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The Hurricane [Paperback]

Bill Borrows
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2009
Born on a council estate in Belfast, Alex Higgins left school at 15. At 17, he won the Northern Ireland and All Ireland snooker championships, and turned professional when he was 20. In 1972, aged just 23, he became the youngest person ever to win the world championship. He triumphed again in an emotional final ten years later, in the process becoming the biggest box-office draw the game has ever known. Alex Higgins was a showman, gambler, comedian, bully, charmer and alcoholic. His antics - and ferocious temper - were legendary, yet he was loved by millions. Now, suffering with cancer, he divides his time between Manchester and Belfast, where he survives by playing GBP 10 snooker matches in pubs. Bill Borrows reconstructs vividly the terrifying roller-coaster ride that Borrows life. Outrageous, gripping and ultimately, emotionally wrenching, this is the definitive account of the one of the most charismatic and self-destructive figures ever to appear in British sport.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843548631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843548638
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 958,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'Jaw-dropping reading... whether you like snooker or not, it's as good a "wild man" story as you're likely to read.' Dave Faulkner, Time Out * 'Harrowing, incredulous and hilarious... I genuinely read this unauthorised portrait of Alex Higgins in one sitting, so compelling is the tale of this disturbed genius.' Brian Reade, Daily Mirror 'Borrows shows how Higgins almost destroyed himself through his addictive, psychotic personality. At times the book almost reads like a script for a horror film' Leo McKinstry, Sports Books of the Year, Sunday Telegraph 'A reminder of Higgin's wild and wretched ways, but also of his genius.' Nick Pitt, Sports Books of the Year, Sunday Times"

About the Author

Bill Borrows writes columns for the Daily Mirror and Maxim magazine, where he also the Editor-at-Large. He also writes for the Guardian, The Times, Mail on Sunday and Cosmopolitan. This is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This is an excellent book from Bill Borrows, following the life of the snooker genius and loutish drunk that is Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins. Well researched and woven together, it provides a cynically funny look at a deeply troubled individual.
Opening with an excellent "Private Eye" riff on Higgins' clashes with snooker authorities, the first chapter sets up Higgins as he is now: a demented, pathetic but strangely dignified figure, worn from constant boozing, womanizing, smoking, and a recent struggle with throat cancer. It is hooks the reader in to explore the man's history and how he has managed to get to that point, from the early days in working class Belfast, up through the snooker ranks, two world championships, a slow decline, his many drunken rampages, and a litany of damaged relationships.
Despite of a couple of careless editing errors in the later pages of the book, it is still a very well written tome. Borrows has a gift for working in references to newspapers, sports journals and one-to-one conversations into his writing without disrupting from the reading flow.
More important is his attitude towards his subject. This is no hagiography. Borrows demonstrates a keen respect for Higgins' snooker ability, contrasted with a cynically ironic approach to his behaviour off the table. He is unafraid to ridicule Higgins' fundamentally selfish nature, his 'bad boy' reputation and obsessively hedonistic lifestyle. His behaviour towards his fellow professionals in later years, particularly Dennis Taylor, is shocking.
Having said that, it's clear he likes to contrast the renegade Higgins with the stiff, formal and professional image of snooker it's executives wanted to project. Higgins went against everything snooker was meant to stand for.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book! 2 Jun 2003
Format:Paperback
I bought this book for my dad’s birthday and by the time he opened it, the corners were dog-eared and the pages suspiciously well-thumbed. I happened to read a couple of pages before I wrapped it and before I knew it I had read the entire thing. It is a terrific piece of work and Borrows’s engaging warts-and-all account of the Hurricane’s rollercoaster life will have you spellbound. With its stabbings and suspensions, gambling and Guinness, it is meticulously researched, painfully funny and packed with the kind of jaw-on-the-floor madness you’ve come to expect from snooker’s first real superstar. Put simply, it is the best sports biography I’ve read since Hand of God, Jimmy Burns’s account of the life of Diego Maradona. A must for all sports fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read - buy it! 28 Nov 2003
Format:Paperback
Once you start to read the book, literally you can not put it down for more than a few minutes. Whether you're a snooker fan or not you will find this book fascinating. Reading about some of the things Alex got up to on the snooker tour and away from it will make your jaw drop. Buy this book at all costs, it's simply one of the best biographies you will ever read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic 18 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I got this book for Xmas and read it in one go. The stories are, in turn, heart-breaking and funny and sometimes both at the same time. The story about him falling past a window as seen by his neighbour on the floor below made me cry laughing. 'I'll have to go,' she said on the phone, 'Alex Higgins has just fallen past my window.' There are laods of stories like this but the book is so wonderfully written that you never get tired of them. You get a real idea of what has happened to the Hurricane. I don't really read sports biographies but this has very little to do with snoooker. It's just the best biography I've ever read. Brilliant!!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pot black 23 Oct 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Snooker is frankly a bit boring all on its own, but this account of the life and times of the man who did more than any other to make it famous is laced with enough disgraceful behaviour, intriguing period detail and ironic asides to keep the pages turning. So, not for snookerists only...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 30 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One Alex Higgins Book tells the same story as every other Alex Higgins Book
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5.0 out of 5 stars a scream 4 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
he must have been a nightmare but you got to hand it to him he shook up the snooker world to its roots
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