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Joking Apart: My Autobiography [Paperback]

Donncha O'Callaghan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

10 May 2012

Donncha O'Callaghan is one of Ireland's leading international rugby players, and a stalwart of the Munster side. He was a key figure in the Irish team which won the IRB 6 Nations Grand Slam in 2009, and has won two Heineken Cup medals and two Magners League titles with Munster.

But that success did not come easy. For such a well known player with a larger-than-life reputation, his long battle to make a breakthrough at the highest level is largely unknown. In this honest and revealing autobiography, Donncha talks in detail about the personal setbacks and disappointments at Munster and the unconventional ways he dealt with the frustration of not making the team for four of five years in his early 20s.

He had a parallel experience with Ireland where it took him nearly six years to get from fringe squad member to established first choice player. Here he talks candidly about how he brought discipline to his game, and about his relationships with the coaches who had overlooked him and the second row rivals who had kept him on the bench.

Donncha talks also with great warmth about a hectic childhood that was shaped by the death of his father when he was only six years old. One of the heroes of his story is his mother Marie who showed incredible strength and resourcefulness to rear a family of five on her own.

Often deservedly regarded as 'the joker in the pack', what is often less well known is the serious attitude and intensely professional approach Donncha brings to his rugby. Joking Apart gives the full picture, showing sides of the man that will be unfamiliar to followers of Irish rugby and will surprise the reader.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Ireland (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848270976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848270978
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"An excellent autobiography" (Matt Cooper The Last Word)

"A compelling read, ... a story of glory and friendship, of fear and uncertainty and of love. Love of rugby, love of Munster, love of the life he has led" (Rugby World)

"A bright, energetic and poignant depiction of a colourful sportsman" (The Sunday Times)

"You can't put it down... a tremendous read, highly recommended" (Irish Examiner)

"A inspiring story" (Irish Independent)

Book Description

A direct, honest and revealing autobiography by one of Ireland's most popular sports people.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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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
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joking apart, this is a great autobiography! 3 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When I realised Donncha O'Callaghan was releasing an autobiography, I was keen to read it for two reasons. Firstly, I've always felt that outside of Irish supporters, DO'C is quite underrated as a player; and in addition, most books on people who are seen as jokers or messers often reveal a lot more under the veneer. True, DO'C is no Keith Moon in this respect, but it is definitely the case that there is far more to DO'C than someone famous for pulling pranks and having a bit of a laugh.

DO'C is frank - and at times, searingly honest - about his abilities as a player, his relationships with various squad members past and present, his opponents, his work ethic, his family and the effect of coaches and managers during his time as a player for both Munster and Ireland. For example I did not appreciate how long DO'C had to wait until he was accepted as a fully-fledged regular for both club and country, and the associated frustrations and insecurities are apparent, with nothing spared. In addition to this, I feel as though the book captures the emotion of all the highs and lows of the Munster/Ireland sides during his career very well, with most major tournaments and tests being given due attention without the narrative appearing formulaic in any way.

I also enjoyed the commentary throughout the book that showed the evolution of Rugby Union from shaking the amateur status toward the high-level fitness, technical game that it is today - DO'Cs playing career started under the mafioso of Peter Clohessy and Micky Galwey, who themselves represent the last vestiges of the old attitudes of playing the game.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very honest and funny 6 Dec 2011
By nmar
This book is a good read, it is very honest and funny. It is a good insight into Donncha O'Callaghan and the challanges he faced with Munster.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars xx 8 April 2013
By Shazlet
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Turned up fast, looks like the picture, could i ask for more from a product that does this no, very happy.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read! 14 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good read but not a great read. Documents well the career of Donncha and some of his background but lack a little something.
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1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Donncha O'Callaghan 2 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Book received as advertised and well within the agreed time limit. Looking forward to a good read as I fell sure it will be,
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