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4.4 out of 5 stars35
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 January 2008
Like an earlier gentleman, my wife bought me this for Xmas. I read this within 36 hours and for me, quite simply this is my book of the year. There has been some apparent bad blood between Lawrence and some of his other England colleagues - indeed I witnessed a surprisingly strong reaction from Phil Vickery at a "captains lunch" at Lords after the world cup. However I can only conclude that those players simply hadnt read the book - and were being misled by the somewhat misleading, sensationalist, serialisation on a national newspaper. Any criticisms of coaches or players is always tempered by respectful commentary and an appreciation that at all times everybody connected with the England setup simply wants their country to do well. You cannot read this book and not come away in total awe of this man, warts and all. His commitment to both club and country is unquestioned. The emotional side of both his sport and the elements of tragedy and sadness in his personal life is written incredibly powerfully. The News of the World's attempt to destroy this rugby giant never had a chance. Shame on them. There is passion and clarity in his writing - as there is every time he pulls on his WASPs or England jersey. If the WASPS and England setups are able to further harness this great man in coaching capacities, then both teams will be in amazing hands for years to come. I wish him and his family all the very best in everything they do in the future. Top top book.
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on 21 November 2007
The thing about Lawrence Dallaglio is that he doesn't do things by halves. Typically, he has written the story of his life in a style that is never dull, that is full of humanity and, perhaps surprisingly, offers us more far more emotional depth than you get in sports biographies. When he plays for Wasps or England, Dallaglio gives his all and he has done the same with his book. There is Lawrence the choirboy, Lawrence the miscreant, Lawrence the rugby player, Lawrence the bereft and confused sibling, Lawrence the Lion, Lawrence the Warrior, Lawrence the struggling partner to Alice, Lawrence the abandoned - this is a book that takes you through the full range of his experiences and leaves you with a deep sense of Lawrence the Man. Sometimes we sympathise with him, occasionally we don't but we always care. And that's the greatest testimony to the book. On the pitch, he was one of the great No.8s and he has produced an autobiography that will be ranked up there with the very best of the genre.
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VINE VOICEon 12 December 2011
Lawrence Dallaglio is one of my heroes; I have the picture of him in my head, powering over the try line with half the Welsh team trying to hold him back. In the book, I found much that was familiar so not breaking new ground. Out of the 4 rugby biographies I have read, it comes 4th, behind Woodward, Catt, and Johnson. This could have been so much better if the associate writer had written it with detail and interviews with team mates and opponents so that it was not just Lawrence's word and opinion. We had to take so much memory on trust and the balance would be so much better if others had made contributions. I would have liked to have felt I was being taken behind the scenes at club and international level. Lawrence is a good sports writer now but here, although painfully honest at times, it doesn't have the edge. I learned a lot about the 2003 campaign in Woodward's and cried a lot reading Mike Catt's biography, but I just sat and read this without much engagement. Is that because I have read so much already and also his life is well-documented in relation to the loss of his sister and also the newspaper "drug-dealer" story? He remains a hero to me. Wish the book had been more detailed and rounded.
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VINE VOICEon 17 April 2009
I am certainly not a Wasps fan but very much enjoyed this book. He seems to come across as much more personable than when he is on TV. His story is well written and is very enlightening into him as a person. I would certainly recommend it to nay rugby fan but would further than that to say it is a great read for anyone looking for inspiration in life.
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on 26 February 2010
Okay, you've probably guessed by the title of my review that I'm a big fan of Dallaglio. But, my admiration for him as a player did not influence my assessment of this book (I also have huge respect for Martin Johnson but, sadly, found his book somewhat dull).
What I liked about this book was that it portrayed Dallaglio warts and all. He clearly set out his childhood and how his parents, particularly his mother, drove him for success. As a youth he could have gone off the rails but, somehow, he recognised the need to strive and by attending good schools he managed to start on the path that took him to the pinnacle of international rugby. The tabloid ensarement is covered but what is more compelling and moving is how he describes the way he almost ruined his personal life. He doesn't try and present himself as some kind of superstar - thankfully he recognised that the fame and fortune (of a sort!) was going to his head and he changed his ways. Lawrence is a big man in every sense and he has displayed great humility in his writing.
I'd recommend this book to any fan of the game and particularly youngsters because it's a cracking story. My son read it after me and he found it inspirational.
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on 14 January 2013
This is one of many autobiographies produced by the 2003 World Cup winning England rugby side. In parts, this is a riveting read. The first chapters are very interesting (I never knew that Dallaglio performed in the West End as a child!) through to the Marchioness disaster, when Dallaglio's sister was killed. The end too is interesting. Dallaglio doesn't hold back in his criticism of the England set up at the 2007 World Cup, and is clear that England reached the final despite the team's management and organisation rather than because of it. The middle section, dealing with the bulk of Dallaglio's Wasps and England career, is less engaging. There isn't much in-depth analysis or comment, more of a broad sweep - I suspect that the ghostwriter was left more to his own devices here, and it doesn't seem that Dallaglio's voice comes through. Still, the start and finish rescue this book.
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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2007
I can t even remember why i did buy that book, But one thing is sure ,. I m really glad I did , I received it 3 days ago and I ve been with my nose down since.
Okay, rugby might be called" a hooligan game played by gentlemen" BUT I can assure you that that book is by no mean rough or boring or a drag.
It is extremely well written, amazing, stunning at time and very touching at some points,.
This the portrait of one of the most charistmatic player and member of the Rose team.
If you do like an entertaining biography, and discover an amazing character.. well. enjoy the reading
I certainly did
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on 6 February 2008
I think that Lawrence at 35 is perhaps too young to be writing My life and as an old fart myself that still applies.This is my first experience of reading a Sport autobiography so i can't compare as with some other reviewers. I do find the criticism of not opening up entirely to be valid-I am not sure that he is keener to redress imbalances than say it "entirely as it is" as he says. I read it in record time seeing the BIG PRINT as my friend. The potentially overwhelming issue around his sister's death is very well dealt with.It is the small incidents recalled that make that.
I came away from the book thinking that perhaps Lawrence felt that he still had unfinished business and was holding back for a later book?
Regardless of that a great fast read.
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on 11 February 2009
Lawrence Dallaglio tells his life story as it is. All his trails & tribulations are in this book, both personal & professional.

If you enjoy reading Sports autobiographies, then I thoroughly recommend this book. Highly enjoyable.
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on 1 November 2008
I love this book. I dont know a great deal about rugby but this didn't prevent me from engaging with the narrative. L.D. is a likable guy, who has made a few mistakes in his time, but achieved alot. However, its not a rags to riches story, as he was educated at a rather prestigeous school and was privy to alot of advantages others growing up in his era were not.

Although, this is not to deny his hard work and talent. It just gets my goat when people place the pauper card, when they are so clearly not.

I do love this book and have read it a few times now.

I'd reccomend it. :)
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