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4.6 out of 5 stars79
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 March 2015
I always knew before starting this book, it would be entertaining, having read most other darts autobiographies, this one is without doubt one of the best. Bristows uncompromising attitude to life, his tough upbringing, and rise in the late 70's to darts glory, his arrogance and pure self belief should make this book a bible for those people suffering from self doubt
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on 10 January 2009
Before reading this I always had a negative opinion of Eric Bristow, mainly due to his almost arrogant on screen persona. Although his arrogance has not diminished in my eyes, I now have nothing but admiration for the guy; mainly due to his colossal ability on the oche, and to a lesser extent his ability in the bar, though compared to some of the players in this book he's a lightweight!!

Put simply, if you're anyway into darts and remember the heady days of the 80's when the players drank & smoked their way through some of the greatest games that the game has witnessed; and if you'd like a bit of background on the debauchery & superb anecdotes that went on behind the scenes, then buy this book.

Eric, you're a legend!
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VINE VOICEon 18 January 2009
From the very first line, "You play like a poof" to the conclusion that "the way I've lived my life I should have been gone long ago" it's clear that Eric Bristow's autobiography is not aimed at the politically correct market. In between Bristow seems to have adopted the simple philosophy of the Schuyler and Knobloch song, "Life's a Bitch And Then You Die".

Autobiographies are supposed to be about the person and this one is. Bristow comes across as self centred but easy going, unless roused, with an untapped intelligence which prevents him from looking beneath the veneer of life. He had enough nous to find a girl friend with less interest in drinking than himself but not enough wisdom to consider reducing the drinking itself.

Bristow's commitment and dedication to darts cost him relationships and his marriage, on each occasion the women in his life wanting more from life than darts. Although he admits his divorce is his biggest regret he hasn't let such an inconvenience interfere with the lifestyle he has chosen for himself.

Bristow's talent for darts probably saved him from a life of crime. The buzz he got from doing things wrong and getting in trouble with the law was replaced by the rush he got from playing darts. It helped that he was naturally good with the arrows - and the maths - but it never completely took the irresponsible edge off his lifestyle. It wasn't only the darts Bristow landed in the beds.

The smoky boozing atmosphere of darts in the 1970's and 1980's, both on and off the stage, suited Bristow and he admits to preferring those days to the sanitised twentyfirst century version. According to Bristow's account he burned the candle at both ends and in the middle as well. The lessons of Leighton Rees's early death and Jocky Wilson's decline into alcoholic obscurity went over his head. His mother's death from cancer made no impact on his smoking habits although he admits smoking and drinking is not a healthy mix.

Bristow knows what it takes to be successful in any sphere of life correctly identifying professionalism in terms of commitment and dedication. Beaten unexpectedly by the slow playing style of American Conrad Daniels in the 1978 World Championship he promptly went round the leagues taking on all the slow players he could find. Unfortunately the desire for perfection may have given him the yips that finally finished his career.

What he clearly doesn't understand is that life is best lived in balance rather than in focus. The reason he inadvertently causes trouble is because of the disrespect he has for other people. Of course this had its funny moments. When he turned around in breach of protocol having received his MBE he quickly corrected himself with the words, "Sorry Darling'" to the Queen. Similarly when he said to a good looking women, "Excuse me, darling, will you ask Mohammad Ali for his autograph for me? Cheers love" he put her curt response down to attitude until he discovered she was Princess Caroline of Monaco.

When Bristow began in darts it was a working class pastime in an environment of suppressed working class violence. The alcohol fueled settings may have changed but the atmosphere hasn't. Bristow is inordinately proud of his achievements but gives too little thought to how things appear to those who do not share his love of darts or its people. He knows the torch has moved on to the next generation but he's satisfied with knowing that he's done it his way and he doesn't give a toss about anyone who doesn't approve.

The book was an interesting read and gives an insight into a strand of British culture which is too often overlooked. It does capture Bristow's personality and I'm sure there are many who will identify with his background and attitude, which is why it's received five stars.
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on 18 December 2008
This is a fantastic read and a great behind the scenes insight into the crazy world of darts.
Bristow is a genius story-teller whose anecdotes are peppered with wit and hilarity.
The stories involving legends of darts such as Jocky Wilson, Cliff Lazarenko and Keith Deller have to be read to be believed.
From the moment I picked it up I couldn't put it down. It was a thrilling read and Bristow really has had a rollercoaster ride of a life.
I can thoroughly recommend this to every fan of darts and even those not familiar with the sport will find the stories and tales quite absorbing.
What a great book.
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on 8 April 2012
Not only the best darts book I've ever read but it's also the most entertaining book I've ever read. Loved it!! I met Eric again the other night at Armageddon 2012 and there is just something about him that makes him extra special. Not one to stand on show, he is a legend and speaks his mind. His comments about Rod Hull in his book made me laugh out loud (a bit harsh but very funny!!). Buy this book, it's better than Taylor's (full of boring Sid Waddell quotes) and better than Bobby George's too (although his was quite good). And don't waste your money on Sid's Bellies & Bullseyes - a very dull book.
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on 1 August 2009
Without doubt still the biggest name in world darts and a true legend of the oche this book captures Bristow's life and times with great reading. He has gone through life at 100mph and not bothered what anyone has ever thought of him. His love of darts though shines through and one can't help feel that maybe he should have semi-retired and enjoyed the fruits of his labour - he never and it cost him his biggest regret with the ultimate end of his marriage. The story i find is a little sad and the darts took over his life too much. The book though is compelling reading and a must read for all darts fans.
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on 14 January 2013
One word...fantastic!!!

What a story...very honest and at times, very funny! Its an autobiography I probably would never have bought but as my husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas I thought I would download it and I'm pleased I did!!!
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on 5 January 2011
Eric was the reason I started playing darts I loved his arrogance and cocky attitude and his drive to be the best darts payer of his era. This book describes his life before darts and the up's and downs during his darts career. I didn't know he was such a bad lad as a youngster. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you are a fan of The Crafty Cockney then you will enjoy it too as he tells it as it was.
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on 14 December 2012
After watching darts over the years and then watching Eric on I'm a celebrity I thought bet that book could be amusing , better than expected it turned out to be a laugh a minute and well worth the money , with Eric what you see is what you get
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on 5 January 2013
This book is funny from the outset and very honest about the ups and downs of erics career. He discribes all the charactors in the darting world with great detail with some of the stories tragic and others hilarious this book is well worth the ptice !! Enjoy
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