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The Last Flannelled Fool: My small part in English cricket's demise and its large part in mine [Kindle Edition]

Michael Simkins
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.95 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Michael Simkins is the ultimate Sunday cricketer - passionate, obsessive, technically inept, and hopelessly deluded. When an injury rules him out of an entire season, not only might it spell the end of his long career, he is faced more immediately with a summer aimlessly wandering garden centres and listening to The Archers.

He decides instead to set off on an odyssey across the counties of England in search of that golden time in his youth when his passion for the game was first kindled. It's a journey that begins in May in light drizzle at the birthplace of cricket, takes in the burial site of his favourite ground (now a Marks & Spencer) and even stops along the way to flirt with the love child of WG Grace and Kerry Katona that is Twenty20. It ends with the ultimate cricketing zenith - returning to the field of play to bowl an over to Freddie Flintoff in fading light in front of a capacity crowd. So can cricket still bring comfort and meaning to his life or is Old Father Time about to call for Michael's bails?

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Product Description


"one of those rambling, picaresque, unashamedly nostalgic travel books that so enliven a summer afternoon ... funny, crafty and written with extraordinary verve."
--Marcus Berkmann, Mail on Sunday

"an amiable, sharp-eyed companion...there's plenty of fun to be had reading this" --The Independent on Sunday

"light, whimsical, well-observed" --The Daily Telegraph

Book Description

A hilarious odyssey in search of some answers about life and cricket from the author of the bestselling Fatty Batter

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 463 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1409005704
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (7 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00546DOI0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant holiday read 26 July 2011
Took this book for a spot of summer reading on the sun-soaked beaches of Cornwall. Happily, during the rain-drenched week under canvas I read this wonderful book which transports you to the warm memories of Walls' Mivis and endless summer evenings soaking up the joys of cricket. Although Michael Simpkins' pilgrimage to reminisce on the pleasures of the boundary certainly do not need a passion for, or even a knowledge of, the game. It is a touching, funny and hugely entertaining book which resonates with Simpkins' wry joy in confounded ambition and a marvellous observational talent for the absurdities of life. At times I actually laughed out loud - his reaction to the curry is a graphically brilliant piece of writing. Can't wait to read his other books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I sort-of enjoyed it 19 Sept. 2011
By Stephen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In order to enjoy this book you need to be (1) a cricket enthusiast, (2) somewhere about the author's age (53) or older. I am both and I sort-of enjoyed it. But I am starting to wonder whether Fatty Batter was a one-off. Even my wife, no cricket enthusiast even after all these years, really enjoyed that one, mainly because it was at least as much about a childhood vividly remembered as it was about cricket. The author's earlier book about acting had its moments, as did his book about going through France, but neither was anywhere near Fatty Batter for quality, and this one likewise.

It just isn't all that funny, and at times it isn't even all that interesting. The subtitle is naff - what has anything here to do with English cricket's demise (especially as he concludes by saying that it is not dead)? If you come to this with no great expectations, you won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last but not Least 29 Sept. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved Fatty Batter, and I really enjoyed What's My Motivation and Detour de France, so I'm a Michael Simkins' fan. The Last Flannelled Fool is in the "really enjoyed" rather than the "loved" category, but that's testament to what a special book Fatty Batter is - part memoir, part nostalgia piece on cricket, but mostly a thank-you-letter to much-loved parents. The Last FF has the cricket nostalgia aspect again, but it's really about growing old, rather than being young. Not just the author getting old and creaky, but the game itself, seen from various different county grounds around England and Wales, as Simkins uses the excuse of a foot injury to spend a summer trying to rekindle his love of the game. He succeeds - and in doing so he will have probably rekindled the reader's own feelings for the summer game by the end of it - that's certainly how it worked for me. From a slow start (and with far too many typos), the journey gradually finds its own pace, and for a tale based on the author wandering the country on his own, he doesn't half become a great companion to the reader, gathering numerous oddballs and anecdotes en route. The most powerful part for me was the journey to Bristol, involving both an encounter with a wistful Gloucester fan remembering the classic Gillette Cup semi-final with Lancashire in 1971, and then a story from Clifton College about the highest individual's innings of all time (628). There are three or four laugh-out-loud moments, but overall, the end emotion is warmth - from author to subject, and from reader to author. Hopefully, this is not the last word from Michael Simkins on cricket, or life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gem 8 Aug. 2011
It must be something to do with the fact that I am of a similar age to Michael Simkins but I found myself transported back to my childhood with his latest offering and what a joy this book is. I know that layby on the A27 between Sompting and Worthing, I remember the sweet taste of the Mivvi bar (and a Strawberry Split come to that) and I can still recall sitting with my Dad and joining in with Brian Cant as the Trumpton firemen toppled down their pole (What's my Motivation).

This book is a real gem. Written with the wonderful wit and humour that have come to characterise his books we are transported back to a time when life seemed to be more innocent, more caring and far less frantic. Mike Simkins is a really funny writer and there were times when I was 'laughing out loud' and had to explain to those around me just why (The driver with the 'moobs' - superb!)

A truely funny book and only one comment can summise - more please....and soon!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a book about cricket! 1 Aug. 2011
By Large
I read this book having enjoyed 'Fatty Batter' and the authors other books.

TLFF is a very enjoyable journey through a season of cricket enjoyed mostly from the view of a spectator (the author being unable to play due to injury). You are taken to various grounds from differing levels of the game where you are introduced to interesting characters whilst the author imparts his extensive knowledge of the sports history.

The book is highly entertaining and informative. On several occasions I found myself laughing out loud or reaching for my laptop to find out more about a particular fact. It is written in such a way that you are fully engaged with the author and feel his emotions (happiness, pain, exasperation etc). I found I didn't want the season to end but had to keep reading.

But this book is not just for cricket fans. Whether you understand LBW or not you would enjoy this book as the anecdotes cross many boundaries.

Thoroughly entertaining!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and with some good cricket facts
It's a cross between an Alan Partridge parody and Bill Bryson. Easy to read and with some good cricket facts, but at times Partridge inadvertently jumps out of the page at his... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Richard Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
2nd best book I have read; a must for cricket geeks
Published 2 months ago by Geoffrey Goring
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for true aficionados of the five day game. ...
Only for true aficionados of the five day game. Nowhere near as humorous as his books on the amateur game.
Published 3 months ago by RoyW
5.0 out of 5 stars Was an enjoyed
Bought as a gift. Was an enjoyed read
Published 5 months ago by Milita Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars ENJOY
This is a must for all cricket fans (& widows). Lord knows there'll be time to read it during the long periods of 'rain stopped play'.
Published 6 months ago by Stephen Isted
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not quite the same initial impact as 'Fatty Batter' but a very amusing read nonetheless.
Published 6 months ago by Susan Carol Marsh
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun
Witty and informative tale telling
Published 7 months ago by TEE GEEL
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Simkins
Good Old Simkins. It's not quite got the initial shock factor of 'Fatty Batter' but it's a lovely book nonetheless. A must read for all us retired prodders and trundlers. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jim Marsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great for someone who likes cricket!
Published 10 months ago by Becky
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read
Would recommend this book to anyone who loves cricket or knows nothing about the game.. An author who sees the funny side of most situations and one I would like to find myself... Read more
Published 10 months ago by MR JIB
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