Top critical review
Love the author's work - disappointed in my particular copy of this book (see below for details).
on 8 February 2016
I came to this with high hopes. I am originally from the North-East of England and Harry Pearson's 'The Far Corner' remains one of the best books I've read about the region - not just because it comes closer to any other that I've read in explaining the importance of football to the North-Eastern psyche (and should be mandatory reading for every football journalist and pundit who has ever thrown around lazy phrases like 'sleeping giants' or 'passionate fans' when talking about the region) but because it is a loving and insightful tribute to the area that is also genuinely funny. As someone who has played cricket all over Britain, I came to 'Slipless in Settle' anticipating something similar - an antidote or companion to other books about the game that tend to dwell on the 'accepted' version of its history. In this aspect, I wasn't disappointed. As usual, the jokes are sharp and the narrative compelling. But in the copy I've picked up the tenses seem to jump curiously so that one moment the author is recounting the action but the next is still inside it. When it first happened, I presumed it was a typo. The second time, I guessed (possibly incorrectly) that when compiling the book the author had used any notes taken at the time as a starting point, meaning to tidy everything up later, but that this too had slipped through the editor's net. By the time I reached 'A snick through the slips zipped to the boundary to bring up the hundred. Point dived but narrowly missed another slash that skips cheerily through the off for another four' I began to wonder if HP was deliberately experimenting with his style! A few pages later, after a few more examples of this type, on reaching 'a grey-bearded man named Fariq Iqbal who bowled brisk off-spin and gets thumped around' I had to give up. I've always found HP well-written and readable but I found the consistency with which this was happening very jarring, completely disrupting the flow of my reading. Glancing through these reviews, this doesn't seem to be an issue for other readers, so I can only think that somehow I've picked up a proof-copy and that corrections were made in the final publication to bring the narrative into sync - or I'm having a bad grammar day and picking up on things no-one else has noticed or even cares about. So, while I remain a fan of the author and his work generally, the above issues really torpedoed this one for me.