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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Behind the Magic
Being of the generation that came of age when David Gower was at his peak as an England batsman, I'm one who regards his batting as possibly the most beautiful thing I ever saw on the cricket field. In his earlier years, until injury hampered this, he was also one of the greatest cover point fielders ever. I remember his legendary entrance into Test cricket, hooking his...
Published 8 months ago by Graham Mummery

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3.0 out of 5 stars An easy and fairly enjoyable read, but somewhat repetitive
This book contains some interesting insights into David Gower's careers as test and county cricketer and cricket broadcaster. There are some amusing stories of life on tour, relations with team mates and colleagues, and some revealing points about form and confidence. However, the way in which Gower was at odds with the prevailing professional culture in cricket,...
Published 1 month ago by M. V. Clarke


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Behind the Magic, 24 Oct 2013
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Endangered Species (Hardcover)
Being of the generation that came of age when David Gower was at his peak as an England batsman, I'm one who regards his batting as possibly the most beautiful thing I ever saw on the cricket field. In his earlier years, until injury hampered this, he was also one of the greatest cover point fielders ever. I remember his legendary entrance into Test cricket, hooking his first ball for four. Ever since then, I was captivated. Something of this still comes through even now when he is perhaps better known as a television presenter.

Though perhaps slightly less celebrated than his colleague and friend, Sir Ian Botham, Gower weaved more than enough magic of his own to be a legend in his own right. I also feel a closer affinity towards Gower, who is more complex a personality, and his batting always seemed like an act of grace. One of my memories is of watching him bat at Lords in a minor MCC match. An American couple were also watching, struggling to understand the game, and the British fascination with it, from the rules. Perhaps not the best way to understand it! Then Gower came in and produced some of his magic. They went away having seen the sublime heights that it can sometimes reach.

It's this that Gower explores in this book. The first chapter is perhaps the best, and most revealing, where he discusses how being seen as a player whose game seemed effortless put an extra burden upon him in terms of expectations. It meant that when something went wrong he would be accused of "not trying." How the ease of his stroke-play, and his insouciant manner, which he admits was in part a defence mechanism, later in his career were counted against him, despite still being one of the best players of his time. And the England team certainly didn't perform better without him!

The rest of the story looks mainly at this and his career. This has been told Gower: The Autobiography and in Rob Steen's David Gower: A Man Out of Time. Steen is probably the definitive book on David Gower with eloquent prose that does justice as to what his subject brought to the game. Both books though are now out of date as they do not encompass Gower's television career after his playing days. This book updates this, and perhaps shows the benefit Gower having more distance from controversies that were still raging when those earlier volumes were written. To this are added perceptive pen portraits and impressions of his colleagues from "They Think It's All Over, and the Sky commentary team, as well as some thoughts on the contemporary game. He also alludes to the happiness he has found subsequently in family life. There are photographs of his wife and daughters as well as from his work and playing days, though he is perhaps understandably less revealing about the former than the latter.

It is inevitably the story of the playing years, and what shaped him before that dominate the narrative. What emerges is a portrait of a complex, likeable man sometimes prone to self-doubt despite his amazing gifts. But also a man who feels misunderstood and mistreated, perhaps with some justification. At the same time he shows a generosity of spirit which does try to understand what happened to him and to grasp the bigger picture. He is also prepared to accept that he may have contributed to this, all of which perhaps helps understand why he remains a popular figure. There is a modesty in him when he suggests even if he did disappoint some, the figures show he still achieved great things.

In this, I think he is being overly modest. For him there was always more to life than just cricket. His cricket showed that there was more to cricket than just putting bat to ball and winning. There was grace and beauty. Rather like the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, sometimes Gower's timing and its beauty deserted him in the face of self-doubt. But in both cases when they found it, what heights were reached! The record shows it was more often the case than not that, when called for, Gower was there. His figures bear favourable comparison with the greatest players. But it is for those glimpses of the sublime, which defies the accountancy, that I will most remember David Gower.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The GLE?, 23 Oct 2013
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As a firm believer that the Author has serious claims to being the GLE (Greatest Living Englishman) I have to give him the 5 stars. Mind you I could point out that on the bookshelf above the desk in front of me is another work from the same hand (albeit guided by Martin Johnson rather than Simon Wilde) which bears a remarkable similarity to the first half of this one - it's entitled "Gower - The Autobiography" (even some of the photos are the same). Mind you, I see that in 1992 the said book cost me 14.99 whereas now, courtesy of the electronic world in which we live, the new instalment was considerably cheaper!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very entertaining read by my childhood hero, 29 Jan 2014
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A very good and easy read that picks up where the previous book left off would recommend to any lord gower fan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endangered Species - by David Gower (Ho Ho Ho), 2 Jan 2014
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This review is from: An Endangered Species (Hardcover)
I purchased this book for my cricket mad grandson's christmas package - Read it before passing it over and thoroughly enjoyed the read. Evidently my grandson is also enjoying his read of it. Well done Mr Gower and his Ghost.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 28 Nov 2013
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This book had everything I expected from David's playing days to his TV commentaries - a must for all real cricket lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read, 6 Nov 2013
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This review is from: An Endangered Species (Hardcover)
Written as he commentates on Sky. Laconic and amusing. Enjoyed his anti establishment position on the controversial incidents of his career. Good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An easy and fairly enjoyable read, but somewhat repetitive, 28 May 2014
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Endangered Species (Hardcover)
This book contains some interesting insights into David Gower's careers as test and county cricketer and cricket broadcaster. There are some amusing stories of life on tour, relations with team mates and colleagues, and some revealing points about form and confidence. However, the way in which Gower was at odds with the prevailing professional culture in cricket, particularly in the second half of his career, is the dominating theme here. While it's clearly true, and does reveal some interesting points about the way sport works, the frequent explanations of this are rather wearing, and seem to divert the book from more interesting stories. Also, its writing is at times a bit clumsy - not really what I expected of a volume co-authored with Simon Wilde.
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5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyable, 11 May 2014
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Detailed, interesting, witty, full of insight into life as a cricketer and now commentator.

Enough detail to keep you interested.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: An Endangered Species (Hardcover)
This was ordered for a family relative as a Christmas present. Ordered, confirmed by email eta, book arrived on time, excellent condition and in good time for Christmas. Very pleased.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excelkent insight, 21 Sep 2013
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Arguably England's best ever batsman who has morphed into a very good presenter, the spirit and character of the nan comes through well in this enjoyable read.

Warmly recommended.
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An Endangered Species
An Endangered Species by David Gower (Hardcover - 12 Sep 2013)
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