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4.3 out of 5 stars
Slipless In Settle: A Slow Turn Around Northern Cricket
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on 5 June 2012
This has been by far the most enjoyable read I've had this year. I'm not a particularly a cricket fan but I am most definitely a supporter of Harry Pearson who is, by some distance, the most amusing sports writer around today. I simply cannot comprehend that someone has given this book a one-star review. How is it possible to miss the original wit, the nostalgic anecdotes, the incomporable descriptions and cheeky 'overheard' remarks?
I think Pearson's genius lies in the way he can combine nuggets of research with wry commentary on today's version of whatever subject he's covering. With cricket he hones in on what makes the Northern leagues different, teasing out warmly nutty pictures interspersed with curious streams of information and laugh-out-loud observation.
His tangents and diversions are magnificent and if you don't get them, and if you are prepared let a few wobbly bits of tense-slippage spoil what is a book to bring a smile to the face, nay an idiot grin, then you don't deserve Harry - give the book to someone else at once!
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on 2 April 2015
I recently re-read Pearson's earlier work 'The Far Corner', which is a tour around the football teams and legends of the North-East, which I would thoroughly recommend. In many respects this is a cricketing equivalent although he possibly travels further afield - I'm a southerner so are not entirely confident of the distances and areas. Regardless, this is an excellent book that even a non-cricketing aficionado like myself enjoy. What I like about Pearson's work is the manner in which he draws together the present and the past so that we flip backwards and forwards from the glory days of the past to the much more mundane present. Interspersed though-out are vignettes of the villages, players, spectators and people he meets or more accurately observes and listens to on his journeys. When I finished the book I was left with two feelings - one, that I should really try and watch more local cricket and two, that I really need to explore parts in the north of the country, although not all parts!

Could a book deliver anymore?
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on 31 January 2013
Harry Pearson first came to my attention when Penguins Stopped Play was passed to me to read. This is a great story of an unlikely world cricket tour that can be enjoyed by both cricket fans and people with zero knowledge of the sport.

Slipless in Settle is more for the hard-core cricket enthusiast and is jammed full of the history of the sport in the North of England. Harry describes the colouful characters who played in the early leagues and adds his own anecdotes with their inevitable giggle-moments.

It is a beautifully written wander through the mining and mill towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire viewed from the patches of green where some of the finest cricketers in the world delghted the locals with their skills and antics.

Recommended for cricket fans as it is packed with stats and history of the game, but non-enthusiasts might find some parts hard going.
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on 5 December 2014
The daily commute to and from work can be tiresome. Reading this book I never wanted it to end. Harry Pearson clearly loves Northern cricket and has great empathy for the people connected with it. Someone who starts his journey around these famous old leagues with a trip to Workington in a Siberian April is not in it for the joy ride !
Each chapter is constructed along similar lines - a brief history of the teams he is watching and their league. A list of all the professionals and well-known amateurs who have represented them (you could pick a dozen top first class sides with the stars who have played in the various leagues over the last hundred years or so). A continuous string of hilarious anecdotes related at a "fast-medium" narrative pace. The observation is keen, the wit sharp.
One of the best cricket books I have read in a long time.
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on 1 January 2011
Despite being heavily involved in local league cricket, this is not the sort of book I would have given a second look at in the book shops, however I am delighted Santa thought otherwise.

Harry Pearson writes in a humerous style, cleverly merging the 'here and now' with interesting anecdotes and facts about the matches and teams being covered. However as has been picked up in other reviews some of the details are inaccurate - for example the bowler for Rawdon was 'Rock', not 'Rack'.

My only criticism is that his coverage of the Bradford League was restricted to one match and a second division game at that!

This book is the perfect companion to a cold winter night - rather like a roaring fire and a pair of slippers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2011
This book was bought as a present for a cricket mad friend who loved the dry wit and general Englishness of the book. A must for any cricket fan!!!
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on 16 July 2015
A great book. Some lovely images eg a batsman playing "as if he were an 18th century fop shooing away a beggar with a scented handkerchief" He doesn't accept a piece of advice "for the same reason as I don't accept racing tips from shirtless men".But is also informative as well. I've never been to any such cricket match as he describes, but I might some time in the future. I read this book on a train and made a fool of myself by laughing out loud at it. Well worth reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2011
I cannot quite understand the five star reviews for this book. It is a nice descriptive book of Northern League cricket and some of its picturesque grounds and mention of a few of its many characters. However, I found it a bit repetitive in style, and as other reviewers have pointed out, the text switches from past to present tense to the point of annoyance. If I were the publisher I would have had this latter point corrected to make it more readable. I felt that the text would have been enhanced by the use of some photographs of both players and grounds. Altogether, although good in parts, this is not a book that I would choose to read a second time.
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on 11 October 2011
It must be impossible for anyone to write a funnier book than this. As someone who played in league cricket for many years, to come across this book which reintroduced me to many of the huge characters I had played against throughout my playing life was like being transported to heaven. Good on yer Harry. Your Dad was wrong by the way.

Dave.
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on 26 August 2012
I was loaned 'Slipless' a couple of years ago, read it in a day. Essential reading for all who love club cricket and it'll give you something to read
when rained off this awful summer.Harry Pearson doesn't just know Northern Cricket, he knows the North.
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