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4.8 out of 5 stars55
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 20 February 2013
Owen Sheers has written a tremendously composed and detailed account of the passage of the Welsh Rugby side through the pinnacle of a 2011 Grand Slam with impact on the highs both to the team and the country. Officially recognised as the biographer of events, Owen then takes us on the cliff-hanger series in Australia. Not a disaster but a belly-blow in terms of results. Ups and downs are part and parcel of the game but the optimism of the next game is ever present.

Sheers encapsulates the feelings and thoughts of the individual players and the team, from coach, players, baggage men and supporters. All vitally important. Taking us through the most intricate and habitual approaches to their game in such a detailed yet diverse manner is revealing in the rituals team players take, almost obsessional. There is no pretence to comparing this side with other generations. This is a diary. I cannot praise his prose more than to say it is poetic in its derivation. Gerald Davies, the legendary Welsh Wizard, runs a column in 'The Times' on Welsh games that evoke similar passions. You have to be there in your heart to believe. It is deep in the culture. That is what 'Calon' is all about. A book of emotional impact, thoroughly enjoyable. Recommended to the comeraderie of sport and rugby, with the Welsh flavour where it matters - in the heart.
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on 14 February 2013
I am not by any stretch of the imagination a rugby fan but I am a tremendous fan of Owen Sheers' writing I so much enjoyed his novel Resistance and his poetry, his marvellous Port Talbot Passion and the recent award winning play The Two Worlds of Charlie F Knowing that he was to be Artist in Residence at the WRU I decided to order CALON the book he wrote during the year he spent with them It is a revelation as it's not just for those interested in rugby It explains exactly why the sport is at the heart of Welsh culture, exactly what it means to those who play and support it and the tremendous sacrifices made by all those associated with the game It beautifully evokes the great tension and excitement of the sport, its essential theatricality and its deep passionate rootedness at the heart of the Welsh nation Beautifully and expertly written I could not put it down!
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on 10 October 2015
If you like rugby, this book gives an interesting insight into the preparations going into a Welsh game following their disappointment of the 2011 World Cup, with thoughts and reflections of players, back up crew, ground staff and others who don't normally get a mention.
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on 6 August 2014
A 'must' for anyone who loves rugby and loves the present team. A real insight into the training regime etc that turns out the superfit players. Beautifully written and full of insight into the behaviour of our young team.
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on 13 August 2014
One of the most enjoyable and well written books on any subject, let alone my favourite rugby. Top class read.. value for money =12 out of 10! Also read the author's "Resistance" recently. Worth the effort.
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on 17 April 2013
As an insight into th complexities of modern day rugby this book was illuminating . It's written in a flowing style that captures the mood of the various component parts of the Welsh rugby team.
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on 2 June 2014
What a great idea to appoint an official poet for Welsh Rugby and publish his record of the experience - and what a change to read the words of a man of letters rather than a sporting hack.
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on 21 June 2014
As the wru gave access to the author to the team, management this book whilst very descriptive is pretty bland really. If you want to know what music gethin Jenkins listens too on the team bus or what the team has for dinner then this will be for you.if however you want a balanced view of the team and the wru then forget it. Particularly galling is the way CEO Dennis gethin is put on a pedastel with his appalling record with regional rugby.
I don't think in the hundreds of pages there's any criticism of anyone or anything in the book and consequently the worse for it.
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on 4 April 2016
A fab well written look into the soul of a rugby nation's heart. Well worth the time and a joy for anyone that loves all aspects of a sport and the passion fired up by it. It is a very human glance into the passion that drives individuals to be an extended team of players, management and stadium staff such as the kit man and groundsman. Read it, you'll love the journey to the core of the Welsh dragon!
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on 24 March 2013
As a Wales rugby supporter I bought this book not knowing what to expect. Any Wales fan would enjoy this story of the 2012 Grand Slam (even more so after the 2013 championship). I'd recommend this book to anyone wallowing in the glow of successive triumphs. Nowhere else can you get the intimate details from behind the scenes in the Wales camp or the background stories of so many involved in the Wales victory - from the groundsmen to the chairman to the physios to the coaches to the players .
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