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Tennis and the Masai [Kindle Edition]

Nicholas Best
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Take a nervous young Englishman on his gap year. Drop him into a ghastly Kenya prep school in the middle of Rider Haggard country. A school where cricketing news comes by carrier pigeon, leopards are assaulted with a red-hot poker, and runaway boys are hunted down with spearmen and a pack of foxhounds…

For Martin Riddle, the experience is unforgettable. For the riding mistress, Lady Bullivant, it is all part of the day’s work. And for the headmaster, a disreputable ex-Guards officer, it is simply a means of staving off bankruptcy for a few more weeks.

As for the Masai, tennis may be on the curriculum at Haggard Hall, but midnight meetings with naked warriors definitely are not!

‘The funniest book I have read since David Lodge’s Small World’ – Sunday Times

‘Wickedly funny’ – Daily Mail

‘Less savage than Evelyn Waugh, Best is every bit as sharp… an immensely enjoyable book’ – Evening Standard

‘Very good entertainment’ – Sir Alec Guinness
(Sunday Times book of the year)

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Product Description

About the Author

Nicholas Best grew up in Kenya, of Anglo-Irish origin, and was educated there, in England, and at Trinity College, Dublin. He served a spell in Britain’s Grenadier Guards, during which he was airlifted to Belize to prevent its invasion by Guatemalan tanks - an experience that gave him his first short story (in Penthouse) and a satirical novel Where were you at Waterloo? Thereafter he worked in London as a financial journalist before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of Happy Valley: the Story of the English in Kenya, Tennis and the Masai (a comic novel later serialised on Radio 4) and more than a dozen history books, including Trafalgar, The Greatest Day in History (a Waterstone's recommendation of the month) and Five Days that shocked the World, about the end of World War Two. He was the Financial Times fiction critic for ten years and has written also for BBC Radio 4, the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, Observer and Times Literary Supplement etc. In 2010, he was long-listed for the inaugural Sunday Times-EFG Private Bank short story award of £25,000, the biggest short story prize in the world. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 460 KB
  • Print Length: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Thistle Publishing (11 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CR1T3AI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,945 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Nicholas Best grew up in Kenya and was educated there, in England and at Trinity College, Dublin. He served in the Grenadier Guards and worked as a journalist before becoming a fulltime author.
Formerly a literary critic for the Financial Times, he writes both fiction and non-fiction and is translated into many languages. His novel Tennis and the Masai was serialized on BBC Radio 4. His short story The Souvenir was long-listed for the Sunday Times-EFG Bank £30,000 award, the biggest short story prize in the world.
Nicholas Best lives in Cambridge. For more information, see www.nicholasbest.co.uk

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this 5 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am surprised that this book has only got one review so far, so here's mine to make two.
I loved this book. It is charming and funny. The humour is very British and the author pokes fun at all the characters equally. It's charm lies in the innocence of the main character who is thrown into a world he is not prepared for, but to his own surprise, he survives and indeed succeeds beyond his own (and his bewildered parents') imagination. Kenya itself is described in a compelling and unromantic way and the depiction of it's twentieth century natives is hilarious. I deduce that this is set in the eighties but it has a timeless colonial period feel which could be much earlier. This is a well rounded story with a satisfying ending in the old-fashioned style. Loved it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, sharp, funny writing 8 July 2013
By Ebrowne
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this book nearly ten years ago and I'm delighted it's come out in ebook format! It's a witty review of life in Kenya with hilarious caricatures and evocative detail. A great read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it ! 7 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Anyone who has lived in a bush station in Africa will relate to this story. I thoroughly enjoyed this gentle read as it brought back memories of my time with Voluntary Service Overseas in Botswana in 1967. Many thanks to the author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So...so... 31 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on Kindle as a cheap holiday read, and that is exactly what it turned out to be. Others are clearly very amused by its quirky humour. I fear I did not really appreciate that humour. I was mildly amused, but that's all.

But I can see why others have liked it. Give it a try and see if it's your thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 16 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book ambles along good naturedly and is a really enjoyable read.
It isn't necessarily a book I will remember forever but is a light hearted holiday read.
It does leave you with a good feeling and a really good example of how experiences can change and influence your future. Everything happens for a reason!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tennis and the Masai 27 July 2013
By Deemel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this a very quirky book, but really liked the characters, the author's description of them brought a picture to your mind of each and every one of them. I was really pleased that Martin found himself and escaped his somewhat overpowering mother,
The interaction between the black and white community made me laugh as each sought to outdo the other and the subtle ways they did it, I flicked over the gory bits (ie the eating of the impala) but laughed out loud at the story about Guy Fawkes.
I felt sad for the boy who ran away constantly ( Smith-Baggot) and wanted to know how he finally fared in his life. (another book perhaps?).
I felt as if I was reading about real people with their little idiosyncrasies, like us all
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5.0 out of 5 stars A much enjoyed sojourn in Africa 30 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a surprisingly good tale, though it didn't have much to do with tennis, or the Masai. The author must have spent time in the Africa of the time he writes about as he was able to recreate it in such complex and fascinating detail. I did enjoy the interplay between the characters, and how the main character matured over the course of the book. I was left wondering how he got on in the career he was working so hard to enter, and if he was happy in it after all the effort he went to. Also if he ever hankered after his time in Africa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waugh revisited 17 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A rollicking read that makes you yearn to visit the colonial Africa with its eccentricities and savagery.
Out of Africa meets decline and fall
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very enjoyable read. Would be interested to see where some of the characters end up. Perhaps a sequel?
Published 4 months ago by Mr A Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars May.
I am reading books written by authors I don't know
And have been very impressed with all that I have tried on Amazon thank you
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
did not enjoy
Published 9 months ago by jan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Really enjoyed this book, found it very amusing. Would definitely recommend.
Published 13 months ago by ANITA BIRKETT
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Well written and amusing in a quintessentially British sense! A window into another world! Have recommended to friends and family who have all enjoyed it as well!
Published 15 months ago by C. Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Very amusing.
Nice tale about life in a boarding school in Africa, good characters with very human strengths and weaknesses. A good read.
Published 15 months ago by Crystal clear
5.0 out of 5 stars Only complaint - too short! So I read it twice.
I first heard of Tennis and the Masai when it was serialised on BBC Radio 4 some years ago, but have only recently got round to reading it. Read more
Published 17 months ago by J. Forbes
3.0 out of 5 stars Diary Style
Found this very uninspiring, expected a good read considering the wealth of opportunity connected with Africa and the Masai,
but the diary style way of writing left me... Read more
Published 18 months ago by cynthia george
3.0 out of 5 stars Tennis & the Masai
I bought this for my kindle as it sounded a good story but am having trouble "getting in" to this book. Will persevere and see if it gets better!
Published 20 months ago by sandra
4.0 out of 5 stars Fully enjoyable
Not my usual sort of subject, but the title caught my eye as I was grazing through the listings.
Writing really bought the feeling of being there and a picture of the... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr Andrew J Purcell
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