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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read of the Fastest Bowler Ever
This biography is a sympathetic account of the fastest bowler the world has ever seen - allowing the reader to understand him fully in a way that previous published works have failed to do - and giving an insight into the man and cricketer that is wonderful to behold. It tells of the proud man who always put his family first and of the proud cricketer who always gave of...
Published on 31 July 2009 by Gerry S. Plant

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3.0 out of 5 stars Cricket
Brought this as a present for my Dad who is an avid cricket fan and he was happy. Good present
Published on 26 April 2013 by Louise


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard men playing hard cricket - wrong era, 3 Nov. 2009
By 
Andrew "Andrew Bruce" (Hong Kong, Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harold Larwood (Hardcover)
I don't know what it is about the bodyline era which fascinates me. Larwood and Jardine didn't invent hard ruthless competitive cricket. They didn't invent bodyline. They may have been the first to use film to analyse the weakness of an opposing batsman. Perhaps, as a package, they invented modern fast bowling. What they did is mild compared to what is done today. OK, OK, today's batsman is infinitely protected when compare with the batsmen of the 30s. perhaps some of the modern "greats" would not fare as well if they wore the pads, box and batting gloves of yesteryear. The book constantly makes sensible comparisons with how this saga might have played out in the modern era as opposed to how it actually played out. The book makes powerful connections with the divide between professionals such as Larwood with the amateurs such as Jardine, Allen et al. I might not have bought the book had i spotted that it was the "authorised" biography. It is none the worse for that. This is easily the best sports book I have read for some years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb biography, 15 Jun. 2012
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harold Larwood (Paperback)
This is an excellent work that combines sports writing, history and biography. Duncan Hamilton is an excellent writer; I thoroughly enjoyed his book on Brian Clough, Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough and am now looking forward to reading his recent A Last English Summer. Here, he sets out Larwood's life and career in detail, from his early days working in the coal mines, through his famed success as the leader of England's bowling attack in the Bodyline Ashes, how he was subsequently ostracised by the MCC and his eventual emigration to Australia. Hamilton clearly warms to his subject and quite rightly points out the very shabby treatment Larwood received from the cricketing authorities following the Bodyline series and his disillusionment with the game and its officials. He does not, however, overlook Larwood only faults, noting occasions when he made careless or impolitic remarks about the series. Above all, Larwood's fundamental human decency shines through in this warm biographical tribute. This book deserves huge credit for affirming Larwood's name in its rightful place among English cricket's great players.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Real sense of character, 7 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Harold Larwood (Paperback)
This is one of the best cricket books, and one of the best biographies that I've read. The author keeps a tight focus on Larwood as the book's subject, not allowing himself to digress to far. This, together with the much greater emphasis on his post-cricket career than is conventional in the genre, gives a real sense of Larwood's character. This isn't always in a good light- Larwood comes across as sometimes being proud and stubborn, but he also inspired great loyalty from his friends.

The book is an authorised biography, written with the co-operation of Larwood's daughters. This is both a good and bad thing. The extra insight adds greatly to it's immediacy, and Hamilton has had access to an exceptionally good photo collection. However, there is plenty of evidence contradicting the usual assertions from his teammates that Larwood didn't set out with the intention of hurting the batsman. This isn't directly commented on and there's a sense that the author is pulling back from the subject here.

Overall though, this is an extraordinarily good book, that brings the player and the times he lived in to life in a way that is so rare in sporting biographies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful analysis of the life of the fastest bowler to have lived!, 21 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Harold Larwood (Paperback)
Okay, this book is a little hagiographic, but what's wrong with that when we're dealing with a genuinely heroic working class hero trying to navigate his way through what became a international political crisis.

The one thing you learn quickly about Duncan Hamilton is that loves his subject (Larwood) and the subject matter (cricket). A brilliant back-history of Larwood's upbringing prefaces some fantastic writing about how the establishment (embodied by the truly odious Plum Warner and the MCC) dropped Larwood like a bad smell despite his fantastic, loyal service to his captain and his country. Anyone who wants their prejudices confirmed about the upper-class twits that ran cricket in the last century will find plenty of evidence in this magnificent book.

Marvellously researched, enlightening and thoroughly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars I barely like cricket and had to ration it, 1 July 2012
By 
JWA Drennan (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harold Larwood (Hardcover)
I got this book on an impulse, more motivated by the great reputation of the author rather than the actual content. I am delighted I did. I am a very lukewarm cricket fan, but this didn't matter, it was a fascinating insight into an era of sport that seems forgotten now. Gentleman amateurs playing with working class professionals who had barely cleaned the grim of the coal mines from their faces.

Harold Larwood was a complex man and the biography explains this. While fearsome in bowling, he remained a timid, insecure man for much of his life. Seemingly villified in England, he finds refuge in the most unlikely of places, Australia.

Beautifully researched and written. Duncan Hamilton has only Donald McRae as a peer in sportswriting in Britain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and moving..., 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Harold Larwood (Paperback)
One of the best cricket biographies I have ever read, telling the story of one of England's finest but sadly mis-treated cricketers. He was a man defined by a single infamous cricket tour. His consummate skill with the ball allowed the 'Bodyline' plan to be successfully implemented, but following the political furore he was sacrificed as the dispensible scapegoat by the MCC, and had to live with this sense of injustice for the rest of his life. The book is beautifully constructed with painstaking research. The only weak area is the lack of detail on Harold's childhood and family background. A must though for any lover of cricket and there were several passages which moved me almost to tears.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The complete story of Larwood, 2 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Harold Larwood (Paperback)
I thought I knew all about Harold Larwood. But this fascinating and brilliantly written biography reveals the full story about one of England's greatest fast bowlers. Much inevitably dwells on the Bodyline series, which both made and broke his reputation. That he never played for England again is one of the scandals of cricket. It is interesting how poorly Bradman comes out of this story. The two men hardly spoke a word to eachother even fifty years later. But Larwood's modesty and fundamental good character overaches everything else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best cricket biographies I've read, 5 Nov. 2010
By 
Paul Jeater (essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harold Larwood (Paperback)
I knew something of Larwood before reading the book. Bodyline or Leg Theory bowling is part of our cricket heritage. However I learned so much more from this book, not only about cricket in Larwood's time period but also about Larwood the man. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book for me was the treatment of Jardine and particularly Larwood by the MCC after their Ashes success.
I've read Duncan Hamilton's other books on both cricket and football, and would have to recommend him strongly as a sports writer
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Touching, 21 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Harold Larwood (Paperback)
A truly compelling book on a working class man persecuted by the MCC just for doing what his captain ,Douglas Jardine told him to do in the test series .A truly explosive bowler, possibly none faster or ever will be.Its about a shy and very private man getting away from the coal pits to do something that many bowlers these days wouldnt even be capable of doing these days .A compelling read ,not just for the ardent cricket fan ,but for people who can respect those who overcome hardship and doing what he did best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Cricket Book, 13 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Harold Larwood (Paperback)
As a life long fan of Harold Larwood, to find a book which tells is whole story truthfully is truly like a breath of fresh air. one of the best fast bowlers to ever grace the cricket field is described in detail, at last Harold as been given back his place as a cricket great.

A superb read and a truly great sports story, which is so readable by both sports fans and other you don't have to be interested in cricket to enjoy this book, it holds its own as an interesting story to be read by all!!!
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Harold Larwood
Harold Larwood by Duncan Hamilton (Hardcover - 2 July 2009)
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