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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview
Having known very little about Bodyline (It was 65 years before I was born!) I decided to find out more. This book gives an excellent overview of Bodyline and Leg Theory, giving the differences between the two and the history. The book is well researched and contains a very balanced arguement, in that it shows the Austrailian, English and World cricket views. It also...
Published on 4 Nov 2004

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Body line.
Its OK. Not as good as the Laurence Le Quesne book, but I have not found that available digitally. THis book tended to get bogged down in minutia with numerous names thrown at you.
Published 11 months ago by Pip


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview, 4 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
Having known very little about Bodyline (It was 65 years before I was born!) I decided to find out more. This book gives an excellent overview of Bodyline and Leg Theory, giving the differences between the two and the history. The book is well researched and contains a very balanced arguement, in that it shows the Austrailian, English and World cricket views. It also defines the incident in the context if the politics of the time. This may make the book seem rather heavy, but the descriptions of the atcual cricket are well done and from other sources I have read, seems to be very accurate all round. A brilliant book for any cricket fan
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, entertaining, excellent, 11 Sep 2008
By 
R. Gardham (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
Sadly, most people's knowledge of the Bodyline tour will have been gleaned from Australian TV's hideously one-sided and inaccurate drama based around the events of 1932-33. Happily, David Frith, a wonderfully skilled cricket writer with a foot in both camps, has painstakingly brought the series to life in what is the finest cricket book I've ever read.

Frith's attention to detail combined with his love of the game, not to mention his ability in recreating a time when the Commonwealth (and, indeed, cricket) still really mattered, makes this book stand out from the pack.

Frith has met or interviewed virtually all of the key players in the Bodyline tour, and therefore his characterisation of cricketers - from the toadying Gubby Allen to the obstinate, loyal Harold Larwood - has an air of authority that few, if any, would have been able to recreate.

I'd strongly recommend this book not only to cricket fans whose love of the game goes beyond a passing interest for a few months in the summer of 2005, but to anyone with a love of social history, or indeed and interest in exploring the English psyche. The era when there were gentlemen and players may have passed, but the English attitude to sport - the misplaced air of superiority combined with being torn between wanting to take the moral high ground while having a burning desire to win at all costs - explored in this book is still highly relevant some 75 years after the event. Frith leaves no stone unturned in his quest to get to the truth of what happened on the Bodyline tour and writes in a refreshingly balanced manner. If the Aussies decide to make another TV version of the events of 1932-33, they could do a lot worse than appoint Frith as the script editor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 Aug 2013
By 
Mr M.R.Watkinson (Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
Five star reviews abound on Amazon, but this is the first time I've seen a product get a 100% record of 5* on a significant number of intelligent, enlightening & well-written reviews. No surprise that I'm adding my own to the total, then. Whether you know nothing more of the so-called bodyline tour than the hype, hyperbole, and propaganda, or whether you already know far more than that, this is a hugely enjoyable & interesting read.

It is written in what I think of as "Cricket style"; prosy, but not too florid, prone to tangents & anecdotes, but veer though it may from time to time, they are never irrelevant or dull. I know a fair amount about the history of cricket, but not only is this a thoroughly absorbing book, there were plenty of nuggets of information that were new to me (for example, the fact that pretty much all of the surviving players were pretty disgusted with the hugely inaccurate 1985 Australian "Bodyline" TV drama). The less you know, the more you'll get from this; knowing more will not lessen your enjoyment. It's a terrific re-telling of a crucial period of cricketing history, and well worth a place on your bookshelf.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive History of Bodyline, 15 Nov 2006
By 
Steven Ellis (Loughborough, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
I have seen newsreel footage of Harold Larwood bowling in this series. It brings a tingle to the spine - in particular the critical moment of the whole series, whereby a delivery unleashed from Larwood struck wicketkeeper-batsman Bert Oldfield on the head and fractured his skull in the Third Test at Adelaide.

It is difficult today to understand the impact that Bodyline had on cricket. Fast leg-theory had been practiced certainly since Victorian times, but never with bowlers of such pace, ferocity and consistency as Harold Larwood and Bill Voce, the Nottinghamshire duo, and never with a field set so aggressively - most fielders behind square leg, and no-one on the off side further forward than Point. Risk getting hit, fend off a delivery and risk getting caught. Hook, and risk getting caught.

To say that Bodyline endangered relations between England and Australia is not an understatement.

This is an excellent, well researched book. Unbiased, it paints the picture in great detail as to how the Bodyline saga unfolded. You witness the proceedings from a number of different points of view.

We see how Douglas Jardine, the England captain, knew that the key to the Ashes was to stop Don Bradman. How Jardine had a suspicion that Bradman was susceptible to short pitched bowling. How he executed his plan, and how Harold Larwood was key to this. We witness the execution of the plan, the growing unpopularity in Australia, and the flashpoint at Adelaide which nearly provoked a riot and very nearly caused the series to be cancelled.

We see the heroics. Stan McCabe's battling 189 against Bodyline. Eddie Paynter's heroic 83 having discharged himself from hospital to save England. Bill Woodfull taking blow after blow on the body rather than give up his wicket. Don Bradman's improvised batting technique to combat Bodyline.

We see the shocks. Bradman's first ball dismissal attempting to hook Bill Bowes, for example.

We witness the aftermath. Both political and sporting. How the rules were eventually changed to ban Bodyline. And an intriguing late chapter which moves forward in time and suggests that repeated short pitched bowling from the like of Lillie and Thomson (1970s), Marshall and Garner (1980s) et al is not that dissimilar from Bodyline. How very fast bowlers terririse batsman to this day.

But most of all, one gets a real history of how things used to be. How the pace of life appeared to be much slower. For me, there is the overriding feeling that this was possibly the beginning of "gamesmanship" as we know it today. Douglas Jardine sacrificed sportsmanship, and Harold Larwood too in pursuit of the Ashes. Larwood was simply doing his job. He had no other choice. He was a Professional - a workhorse who had to do as he was told. An ex-miner from Nuncargate, he was bowled to destruction by Jardine. A Captain of England in those days could only be an Amateur - a gentleman, even. We therefore see the human side to this saga too. How Larwood was subsequently ostracised by the authorities for his part in Bodyline and how he emigrated to Australia to start a new life.

This is an excellent book, which I consider to be the definitive history on the subject. It is very readable and it is certainly a book I turn to time and time again on my bookshelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent account: impeccably researched and beautifully written, 27 Mar 2012
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
This book on the 1932-33 Ashes series, notorious because of England's use of 'bodyline' bowling, demonstrates cricket historian David Frith's excellence as researcher and writer. He provides vivid descriptions of the cricket on the tour, resulting from copious research, and provides thorough and fascinating detail of the controversy. His analysis of the roles of the protagonists, including England's captain Douglas Jardine, the main proponents, Larwood and Voce, and Australian captain Bill Woodfull and star batsman Donald Bradman, is thoughtful and compelling. He details the extent of the high-level negotiations that took place during and after the series, between the MCC, its Australian counterpart, and senior politicians from both countries. Frith shows the complex and often contradictory reactions provoked by Bodyline, and reveals the anxieties and sympathies that existed on both sides. Particular attention is given to Jardine and his relationships with tour manager Plum Warner and the MCC hierarchy. Frith presents a detailed picture of this complex character who symbolised the series like no other. The extensive research is coupled with an easily flowing style of writing and a fine understanding of the game. This book is surely essential reading for anyone interested in the history of cricket.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best unbiased account of Bodyline., 16 Mar 2011
By 
James Wales "daydreambeliever" (yorkshire uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
I have long been fasinated by ashes history, but beyond any doubt the 1932-33 series is the one that stands head and shoulders above any other. This book tries and I think suceeds in giving the fullest and most unbiased account of Bodyline.If you have never read a book on this subject then start with this book. Other books give different views but this gives the best complete history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book--one of the best ive read on cricket, 23 Aug 2009
This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
this is an amazing book. david frith has done a remarkable job in creating a fantastic atmosphere as regards the bodyline series of 1932/1933. its almost like you are actually there.
i would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of test cricket. 10/10
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well researched, 6 May 2010
By 
A. Taylor (Harrogate, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
A comprehensively well-researched and written book. Frith is scrupulous in his analysis and reportage from pre-Bodyline, up until the present day (well until Bradman's death). I personally didn't realise the scope of it's reverberations and I felt educated by the script. One forgets the historical and political context that it all transpired within. It is particularly interesting to see the ping pong diplomacy between the MCC and the Australian equivalent. I was quite moved by it all, especially the ending. It is quite enduring when reviewing the legacies of Larwood and Jardine; and althought they have books dedicated to their own careers, his concise words do justice and culminate in a fantastic read. I have given it five because I enjoyed it immensely and don't think it could be bettered, unless something scandalous emerged. A long but worthy read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bodyline The Truth, 1 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. J. Jordan "j.man" (england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
In 1877 the First ashes match was recognised, as an event in cricket sporting history and the matches continued over the years every 18 months. In 1932-33 the latest five match series took place, Douglas Jardine england captain. Bill Woodfull australian captain, Mr jardine employed bowling (bodyline) tactics. That were considered controversial to say the least, aimed at stopping australian batsman Donald George Bradman. Who had taken england and the counties teams apart, scoring 2960 runs at an average of 98.66.

The decision was taken to use this method of bowling using englands fastest bowlers. Harold Larwood and Bill Voces both of nottinghamshire, bowling at the head and body with seven fielders on the legside close in. And two on the offside.

The third test saw bodyline used to devastating effect, the australian captain Bill woodfull was hit in the chest a few times with larwood. Delivering the blows, had the ventricle filled with blood at the wrong moment would have been killed him.

It also saw Bert Oldfield the Australian wicketkeeper struck on the head, fracturing his skull. But the delivery struck his bat before hitting him on the head, this was not a bodyline field. He was taken unconscious from the field of play, but thankfully returned for the final test which. England won the third test and with it the ashes but not without being called unsporting. Which nearly ended the series there and then but commonsense prevailed, the 1934-35 series went ahead the aussies winning.

Eventually the series was fogotten and everything went back to normal in cricketing terms, then in 1976 the australians commemorating the series. Giving their version of what happend so long ago threatened to undermine the good relationship with a farcical television programme. In 2002 this book by David Frith, came out bodyline autopsy telling what really happened. And putting to bed once and for all the controversy, in this readers opinion any way. If you like sport and controversy then this is the book you should read very recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. Timothy Green (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - England Vs. Australia 1932-3 (Paperback)
Great book, well written
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