Customer Reviews


18 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nasser Hussain's Life - Warts and All
This book is very easy to read. You don't get bogged down as you can easily find with many other autobiographies. Nasser Hussain's life is presented here, warts and all, for the reader to digest and ultimately you will find yourself passing judgment upon a cricketer who has been hated as much as he has been respected. Personally I found his distaste at the cricketing...
Published on 27 Oct 2005 by father2

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ...but flawed
An interesting read from someone who did much to turn English cricket around whilst he was captain (working with Duncan Fletcher). Good insights into the stresses of being a modern cricketer and also the ridiculous infighting that was prevalent in English cricket.
But the writing style is dreadful ...it really is as if you are sitting next to some one in a pub who is...
Published 15 months ago by Gibsy hesperis


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nasser Hussain's Life - Warts and All, 27 Oct 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Playing With Fire: The Autobiography (Paperback)
This book is very easy to read. You don't get bogged down as you can easily find with many other autobiographies. Nasser Hussain's life is presented here, warts and all, for the reader to digest and ultimately you will find yourself passing judgment upon a cricketer who has been hated as much as he has been respected. Personally I found his distaste at the cricketing system refreshing in the pages of this book. He respects those who are up front and honest even if the opinions expressed are against his own, while on the other hand he dislikes intensely those who are two faced and sneaky. Nasser Hussain is a man who obviously put lots of peoples backs up during his career but if he had tried to be Mr Nice Guy it is quite clear he would have failed in his quest to be so successful as a cricketer.
There are certain things I personally found quite disturbing. For example the admission that Nasser Hussain's father had had such a huge impact upon Nasser's life and decision to take cricket seriously. One got the impression that this was an example of a classic pushy parent. Nasser Hussain seems to be in fear of upsetting his father, to the point of getting his brother to phone up his father when he stood down as England captain and then again when his career came to an end. Going back to his childhood if Nasser Hussain played well at cricket then the whole family got "chocolate and curry" and his father was happy, but if Nasser Hussain didn't play well then the whole family suffered as a result. Personally I read this, and as a parent, I thought that this is surely unhealthy.
This book details the many confrontations that took place during Nasser Hussain's career and he has obviously upset a lot of people along the way. This apparently enabled him to play cricket with fire and passion. This book describes Nasser Hussain as being fiercely loyal to those around him, those who he calls "my boys." There are many examples described where Nasser Hussain stands up for his boys sometimes against fierce opposition. His reputation as a bad boy earlier in his career obviously enabled him to understand other bad boys later on and encourage them to give a lot to the England cause. I felt very sorry for Nasser Hussain when he describes how he found himself betrayed by some he had backed strongly.
You get an impression about sportsmen and women by watching their careers as they progress. But this book shows that there is a lot more going on behind the headlines, behind the highs and lows of their career. Nasser Hussain has written a wonderful, frank account of his life - full of exciting highs and depressing lows. Some are disturbing accounts and others describe the wonderful joys of being a sportsman at the top of his profession. If you only ever purchase one autobiography make sure it is this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We drink lager here David, not Champagne, 17 Jun 2005
By 
L. Richardson "LR" (Hampshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Playing With Fire: The Autobiography (Paperback)
I ploughed through this in a couple of days. It is an immensely readable book by a very engaging man. Hussain appeals to me: he really wants to get inside the heads of the people he admires or doesn't understand. Steve Waugh, Andy Caddick, Tim Lamb and others all merit more than passing mentions as those players and administrators who Hussain has come across.
But this is far more than a chronological trot through English cricket in the 1990s. We see the sources of Hussain's huge passion to succeed and impress his father. We read about the staggering acts of will Hussain submitted himself to to drag the English game from its lowest edd during and after the 1999 World Cup.
Debate about how good a captain Hussain was is irrelevant because he was the only sound choice in the circumstances. Reading between the lines, one sees that much as Hussain admires Butcher, Stewart, Trescothick and co, he really felt that he was the only one that could be the captain England needed at the time. Hussain is too honest here to admit as much but it's clear to any reader with more than a passing interest.
Much of the talk of the dressing room amuses but also reveals the petty streaks Hussain knows he was guilty of and contributed to his being overlooked when Atherton resigned. That he has admitted as much rather lessens the cause of those that would point fingers and demand he should have grown up sooner. He is very self aware. Cricket is an analyst's game and Hussain's characteristic introversion lends itself to his study and immersion in the game.
In many respects this is no more than a run of the mill autobiography. Its strength though is its subject because Hussain is engaging, thoughtful and almost fearlessly revealing. That he should deal with Zimbabwe first is fitting because, if he'd been in Tim Lamb's shoes, he would have dealt with it first. By the end of the book, almost as a microcosm of the situation itself, it is forgotten and we remember his glorious, valedictory, winning century against the New Zealanders.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playing with fire, written with passion, 27 July 2006
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Playing With Fire: The Autobiography (Paperback)
I always find it fascinating to read the autobiographies of England cricket captains as they have such huge influence on and off the pitch. It's interesting to hear the thought processes behind their decisions and the usually revealing pen portraits of their fellow cricketers.

Nasser Hussain's autobiography has plenty of these revelations but even more, it provides a huge insight into the roots behind the determined, sometimes hot-headed temperament of England's most successful captain for years. Clearly crucial to Nasser's development was his obsessive but loving father who relentlessly pushed his son as a cricketer. With some of his old man's steely determination rubbing off, Hussain's rise and superb career were as much due to his character as his talent as he was not as phenomenally naturally talented as some of his cricketing peers. What comes through in his well-titled autobiography is passion and controversy but also a great tactical brain and an acknowledgment of mistakes made.

Playing With Fire also includes evidence of the politics at play in international cricket with Chapter 1 piecing together the shameful way the England team were treated by the various cricket authorities and UK government over the controversial matches in Zimbabwe in the last World Cup. Nasser records his detailed version of events and provides the definitive account of his career in this brilliant sporting autobiography.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY honest autobiography., 29 Oct 2004
By 
Iceni Peasant (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Playing With Fire (Hardcover)
One word sums this book up..."honest". However that would discredit how much more the book brings to the reader, in terms of interest and intrigue in the career of Nasser Hussain.
Nasser doesn't mince words and says exactly what he thinks, and how he felt about certain figures in cricket at the time of various disageements and turmoil through his career.
There is a wonderful insight on the behind the scenes trouble over the Zimbabwe affair, making any cricket fan feel shocked at how the England team were left to deal with the situation.
The book follows Nasser's career, right from his days as a kid in India to becoming England captain, through to his almost perfect final match at Lords.
It is a fascinating book for all cricket and sports fans in general. From reading this book you really get a feeling for the pressure and mindset needed to be a good England captain. Also some of Nasser's life springs up some surprises about the man. It is a chunky volume to read, with lots of great photos throughout the book, finishing with a detailed facts and figures glossary at the back; looking at Nasser's batting and fielding figures for Essex and England. Over all a very enjoyable book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Joined up Writing, 4 Oct 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Playing With Fire: The Autobiography (Paperback)
Highly recommended. Bridging that gap between Athers and Vaughan, he started the re-building with Duncan "behind the Shades" Fletcher. Another 4 * read by the way.
Very well written, with as you would expect "heart on sleeve" most of the time.
Could really identify with the early pages too.
So why not the full 5 stars? Just thought he held back a fraction. Maybe on its 3rd drafting with a few cynical years in the Sky Sports commentary team behind him, he might just give up the final snippets and facets that would make this great.
Beaten again by Steve Waugh I'm afraid.
A truly important cricketer in the history of the English game nevertheless and should be owned.
RC
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Constantly insightful and utterly honest, 24 Jan 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Playing With Fire (Hardcover)
As Hussain himself says, sometimes the greatest cricketers aren't the best observers of the game: they have never had to try at it and so often don't understand what they are doing.
Hussain wasn't among the great batsmen of his time, but his observations are correspondingly all the better for that. He turned it to his advantage as an insightful captain, both in terms of tactics and man management, and now he describes his career brilliantly. Hearing about how he got the best out of someone like Andrew Caddick is fascinating and he shows his debt to Brearley in this.
Yet beyond the tactics, you get an extraordinary picture of a bundle of neuroses. Hussain dreaded going into bat throughout his entire career (rarely sleeping properly the previous night) and knows that he got too worked up about it: his best innings, he recognises, were when the top order collapsed and he was in before he had time to realise it.
Many other cricketers in their autobiographies don't think about why they are the way they are but Hussain goes beyond this: he knows just how much the drive from his father made him the cricketer he became, mainly for good but also slightly for ill. He was almost too competitive, too afraid of failure. He contrasts himself with the more "natural" cricketers, like Gough and Flintoff, half envying them, half knowing that it just didn't fit with his personality.
When someone is genuinely honest with the reader, as Hussain is, you can't help but warm to him, however much he points up his weaknesses.
Atherton and Thorpe come out particularly well from this book as people he really cherished as companions and colleagues. Less favourably written up are Steve Waugh and Mike Gatting. But it's all balanced.
A terrific book. Up there with Atherton's.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great captain produces a great book., 4 Sep 2006
By 
J. DRYDEN (Peterborough, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Playing With Fire: The Autobiography (Paperback)
Nasser Hussain's jouney through English cricket is perhaps more unique than any other. Starting his career at the beginning of Englands demise in 1989, he went on to play through a shambolic era in the mid to late 90's to captaining a side at the turn of the millenium that grew into a world beater, comulating in England regaining the Ashes last year. Well known for his passion and fire in his game, this book portrays everything you would expect from Hussain. His acheivements largley came from utter determination, and his comparrisons with players that (in his words), had more natural ability are intersting. He explains why people like Ramprakash and Hick didn't have the success they should have, and why players such as Stewart, Atherton, and Thorpe sustained a place in a losing England side for so long. His dilema concerning Zimbabwe in the 2003 World Cup sums this book up. An honest and frank view of his feeling's of the sheer pressure he rode as he battled with cricket boards and politicians to help make the right choice for his cricket nation. Hussain write's about his astute retirement from the game, and you feel the release of all his pressures as he reflects up on what was a career that's summed up in his choice of title for the book- playing with fire.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. No other word needed, 18 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
before I read this book I didn't really know much about Nasser Hussain or his career. I'm glad I have done now, it was a refreshing read where he doesn't hold back on anything he talks about, where most other autobiographies they seem to hold back which sort of defeats the object. for any cricket fan out there this is a must read if only for the way Nasser displays complete honesty throughout. will definitely read this again
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better volumes of its genre, 10 Feb 2009
By 
Andy (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Playing With Fire (Hardcover)
A good autobiography produced at the right time (i.e., after he's retired, not when he's just turned 21).

It starts and ends superbly, but the middle could have been tighter perhaps. Too much of it sounds straight from the tape; and there's too many !! too. He speaks frankly and to the point, pulls no punches and does not shrink from critical self-analysis. Well recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 1 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I loved his honesty. It was a fascinating read. The best cricket autobiography since Opening Up by Mike Atherton. I would recomend this book to all cricket fans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Playing With Fire: The Autobiography
Playing With Fire: The Autobiography by Nasser Hussain (Paperback - 2 Jun 2005)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews