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4.6 out of 5 stars52
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2006
I remember being escorted from the canteen at work whilst crippled up with laughter, the first time I read "Vintage Stuff" by Tom Sharpe. This was worse!
Having played at "The Gibbon" and some of the other grounds exquisitely described by Marcus Berkmann I woke up in intensive care and knew life was never going to be the same again. If an ex-cricketer does nothing else this winter, he should read this book.
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on 11 August 2006
his book has compelled me to do two things I would never have done before:

1. write a review so evangelical I am about how funny this book is; and

2. set up my own hopeless cricket team with a bunch of rugby, football and hockey players from university with the same levels of success of the team described in these pages.

I can not imagine how anyone but the most hardened anti-sports fan can fail to enjoy this book. I find that there is a lot of drivel written about cricket which seems be in love with its own sense of history and literature but this is a real treat. Don't go and buy the next Beckham, Rooney or Lampard autobiography - read a book about proper sportsmen who really suffer for their love.

... and A Few Good Men Cricket Club are looking for a good fast bowler by the way...
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on 25 September 2003
As I say I'm only 14 and I play Cricket. Everything in this is the absolute truth. When I first read Rain Men it made me cry and my stomach hurt with laughter over a hundred times. It is Hilariously funny and frightenly accurate, it worries me that I am that sad. I have already read it three times, It is surly the funniest Cricket book EVER!
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on 20 October 2000
Hilarious, and caused me to receive some peculiar looks!!!
Rain Men was first shown to me one drunken evening in a bar frequented by members of Captain Scott's XI near Leicester Square. Having been told I MUST read this book I managed to persuade the owner to lend me one of his copies of this excellent book I set off on my hols. wondering why I should read it.
Great entertainment, and thoroughly entertaining, providing a down to earth insight into the world of cricket. Providing me with understanding into how a collegue's mind works and why he loves cricket so much.
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on 10 September 1999
Berkmann's book is a worryingly accurate portrayal of life in a village cricket team. He describes the atmosphere of all ameteur teams with a high degree of observation and wit. The author's skill lays in his ability to portray perfectly the highs and lows of individual and team performances. Any body who has played any sort of cricket will instantly identify with the characters depicted. A must read for any player of the game.
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on 14 September 1999
You do not have to be a watcher or a player of cricket to appreciate this book. Yes, it will appeal to the casual cricketer who always tries to field on the boundary closest to the bar. It will also appeal to those who watch the game from afar or those somehow married into cricket. However, I can almost guarantee that this book will be enjoyed by anyone with a basic understanding of sport and all its strange creations.
Quite simply, if I had to pick one single book as my all time favourite, then this would be it. It is observant, pleasant and entertaining and also very, very funny.
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VINE VOICEon 20 September 2006
For a humble Sunday second eleven wicketkeeper, reading this book is like gazing into a mirror and seeing reflected in it the richness and absurdity of the game I love and the collection of similarly warped and addicted individuals I share it with.

If your team and two hangers on drive off to an away match, and cluster in threes to share cars (four is too many with full bags of kit), then arithmetic demands there will be one of you left over. Have you ever been that one, reluctantly driving ON YOUR OWN and with the whole journey to wonder if your place is in peril?

Have you seen a former Bletchley code-breaker reduced to tears trying to reconstruct a half-hearted attempt at scoring by a love-struck, mobile phone-bonded colt? Does he stuff that missing four on John's innings total, or does Clive count all his runs? Is a lifetime's friendship in the balance?

Have you ever secretly taken FIVE sausage rolls, hiding them under two carefully arranged sandwiches?

Why does it always rain just after you arrive at Kidmore End?

If this means anything to you, get the book, laugh till the tears stream down your face, viva Berkmann.
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on 15 August 2003
I'm sat here at work *willing* England to take a wicket in the 3rd Test agasinst RSA at Trent Bridge. Smith looks like he's going to get another 200 (sweet lord - please don't let that happen) and England sound like they couldn't bowl out an U-14 team. If you are like this then buy Rain Men. It's as simple as that. If you love cricket then buy it. How many books make you snort and laugh out loud on the train? This does. Nicely written, hilariously funny and sums up the England fan's madness to perfection.
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I came to this book after reading Harry Thompson's "When Penguins Stopped Play", encouraged by the comments in some reviews of that book (which I enjoyed) that this one would be so much better. And it is! I think one needs to be a player/ex-player (at not too high a level)/scorer/umpire/cricket "widow" to get the most of out it. But for those in any of those categories, be warned that you will encounter very strange looks from anyone in your vicinity where you are reading it as you will find yourself snorting out loud with laughter on almost every page.

Winter days thinking about cricket, pre-season indoor nets, TV or radio commentaries on England Test failures, the talents (or otherwise) of members of your own side, the awesome-looking opposition, the bad umpiring decisions (deliberate or just plain daft), players crying off late or getting lost en route, over-indulgent lunches and teas, the captain's task of trying to keep every player happy - we have all experienced them but Marcus Berkmann brings them (and more) vividly and colourfully to life in a journey through the year of a cricketer. Plus memories of "little Harry Pilling", the boring Chris Tavare and others who will be well known to the real cricket lover. It's all there, and so well written. Get it and enjoy it - but be prepared to split your sides with laughter!
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on 10 August 2001
Having read Rain Men for the third time - consecutively! - I can still find things to laugh at or empathise with. As a former player of similar ability (batting at number 11 was probably one place too high in the order, but with the advantage of several devastating two-wicket hauls), this book makes up for not being able to play any more. Buy it, read it and realise that it applies to you!!
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