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4.3 out of 5 stars45
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Harry Pearson's `The Far Corner' was a superb book. It was a great read, written in a warm and humorous style that seemed to get right to the soul of football in the North East. It is, quite rightly, regarded by many as one of the best football books ever published. So when I heard that Harry Pearson had turned his attention to cricket I doubted that it would be anything like as good. I was wrong, because Slipless in Settle is a belting book, perhaps even better than Far Corner. I am reasonably certain that I will not read a better one during this summer of cricket.

As research for this book he spent a summer travelling around the north of England taking in matches being played in some of the regions many local cricket leagues. Slipless in Settle is his account of his experiences along the way and the people he met.

Anybody that has ever attended to a local league cricket match in Yorkshire or Lancashire will know that they seem to attract characters like moths to a flame. At any ground you will find not only a fiercely competitive game of cricket but also some slightly eccentric supporters always ready with to supply ribald comments on the state of the match and cricketers of varying ability that turn up ever week for either the love of the game or because they are paid to do so. You will find a great many of these people in Slipless in Settle.

It is, above all, a very funny book. There is practically a decent anecdote on every page, some so amusing that at times it reads like more like a comedy than a sports book and they are all weaved together by Harry Pearson's effortlessly entertaining prose.

Slipless in Settle is a must read for anybody that has the slightest interest in cricket.
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on 8 May 2011
It doesn't happen very often (well it actually didn't happen before) that I start reading a book as soon as I've got hold of it. I am glad I made an exeption for this very interesting, well written and very humourous book. Admittedly, a return trip on the Eurostar to Belgium did help to start reading it as an obvious way to kill time. I attended the Annual Cricket book award ceremony at Lord's the night before and - though I didn't have the luck to have been alloted a seat at the winner's table - I had the opportunity to meet Harry after the reception and to get a copy of his winner from him. Being a Flemish Belgian, and only recently been awarded full MCC membership, this is by no means a straightforward proposition, is it? I am passionate about cricket, and have always been involved in keeping the junior development and school program in Belgium alive while putting Belgian cricket on the European cricket map. Apart from that, I love reading cricket novels, biographies and books on the history of cricket. This book in particular was a revelation to me. It taught me so much about the importance of cricket in the North of England and Harry has this skill to tell the stories, big and small, using a style which makes it a real page turner and very difficult to put it away. I am determined to go for some of his other books too and I also know now what to say when coming across a Yorkshireman, or better... what not to say!
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on 27 September 2010
This guy is very,very funny.

O,and knowlegeable and witty and very informative about the serious end of cricket.

Buy it for long,cold dark Winters oop North.

Tis a pity he's a Yorkshireman but nobody's ideal.
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on 14 July 2012
It's fair to say that it takes Harry Pearson a couple of chapters to get into his rhythm. The beginning has a real early-season feel to it, as though the author hadn't warmed-up properly, but once he hits his stride with a series of absorbing facts and anecdotes about some of international cricket's great and historic names, you want him to keep going unchanged. This was a real eye-opener for me. I actually lived in Lancashire for a fair chunk of the period covered but the great names turning the ball and throwing the bat in the towns and villages all around just passed me by. What a missed opportunity - if only I'd had a story-teller like Pearson to get me interested then. Aside from lots of misty-eyed nostalgia for the good old days, much of this, particularly in the latter half is laugh-out-loud funny, and overall a great advert for league cricket. Let's all go and see some matches before it's too late.
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on 17 July 2010
This is the funniest book I have read in ages, it is Harry Pearson's best by far. I am still laughing out loud about The Geordie Pizza, and the tale about Hitler using Old Spice as a weapon has me in stitches every time I think about it. All the greats in the cricketing world are mentioned with some humility, and the description of David Gower by the author's father is very apt.

Thanks Harry!
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VINE VOICEon 1 June 2011
Harry Pearson's books reflect the strong passion for sport in the North of England; his The Far Corner: A Mazy Dribble Through North East Football dealt with the North East's passion for football, from the giants of Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough to the minnows of Tow Law, Durham City and many more. This time, his focus is on cricket; he covers a broader geographical area ("The North", as defined by his father), but focuses solely on league cricket rather than the county game too. It's a delightful read, combining history with descriptions of the present day, as he samples games from many different leagues across the North. There are many wry observations on the cricket, the players, umpires and his fellow spectators as well as great stories about past heroes, including many greats of world cricket. Although light-hearted in tone throughout, he probes into the sporting psyche of the cricketers and supporters he encounters, finding a strong will to win, differing levels of resilience, and attitudes, situations and settings far removed from the stereotyped view of village cricket. A great read.
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on 14 September 2010
Couldn't put this book down, read it no time, although being very funny in parts it contains some very intersting facts and historical detail, the author has got the content just about spot on.
A great read for any true cricketing fan.
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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.
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on 27 June 2011
Racing Pigs and Giant Marrows is my favourite book, with A Far Corner a close second. This is another great book from Harry Pearson, although perhaps not to the same high standard as the other two. There are some great stories and anecdotes (I know people who equally didn't like David Gower) and I found myself chuckling throughout. However the number of matches he went to which were called off doesn't help produce a classic, and I wish he had revisted some of these. Well worth reading though and a cut above most sports books.
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on 18 August 2010
Almost anyone who has played cricket at any level will enjoy Harry Pearsons book and recognise some of the characters he desribes. First book this year to have me laughing out loud.
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