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The Match [Paperback]

Romesh Gunesekera
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 7.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 Mar 2007
As a teenager from Sri Lanka, Sunny liked to play cricket. But none of his new friends in Manila were remotely interested. That is until the gorgeous Tina arrived, all poise and perfection. Three decades on, Sunny is settled in London with a teenage son of his own. But despite the quiet comfort of his life, he feels unmoored. Trying to reconnect with his past, he goes to watch the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team play at the Oval. As the sun goes down at the end of the match he realises that love, like cricket, is more than just a game. He sees one last chance to get his life into focus, if only there is time.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (19 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747579393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747579397
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Romesh Gunesekera was born in Sri Lanka and lives in Britain. His first novel Reef was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize.
He is also the author of The Sandglass,(winner of the inaugural BBC Asia Award) and Heaven's Edge which like his collection of stories, Monkfish Moon, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His fourth novel The Match, published in 2006 was hailed as one of the first novels in which cricket was amply celebrated and a "book that not only shows what fiction can do, it shows why fiction is written - and read." (Irish Times).
His fiction has been translated into many languages and he has run highly acclaimed writing workshops around the world. He has also been a judge for a number of prestigious literary prizes including the David Cohen British Literature Prize and the Caine Prize for African Writing and the 2013 Granta list of the Best of Young British Novelists.
Granta reissued his first three books in 2011 and the paperback of his latest novel, The Prisoner of Paradise, is out now published by Bloomsbury.
His novel is a BBC World Book Club choice and the programme is available on-line at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014wlpd
For more information see www.romeshgunesekera.com or www.facebook.com/Romesh.Gunesekera

Product Description

Review

`An engaging, appealing, universal and hopeful book that not only
shows what fiction can do, it shows why fiction is written - and read' -- Irish Times

`Funny, moving ... The narrative pace is impeccable, the dialogue
accurate, the feel for place certain, the portraits sharp' -- Spectator

`Gunesekera has that essential gift of the novelist: the ability
to make words live, to create life on the page' -- Scotsman

`So complete a match ... between empathy and artistry, between
lively observation and intellectual grasp of cultural tensions, always
surprises' -- Independent

`Sunny discovers both heart and home. Gunesekera's gift is to
bring it to us too, with surprise and joy'
-- Wisden Cricketer

From the Publisher

For fans of Andrea Levy's Small Island, a wonderful novel
about the immigrant experience in London

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Indecisive Moment 25 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
This book is a satisfying piece of global fiction. It brings 3 island countries to life: the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Britain. The story is of a Sri Lankan who grows up in Manila and moves to London where he raises a family.

Cricket, which is huge in Sri Lanka but unknown in Americanised Manila, ties the story together. Also, along the way, our central character takes up photography. Personally I prefer football to cricket but, as a photographer, I could learn from cricket. The story tells of the passion, tolerance, and - last but not least - the patience necessary to live a life.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Time's wingéd chariot 8 April 2012
By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Though the dates don't tally exactly, I seem to detect a strong autobiographical element in this novel. Our lives are often made up of a string of events that are connected with each other only because they happened to us, but not because there is an inner logic or development about them. At any rate, that is how the life of Sunny Fernando strikes me. He was born around 1956 in what was then still called Ceylon; his mother had died in Colombo when Sunny was eight; he had then moved to the Philippines (1967) with his father, who was originally a journalist; they get up a cricket team in a country where they don't play cricket (1970); the teenage boy fantasizes about a girl he is too tongue-tied to talk to properly; he discovers something that makes him turn against his father (1972); he goes to England (1973) to study and stays there; he finds it hard to make contacts there except, initially, with a fellow Sri Lankan in London who takes him to see his parents and their Sri Lankan friends in Birkenhead; up there he is again captivated by a girl, Clara, but this time he eventually overcomes his timidity (1983); he becomes a father (1986); he takes up and makes some money from photography (something about capturing moments before time swallowed them up, particularly his son's childhood before his adolescence would create distance between them as it had in the case of his own youth) and then from selling cameras; there is a family camping holiday on the Welsh coast (1994) - the first time we find Sunny philosophizing and reflecting on the meaning of life and the slipping away of time. It is at this rather late point, just over half way through, that the novel acquires some depth and direction. Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time's wingéd chariot 8 April 2012
By Ralph Blumenau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Though the dates don't tally exactly, I seem to detect a strong autobiographical element in this novel. Our lives are often made up of a string of events that are connected with each other only because they happened to us, but not because there is an inner logic or development about them. At any rate, that is how the life of Sunny Fernando strikes me. He was born around 1956 in what was then still called Ceylon; his mother had died in Colombo when Sunny was eight; he had then moved to the Philippines (1967) with his father, who was originally a journalist; they get up a cricket team in a country where they don't play cricket (1970); the teenage boy fantasizes about a girl he is too tongue-tied to talk to properly; he discovers something that makes him turn against his father (1972); he goes to England (1973) to study and stays there; he finds it hard to make contacts there except, initially, with a fellow Sri Lankan in London who takes him to see his parents and their Sri Lankan friends in Birkenhead; up there he is again captivated by a girl, Clara, but this time he eventually overcomes his timidity (1983); he becomes a father (1986); he takes up and makes some money from photography (something about capturing moments before time swallowed them up, particularly his son's childhood before his adolescence would create distance between them as it had in the case of his own youth) and then from selling cameras; there is a family camping holiday on the Welsh coast (1994) - the first time we find Sunny philosophizing and reflecting on the meaning of life and the slipping away of time. It is at this rather late point, just over half way through, that the novel acquires some depth and direction. Sunny feels the need to recapture something of his past by visiting the country of his birth (1995) during a brief truce between the government and the Tamil Tigers - only to find that the house in which he had spent his childhood like so much else of his world, had disappeared; he goes into depression as the world sped past him and as the dreaded distance between himself and Mikey, his son, did indeed appear; then a team from Sri Lanka comes to England for a test match and then a one-day international against India (2002). Cricket has appeared only sporadically between that scratch game in Manila and this test match over thirty years later. Sunny goes to see the matches, and there (we are told) all sorts of things fall into place for him at last. Frankly, I didn't get it.

Every one of these stages is full of incidents, some trivial, some less so. There are some good set pieces, a few of them quite funny; many evocative descriptions and nice turns of phrase. Other characters in the story very well drawn (except, oddly enough, for Clara, who never really comes alive. Is it because she is the only English person among them?). Throughout, in the background, there are reports of political violence, both in the Philippines and in Sri Lanka. And the British political scene. And 9/11.

I thought it was a patchy book - a little desultory in the first half, more reflective in the second, partially elusive (to me) in its message at the end.
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