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Slogging the Slavs: A Paranormal Cricket Tour from the Baltic to the Bosphorus Paperback – 1 Dec 2006

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Fat Controller Media (1 Dec. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955433207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955433207
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 869,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"A Scottish cricket enthusiast uncovers the game in some of the
world's unlikeliest spots." -- The Sunday Times

"A hilarious, easy read, bursting with manic energy and youthful
exuberance" -- Rory MacLean, The Guardian

"Bell's funny, surprising and occasionally shocking adventures
redefine the spirit of cricket" -- Sunday Sun

"Bill Bryson meets Jack Kerouac, peppered with Judith Chalmers.
What a dinner party!...Priceless." -- All Out Cricket

"Extraordinary...The funniest Borderer's book I have encountered" -- Peter Clarke - The Southern Reporter

"Hugely entertaining" -- Spin Magazine

"One of the funniest sports books of recent times." -- Yorkshire Evening Post

"Surreal and splendidly humorous." -- The Scotsman - Scottish Sport Books of 2006

"The definitive book about cricket in unlikely parts of the
world." -- The Sunday Herald

"Very funny. Dave Gorman meets Andrew Flintoff in clothes borrowed
from Billy Connolly." -- Hugo Rifkind - The Times

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Armstrong on 9 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
Good bladder control is needed at certain parts of this excellent book by young Scottish writer Angus Bell. He got into his baterred Skoda and went off to find strange characters who play cricket in places like Belarus and Slovenia - many parts could be mistaken for Borat's village. Bell photographs a bus painted (mysteriously in English) with the slogan "Ministry for Emergency Situations for Strong and Prosperous Belarus!" He has great difficulty escaping this God-awful country for lack of seventy cents. I laughed so hard I nearly suffered side strain.

His adventures are so varied, from being bullied by bombastic city types when about to play on ice in Estonia, to watching gypsies being arrested for drug smuggling on the midnight express to Istanbul. (Shades of John Hurt being violated by prison guards came to mind.) Bell left the old Skoda parked in Bulgaria and was on his way to Turkey to try and slog the first intercontinental six. He smites a ball from Europe into Asia; this is surely a Guiness Book of Records feat.

This highly amusing book, full of crazy incidents and remarkable characters, is also wonderfully illustrated. A photograph of two elderly Slovak babushkas quotes them saying to the author: "Yes, but we are old and we have herpes".

Anyone who likes travel books will be delighted to see such a new talent emerge. And as for cricket buffs...they'd be daft to miss out on this unique perspective on their sport.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ultimo the Magnificent on 11 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the advice of a friend before setting off on a recent trip to the Baltic countries. I'm not big into sports and, being American, I didn't even know what cricket was; but by the end of the book I inexplicably found myself rooting for the national Slovenian cricket team and seriously considering a visit to my local psychic. Now I don't know if these are healthy things, but it's a very fun read. It often had me laughing out loud - much to the chagrin of surrounding babushkas.

In short, 'Slogging the Slavs' is hilarious and highly recommended. Some of the included pictures are pretty classic too. The author is a natural storyteller - I'm looking forward to reading his future work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jodi Paul on 17 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I dont follow cricket, i dont know anything about cricket, and all my attempts to try to understand the game have been futile! One does not need to know a thing about the sport to take great pleasure in reading this book! I still dont know a thing about cricket, but I most certainly enjoyed reading about it! Kudos to Angus for spreading on the humour and spinning the tales amongst all the cricket talk! Being an avid traveller myself, I can relate to all his crazy adventure...though the farthest I've ventured into eastern Europe is Croatia! This book makes me want to be more adventurous and risk my life on a daily basis, whether its bribing pretty much every single person in my path, or daring the fates by playing on a forbidden bridge, to crossing borders many would not dare! I've recommended this book to many a friend, and stressed that one does not need to know a thing about cricket to enjoy this book to the fullest! Laughs, laughs and more laughs! Well done...looking forward to book number 2!!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Hurst Lane on 2 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Angus Bell takes his readers on travels across Central and Eastern Europe with this hilarious, make-you-pee-your-pants book about the sport of Cricket and the players behind this sport.

His tales of a Transylvanian Toothache give new meaning to Dental Travel, and the chapter, "It Was Like a Stephen King Novel" is not to be missed. In fact, the entire book is entertaining and delightful. I especially enjoyed the pictures of the colorful characters included.

This book should come with the warning: Read this in public and be prepared for stares as you laugh out loud.

This book rocks! Thanks to the author for making it available. I want to see this made into a movie.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. Moles on 10 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most extraordinary and entertaining books of the year. I followed the author's articles closely in The Wisden Cricketer last year. In 'Slogging The Slavs', young Scots lad and mafia employee Angus Bell is told by a French Canadian psychic he's going to be writing a book. When the words 'cricket and Ukraine' then pop into his head, he discovers cricket teams across central and Eastern Europe. He then sets off in a battered Skoda to uncover how these Slavic people came to play the Englishman's game.

The result is an utterly hilarious, wonderfully detailed, and eccentric journey through eighteen countries, that reads like Lawrence Donnegan crossed with Danny Wallace, Bill Bryson, Jon Ronson, and something completely off-the-wall.

Bell travels to Estonia, home of the world's worst international cricket team, and plays them on ice inside a Soviet munitions factory. He follows up with a hysterically funny episode in a Slovak village, where he finds a team of left-handed market gardeners, all brothers, and ends up captain of their international cricket team. In economically depressed Serbia, he sets up a squad who wish to play in the London 2012 Olympics - even though cricket isn't an Olympic sport!

Each country the author visits provides an extraordinary alternative history of the game, sometimes stretching back centuries. Bell mixes it beautifully with human stories, politics, Borat-esque disaster, and geographical settings. He takes the reader inside people's homes: into Kiev skyscrapers, Alpine lodges, and Croatian military tunnels-turned-wine cellars. The details of the Balkan War, the Ukrainian revolution and life inside communist Belarus are particularly sobering.
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