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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than cricket, 7 Sep 2010
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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Glenn McGrath is the most prolific fast bowler in the history of test cricket and from a shy, country boy to a leading member of the all-conquering Australian from the mid 1990s to mid 2000s, his cricketing story is a fascinating one. It's told with humour and humility and reflects McGrath's love of the game, his intelligent cricketing brain, his will to win and the comradeship he felt with his fellow players. However, it's much more than that. He speaks candidly about his wife's struggles against cancer and their determination to support each other and to use their public status to raise money to fund specialist nurses across Australia. Their commitment to each other, their children and fellow sufferers shines through and is a wonderful example of celebrity status being used for a greater good. Although the book was written prior to Jane's death, a postscript deals with this and speaks warmly of her life and Glenn's desire that their children remember her with love and happiness. This isn't really an autobiography; it's narrated by McGrath's co-writer, but this allows contributions from many cricketers, coaches, friends and supporters to be woven in smoothly. A highly recommended read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great sad story, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Line and Strength: The Complete Story by Glenn McGrath and Daniel Lane (Kindle Edition)
Nice book to read but with a sad story within,well worth a read,great bowler with a great story ,go get
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4.0 out of 5 stars This book has inspiration, courage and humility to share., 5 Nov 2013
By 
Laurence Dann "LD strategy" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Line and Strength: The Complete Story by Glenn McGrath and Daniel Lane (Kindle Edition)
There is no doubting Glenn McGrath's cricketing prowess and ability as
one of the best opening bowlers in the world. He is celebrated the world
over and most importantly, by his peers and his family.

Despite this memoir being a few years on from publication, it still holds
relevance as a story of a man with an ambition, living in a farming community
who later reached his dream of playing cricket for Australia. It was not about
the money or the fame, bowling was what he could and loved to do.

Anecdotes and insights into the man are many. My particular favourites were
those about his shyness at school, which led to him leaving early to avoid
any public speaking. This is ironic, considering the fact that I bought this
book because of his great radio commentary during the last Ashes series. Now
speaking to an audience of millions, is a huge leap from stage fright at school.

He loves reading, has been compared to Crocodile Dundee and lived in a caravan
for thirteen months to save money when he first moved to Sidney. I can't imagine
what it would have been like for him to play cricket on a food budget that forced
him to eat a Mars bar for dinner. I was touched at the thought that he gave his
mother a team autographed bat to contribute towards the cost of her flight to
Perth to watch his first State game.

The background to his meeting his wife Jane is endearing and human, especially
since initially she thought she wasn't the only women in his life. A brave women
to visit him without knowing anything of a professional cricketers lifestyle and
braver still when she took on a battle with cancer. The bond between the couple
is evident when they elected to stand together in sickness and in health prior
to their marriage. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for both of
them to endure the cycles of hope and anger at the challenges they endured,
especially when he was away working.

I was also interested in the comments about the Fast Bowlers Club, a band of
brothers who understood each others frustrations, especially with injury. The
warts and all stories of Glenn exploding with Sarwan, altercations with Lara
and his short pitched bowling to the Windies tale enders were surprising. Fair
play to him, he stood his ground when he felt he was wrong and showed remorse
when he behaved badly. The Kiwi balloons incident too being a case in point.

Not being an Australian, I have not been familiar with any media stories
that must have built a perception of the man. I only knew him as a quiet,
effective and formidable competitor on the TV screen. This book reads easily
and if I have one minor criticism, is the writing style of making a point in
the third person and then following it up with a substantial number of first
person quotations. For many, this may give the book substance and creditability.
At times, I found this rhythm repetitive. (hence four stars)

McGrath is no saint nor is he a sinner any worse than the rest of us, yet two
facts made me reflect positively on his legacy more than the incredible bowling
statistics. The first being the fact that his legacy from the McGrath Foundation
will surpass any of his on field exploits which says a lot for his concern for
many. The story where he shows concern for one, is depicted in his gift of his
precious baggy green to his fitness coach. Both the mark of a great contributor
to life I think.

Read this book, cricket fan or not. It has inspiration, courage and humility to
share over and above the basics of a simple bowling technique, to be one of the
best athletes in the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring story of one of the greatest sporstmen of all time., 29 July 2013
By 
Ryan_Updike (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Glenn McGrath is one of the gods of cricket. Most cricket lovers already knew that. But this book takes us on a journey in to the mindset of the greatest fast bowler of the past twenty years. What was really fascinating is the early years. The pages that describe the young Glenn, practicing the art of swing bowling, all by himself under the heat of the Australian sun is worthy of a Baz Luhrman movie.

The story of Glenn McGrath is brilliantly narrated by Daniel Lane. It becomes an inspiring portrait of a shy boy who was determined to make a mark on this world with an obsessive work ethic. Lane writes:

"Glenn McGrath, the boy who couldn't bowl. But the boy learned to bowl, improving his accuracy during his lonely training sessions, never bothering to tell anyone...that the reason he spent those hours finetuning his style was that he knew one day he'd play for Australia. It was as certain for him as the fact that the sunrise would bring the promise of even more back-breaking labour. His long hours were inspired by some words of wisdom the South African golfer Gary Player once offered a supporter who wished he could hit the ball like Player. 'Go hit a thousand balls a day and you will,' was the champion's reply."

There are many passages like these that concurrently evoke the golden age of Australian cricket. McGrath's rise and dominance as a genius of fast bowling mirror the lives of the other great Australian cricketers from 1990 to 2007. This book covers McGrath's relationships with the likes of the Waugh Brothers, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and the men who formed the "Fast Bowlers' Cartel"

If you love cricket, you don't have to be an Australian to find this book a real inspiration. Now that we are at a time when Australian cricket is going through a painful decline, this book is an interesting reminder of a man who rose to greatness during Australia's last horrible cricket depression back in the mid-1980s. 'Line And Strength,' just like many other great books about sports stars, transcends its genre and becomes a revitalising book of self-improvement. One can achieve great things with an incredible work ethic and positivity. Just read this story of Glenn McGrath.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Glenn McGrath Line and Strength, 7 July 2013
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Great book for though's who love sports biographies amazing from start to finish. Just when you thought you knew what made Pigeon tick he turns the world upside down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, 19 Feb 2013
By 
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This review is from: Line and Strength: The Complete Story by Glenn McGrath and Daniel Lane (Kindle Edition)
I always liked McGrath as a cricketer- hard nosed, aggressive, superb bowler- but hated the fact he was Australian because he was always taking English wickets! His media persona was always that of a spiky stereotypical Aussie but this book reveals his non cricketing side. I knew about his wife's illness but did not realise how long they both went through the ordeals cancer puts you through. A non typical sports biography because other, far more important, aspects of his life dominate the book. For him and his family I wish it had been more straight forward and less painful. I held McGrath in high esteem as a cricketer. This book makes you realise how great a man he is as well. A raw and honest account of facing adversity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bargin, 28 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Line and Strength: The Complete Story by Glenn McGrath and Daniel Lane (Kindle Edition)
Fantastic cricketer and a superb book. Didn't know what to expect but a superb book that I couldn't put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scourge of the Rest of the World's batsmen, 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Line and Strength: The Complete Story by Glenn McGrath and Daniel Lane (Kindle Edition)
To read this enabled me to see again Glenn McGrath bowl on an Oval pitch against a mesmerised England middle order
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heart warming, 10 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Line and Strength: The Complete Story by Glenn McGrath and Daniel Lane (Kindle Edition)
A truly brilliant man. Glen McGrath deserves every bit of respect he is granted. Within these brilliant pages you will find not only his amazing story of how he reached his dream through determination and hard work but also how he and his wife Jane fought fearsly against her cancer. Huge respect for both Glen McGrath and Jane McGrath and also his two children. A must read for any cricket lover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So much strength, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Line and Strength: The Complete Story by Glenn McGrath and Daniel Lane (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book from start to finish. Glenn and Jane McGrath = inspirational. It's an amazing account of what must have been truly difficult. It's also a great testament to the fact that if you aspire for something and you want it badly enough you will get it. It's the best piece of non-fiction I've ever read. I'll take so much away with me from reading this book
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