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Graeme Swann: The Breaks are Off - My Autobiography [Hardcover]

Graeme Swann
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Oct 2011

Graeme Swann's transformation from international outsider to England's primary match-winner and undisputed best spin bowler in the world has been remarkably rapid. Within two years of his 2008 Test debut, he had become his country's most reliable bowler, made the shortlist for the ICC's cricketer of the year award and claimed an Ashes-sealing wicket. Yet the script took many twists and turns along the way.

Drafted into the squad for the full tour of South Africa in 1999-2000. Swann's meteoric received a jolt. While some liked the cut of his jib, others did not and England coach Duncan Fletcher already had a foot in the latter camp when Swann missed the bus for the first of two times on that tour. Suddenly he was judged on temperament and not talent.

Although Swann candidly concedes he was nowhere near good enough for the top level at that stage in his career, his jettisoning back to county cricket for the next seven years, following a solitary one-day international, hinted at a career wasted. A clash with then Northamptonshire coach Kepler Wessels triggered his move to Nottinghamshire in 2005. A County Championship winner in his debut season, he was back in the England fold at the end of his third.

Forever a flamboyant showman, he made up for lost time with two wickets in his first over against India - his habit of striking in his opening over a spell has become a party piece. You cannot keep the spotlight off him for long. Since moving into the top 10 of the world rankings for bowlers on the back of eight wickets in the Ashes-defining Oval Test of 2009, he has not dropped outside it, and has been widely tipped to be the decisive factor in the defence of the urn in Australia.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (13 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444727370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444727371
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The inside story of the flamboyant Graeme Swann - the best spinner in world cricket.

About the Author

Graeme Swann was born in 1979. He started his career at his home county Northamptonshire in 1997, before moving to Nottinghamshire in 2005. Following a single one-day international in 2000, Swann was recalled to the England side in 2007 and became a vital part of the England side.

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More detail please 29 Oct 2011
By Phmoo
As a great cricket fan and admirer of what Swann has brought to the team, I anticipated his autobiography would be good. He's a funny chap (ha ha rather than odd...!) and I expected his book to show this sense of humour. Swann is always a candid and thoughtful interviewee. He doesn't hide behind management rhetoric and as such his comments are usually astute.
It's a witty book, full of Swann's often inappropriately timed jokes. The anecdote about misjudging Rod Marsh and greeting him warmly with the C word is both cringeworthy and very funny.
He details being punched, allegedly without provocation, by Darren Gough whilst urinating, which is amusing and puzzling, as Gough apparently never offered an explanation.
I wanted to know more details about the England lifestyle. He doesn't always elaborate on points made, and takes great pains to tell the reader that the current England squad are all great mates etc but the less casual reader will want more in depth analysis.
For the cricket lover there is a lot of detail about matches, most notably the Ashes win in Australia.
It also provides a good insight into Swann's character, which seems somewhat Marmite-esque. You either love him know the rest. Perhaps when he finally retires from cricket (hopefully not for some time) he will revise this book and include a little more in the juicy detail department.
Overall an entertaining read for cricket fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for my dad 16 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My dad wanted this book, as he's a massive cricket fan, and he really loves this book so nice to see cricket books are still good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swann's Voice Shines Through 10 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Graeme Swann is known for his humour and this comes across well in this entertaining autobiography. A must read for all England cricket fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HONEST ASSESSMENT OF CRICKET 3 Feb 2013
I enjoyed Graeme Swann's book about his life and cricket so far. I wonder if writing an autobiography about his life at the age of 32 means he intends to make no further contribution, or is he like the cricket authorities which he is keen to blame just in it for the money!!
I did enjoy the book though. I thought it was an honest opinion on his take on cricket. He was honest about his performances,and the luck that exists in all sports. He was also not disparaging about people he came across in his cricket career,except the match fixing trio of Pakistani cricketers. Swann's analysis of the upsurge in England's cricket fortunes is creditable,and does show the very positive influence that I believe Andy Flower has had on the further development of English cricket. This is quite a long book, but the detail he goes into is interesting and worthwhile,and certainly adds to the book, not distracts. Overall a good read,especially if you are interested in the development and introduction to cricket matches of spin bowling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swannee 24 Jan 2013
By stantom
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being a member of Notts County Cricket Club I am enjoying reading this book and interested in learning about the antics of the cricketers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swanny writes a book. 20 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I generally enjoyed this book, my only problem was the dancing around of match statistics here and there (albeit they were necessary as Graeme tried to convey the match in question with enthusiasm). The majority of this book is Graeme's depiction of England's recent glories, highs and also lows, from his perception, and unique sense of humour he depicts a life of a Cricketer who's glass is half full.

A book for anyone interested in Cricket à tout égards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational 5 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A phenomenal story with just enough humor to keep even me interested.
this book showed me to be more laid back about cricket, and although you must focus while the game is being played there is no need to get too worked up post-match.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Ragman
This was one of the most refreshing sports books I've ever read. Graeme Swann is a sportsman who refuses to take himself too seriously (you only need watch his Ashes video diaries or read him on Twitter to get that much) but shows over 400 pages here that he does have a serious side.

Yes, it is chock-full of the crude one-liners he has made his calling card in cricket, and he chuckles his way through various escapades throughout his career.

But he also provides some scathing opinions. Almost exclusively about himself. In fact, the book can almost be split into two halves. The first a chain of regret at his behaviour, as he toiled for international recognition, and the second a chronicle of his pride in representing England and proving successful.

You can picture him cringing as he reflects on the misspent first few years - the England Under-19 World Cup-winning team enacting an old school pile-on on Allan Border being a perfect example. Contrast that to the anecdote about deciding to give his son the middle name Sydney as he sat on the SCG outfield, beer in hand, after the completion of the 3-1 Ashes win down under.

Although Swann jnr has enough initials to be a future England Test captain, his dad's appeal is that he has clawed his way up from Sponne Coprehensive, where his team-mates used to take their school ties off and all assemble for a chat at mid-on, to the top of world cricket. He's just like the blokes most of us play club cricket with at the weekend. And that's why he, and this book, are so appealing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book for cricket fans.
I chose this rating because it is a solid book but not the best that I have read. Informative and humorous.
Published 7 months ago by Andrew Varker
5.0 out of 5 stars Swanny at his very best!
I have known Graeme Swann personally since he was sixteen and at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club. I am, therefore, rather biased! Read more
Published 15 months ago by J. Gibb
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictably laddish
I found this a tedious read. Not particularly informative and predictably laddish. Why can't sportsmen treat their readers seriously and tell us something about their craft and how... Read more
Published 20 months ago by JOHN DAVID WILLIS
2.0 out of 5 stars Paints a poor picture
I've read many autobiographies by many famous and not so famous sports personalities, but I must conclude that this is by far the most disappointing. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Shawn
A well written and insightful book with some interesting stories of how Swann finally managed to fulfill his promise after a stuttering start and become the world class bowler that... Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2012 by G. Waterman
5.0 out of 5 stars brill
Lovely book, good photos, lots of laughter. Item arrived very quickly, and well packaged. Not very easy to put down though!
Published on 9 Jan 2012 by Super RT
5.0 out of 5 stars Graeme SWANN Autobiography
This is a good read with current tales and a fascinating insight into the world of professional cricket
I enjoyed every chapter
Published on 22 Dec 2011 by Neilr
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