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Mystery Spinner: The Story of Jack Iverson [Paperback]

Gideon Haigh
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 April 2002
The extraordinary and short career of Jack Iverson is the subject of this intriguing biography. Iverson was a hopeless fielder and batsman, but for four short years he was probably the most effective spin bowler the world has ever seen.

Product details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; New edition edition (25 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854108557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854108555
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 853,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


One of the best cricket biographies I have ever read. -- Wisden Cricket Monthly

With sympathetic yet rigorous analysis of personality, and wonderful writing, (Haigh) has produced a classic. -- Sunday Times

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery Spinner: The Story of Jack Iverson 29 Mar 2009
This is definitely as good a biography as you could hope to read. The period detail and historical background, such as Iverson's early career as an Estate Agent and then his involvement as a soldier in WW2 set the foundations for his unlikely success on the cricket field. His rapid rise and almost as quick return to obscurity is a story handled perfectly by Haigh, arguably the best cricket writer around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling biography of little known cricketer 11 April 2003
Jack Iverson's story is Roy-of-the-Rovers stuff. The tale of the mystery bowler who comes from nowhere to win a test is not uncommon in fiction, but in this case it actually happened. Haigh's book is a well researched biography and makes entertaining reading. There are a couple of bits of 'padding' but it is well worth the read.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an extremely well-written book, which will be of interest not only to cricket fans, but also to all those interested in human life. This is a tragic human story, centred around the astonishing rise to sporting fame of Jack Iverson when in his 30s; and his equally sudden disappearance from public view,. One of the best cricket books of our generation, I heartily recommend it to one and all.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the most interesting tales of sporting history, the freakish man who went on to play test cricket for Australia by creating a whole new way of bowling.
It's only a shame that the book didn't live up to the legend of Jack Iverson.
I've read much of Gideon Haigh's writing in the past, and have found some of it excellent.
He was often struggling in this book in being able to come up with enough recollections of Iverson, and with little media reporting available and no diaries etc of his early life, Haigh seemed to continuously go off onto tanegents of psychological analysis, theory and quoting from some bizarre works that seemed to me to have little obvious to do with the subject.
Saying that, I enjoyed some of the recollections that were used of what was undoubtedly a tortured genius, and what is ultimately a very sad end to the life of Iverson comes through in his daughter's comments about him.
This was worth reading, if it was perhaps too easy to put down [always a bad sign!], but ultimately I was left unsatisfied by this biography.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3.0 out of 5 stars The story of Jack Iverson 28 May 2006
By Sriram Sivasankaran - Published on
Gideon has shown a lot of enthusiasm in conducting thorough and painstaking research on a remarkable cricketer who died in 1973. In some places, the book digresses and goes into too much detail. What value did tracing the lineage of Jack's grandfather have? Was there a need to discuss in so much detail the other bowlers who had mystery deliveries - Bosanquet et al? Gideon likes Jack Iverson and admits it. However, he overdoes the praise in some parts of the book. Hats off to Gideon on his vocabulary but I found the book impossible to read the book without searching for multiple words on Google. This took away the ease with which I could read the book.
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