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Jack Hobbs Paperback – 3 May 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224083309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224083300
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Leo McKinstry has written an intelligent, straightforward account of Hobbs, both as man and as cricketer" (Robert Cheshire Literary Review)

"This learned and wide-ranging book skilfully recreates a vanished world and resuscitates the reputation of one who might well be England's greatest cricketer" (Marcus Berkman Daily Mail)

"McKinstry captures the spirit of this thoroughly decent man, and also the spirit of the age where he dominated" (Michael Henderson Spectator)

"Magnificent... A tender and intriguing picture of the man" (Michael Simkins Mail on Sunday)

"It makes for excellent social history... McKinstry does an excellent job, recounting Hobb's exploits with impressive thoroughness" (Simon Wilde Sunday Times)

Book Description

The first comprehensive biography of the biggest run scorer that cricket has ever known.

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. HOLMES on 27 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this biography of Jack Hobbs, who is quite possibly the greatest ever English batsman. The book, however, is not just a biography, but also a social history of the life and times of the subject, when professional cricketers were looked down upon by the amateurs who controlled the game. Hobbs was one of those who helped to change that, although not through being militant, but purely through the artistry and success of his cricket (he was also an outstanding fielder and useful bowler), and his popularity, both at home and in Australia..

Although the book covers Hobbs prodigious run scoring in some detail, it does not resort to lots of boring statistics to do so. Indeed, it also covers his personal and family life, as well as one or two controversial incidents that took place!

Very highly recommended, and a fine tribute to a wonderful cricketer, and a gentleman.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Rendell on 26 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have known Jack Hobbs since I was given my very first Book of British Heroes. As a cricket lover (playing and spectator) and an avid reader, there was a gap in my cricket education namely Sir Jack Hobbs (The Master). This book must have been difficult to write as most of those who actually played with or knew Hobbs during his playing days are no longer with us. The author tries very hard to cover all aspects of the life of Hobbs and actually succeeds although at times, the dialogue is a little mundane.
I venture to suggest that if Hobbs had been playing now, he would have incurred the wrath of the selectors and quite probably have found himself not being selected for England.
Read the book and learn about this fascinating cricketer whose love of life comes over so very well and enjoy. I most certainly did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Harper on 11 Sep 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book gave me a very good insight into one of cricket history's greatest ever players. Having heard about his run records, walked through the Hobbs Gates and seen cricket played on Parkers Piece Cambridge, it was fascinating to put detail to the legend. It gives you an understanding of how cricket was played when the old attitudes of Players and Gentlemen, Professionals and Amateurs were at their height. This book is insightful without being heavy and will serve any cricket fan well. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By alan s on 9 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a very high standard. It not only gives an insight into one of the greatest cricketers, it also tells of how Cambridge and London were for working class people at the turn of the nineteenth century. Also how there was so much prejudice against professionals and the history of the politics of cricket at the time. I read cricket biographies all the time and this is one of the best, if you love cricket and history this is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Johnson on 26 July 2014
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most enjoyable cricket biographies I have ever read. Apart from the pleasure of finding out about the gifted (and always likeable) Hobbs, there is also the quiet skill of the author, Leo McKinstry - an ideal biographer who is always very readable, never imposes himself on his reader, and yet is never dull either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anonscot on 22 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback
Over a decade ago, McKinstry wrote an oustanding biography of "Sir" Geoffrey Boycott, one of the best cricket bios in the last 20 years. Having picked up a remaindered paperback recently, I was keen to see what he made of Jack Hobbs. The book is OK, but has three difficulties. The first is that there is (obviously) nobody alive who knew or played with Hobbs. This contrasts directly with the Boycott book. The author thus has to rely on archival material rather than interviews. Secondly, there is another biography, by Ronald Mason, published around 1960. It can be found 2nd hand in the Pavilion edition. Mason was a huge admirer of Hobbs, and brushes over many issues (or refers to them subtly, so that you have to know what is being discussed), but he is brief and to the point, unlike McKinstry in places. Thirdly, Hobbs does not seem to have been that interesting a person, though one wonders how much has been swept under various carpets over the years. Where McKinstry does go digging, as in interviews with Hobbs' great (?) nephew, little is revealed that is worthy of inclusion (and what was revealed should perhaps not have been included: all families have tensions and disputes).

None of this should put you off buying this, especially if you don't have Mason's book. McKinstry tells the story clearly, though perhaps labouring over the details of some seasons. There are some good efforts to frame Hobbs in the general social and cricketing environment of those times, and I think the book would have been improved if that aspect had been developed more. All the usual amateur villains appear: Lord Hawke, Warner, Carr etc. History has not been kind to Warner! Importantly McKinstry confronts the issue of Hobbs in WW1 (ignored by Mason). But even here, it is difficult to see what actually went on and, as the author notes, conscription was not introduced till well into the war. One clear point is that he annoyed Lord Hawke mightily: something to be proud of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Forester on 8 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A reminder that cricket is a sport not for the hooligan. It sits well with my other cricket books both serious and light-hearted. You can almost hear the leather on willow. Buy it! Enjoy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. W. Potter on 14 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback
An excellent book on an excellent subject. My opinion of the saintly Jack Hobbs and the scholarly but readable Leo McKinistry is enhanced by this book - my favourite passage being the Oval Test of 1926. Read it! McKinistry, out of his inherent fairness, does not duck the less pleasant sides of Hobbs - but he finds it very difficult. Jack was a lovely man, and how I wish I had seen him bat.
David Potter
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