage, it seeks to answer the questions that crop up on a daily basis but rarely receive a satisfactory answer. What are the players really like? What is the secret of sledging? Why get so worked up about the Ashes? Why all the clichés? And when will India take over the world?

Fittingly, for a sport that can last up to five days without a result, Cricket, Lovely Cricket is rambling but probing, humorous but insightful, sweeping but reflective. It is underpinned by the essential - and slightly frightening - truth that cricket does not actually matter at all, yet continually finds itself relating the game to the wider world. By examining what cricket tells us about the nations who spend vast chunks of their existence fretting over the fate of a small red ball, it attempts to get to the heart of a sport that seems more capable than any other of bewitching its followers.

Full of stories, observations, jokes and whimsy, this book is a captivating look at the way in which the game has become what it is today - and what, given a fair wind, it might be like in the future.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey (21 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022407914X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224079143
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 885,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"further than the light-hearted tone might suggest towards an explanation of why the infuriating sport means so much to so many -- Daily Telegraph

"...Lawrence Booth, one of England's funniest and most engaging cricket writers...Cricket, Lovely Cricket is a wry, self-deprecating and amusing look as much at the `world's most exasperating game' of the subtitle as at the most exasperating experience of following it...The anecdotes - and there are many of them - are excellent...the gags are funny...And Booth wages a delightful war against the clichés that disfigure daily cricket writing....But Cricket, Lovely Cricket? Comes most alive when it turns, through an exploration of how the English follow this game, into a study of Englishness itself."
-- The Independent

"Cricket journalist Lawrence Booth has put together a sports book like no other. Crammed with anecdotes, observations and witty insight" -- Daily Express

"A typically impressive effort from one of the game's best writers"
-- Yorkshire Post

"Effortlessly readable... Booth's lightness of touch helps his mosy around some familiar themes pass very pleasantly"
-- Spin World Cricket Monthly

"Humorous yet insightful, Cricket, Lovely cricket will entertain you through those long, lonely winter evenings"
-- Sport Magazine

"Wry, affectionate, irreverent and full of delicious anecdotes" -- Metro

Readers familiar with Lawrence Booth's often richly comic prose in the Guardian and elsewhere will relish this...
Booth has a wonderfully consistent comic eye and ear and describes, sometimes brilliantly, attitudes within the game.
-- All Out Cricket

`Wry, affectionate, irreverent and full of delicious anecdotes' -- Metro

`a wry, self-deprecating and amusing look at the "world's most exasperating game"' -- Independent


"Wry, affectionate, irreverent and full of delicious anecdotes"

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and entertaining 6 May 2010
I agree with the other enthusiastic reviews here - this is a very good book in which Lawrence Booth gives thoughtful and very funny reflections on cricket past and present. He writes very well, with an easy, flowing and amusing style which has an excellent balance of real knowledge and insight with irony and self-deprecation. There's nothing shocking in the way of revelation here, but Booth does give some very engaging and thought-provoking perspectives on things like sledging, the various national psyches and the politics of the game.

It's not as consistently hilarious as, say, Fatty Batter or Rain Men - that's not the point of this book - but it does have several laugh-out-loud moments and a grin on most pages. He also has the grace to credit others for jokes and insights - like Vic Marks's description of a tedious, cliché-filled press conference by Inzamam-ul-Haq as "Much Urdu about nothing."

This is very readable, very knowledgeable, very interesting and very amusing. What more can you ask of a book about cricket? Very warmly recommended.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable and entertaining.... 28 Nov 2008
This is a corker of a book, which would appeal to both the hardened anorak wearer and those who couldn't care less about Bradman's career average. It's witty, informative, irreverent, inclusive, and takes self-deprecation to the nth degree (a quality sadly lacking in many cricket writers). I read the whole thing with a smile on my face and defy anyone not to chortle whilst reading the extracts from Graham Gooch's Indian blogs.

If you are lucky enough to find Lawrence in your stocking this Christmas, you won't be disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the wittiest cricket writers around 9 Aug 2010
This book was a joy from start to finish. As a hardened cricket-tragic, I found myself laughing out loud at the passage near the beginning where Lawrence describes sitting on a train and contorting himself to try and get a look at the next delivery in an anonymous village match he happens to be passing. Initially I was worried that he'd peaked too early and that it would be downhill from there on, but it wasn't. I'd thoroughly recommend this work to anyone interested in cricket who enjoys witty and sparkling prose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cricxket Lovely Cricket 17 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very good book with an unusual aspect on the game looking forward to reading it when i have time
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun 20 Sep 2008
I'd read Lawrence's other book, or at least it was a 'toilet book', and so I was drawn to this more conventional work, being a sportsfan and a follower of Lawrence's work online.
Its just as good (better, even) as the easy wit of The Spin, his weekly cricket column, and is full of name-dropping, jokes, etc. All funny and accessible.

I love my sports books, and for once I don't feel like I'm being spoken down to. Mr Booth is happy for us to join us in his world. He welcomes us in.

Write something else and I'll pop in again!
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