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on 1 February 2010
Beware of The Dog is an extraordinarily candid sports autobiography. The passages about Moore's now well-documented childhood abuse which begin the book are incredibly powerful and cast a fascinating and tragic light over the rest of his remarkable story. Over the first couple of chapters, the reader gets to know the man in an entirely unexpected and disarming way which means the descriptions of his state of mind during the highs and lows of his subsequent rugby career are utterly compelling. They are also fascinating insights for fans of the sport. Moore is a brilliant writer, precise and clever, and he tells some great rugby stories as well as baring his soul to the world. The result is a quite wonderful read, a sports book of rare depth and quality which I cannot recommend highly enough.
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on 22 April 2010
Clearly this is not the typical sporting biography,nor is he seeking to 'use' the abuse issue to sell the book.
It is a tremendous book.
I guess ,for Brian Moore , it was cathartic.
The last couple of chapters referring to his Daily Telegraph article on Daniel James, and meeting his birth mother, were heart wrenching.
It reads as though he wrote it himself,his earlier biography having been penned by Stephen Jones.
The book does him enormous credit.
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on 3 February 2010
This is the best sporting autobiography I've ever read. Moore's career spanned the end of the amateur era and the establishment of the professional and he was deeply involved in that development. The book first covers his early life and reveals some intensely personal moments. Then it follows his development into one of the best forwards I've ever seen, but throughout deals with his deep personal doubts, uniquely expressed.
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I thought this a very good book - far better than the usual blandly ghosted sporting autobiographies. It won the 2010 Sports Book Of The Year Award, and deservedly so, in my view.

Two things make it stand out: the first is the writing itself. Moore has a slightly odd prose style which is influenced by his the legal training, and this gives it a quirky, almost clumsy feel at times. I really liked this because it is so obviously Moore himself talking to you, and really brings his sincere, sometimes painfully honest account to life.

More important is the account itself. There is, pretty obviously, a good deal about rugby which I enjoyed very much and found very interesting. However, it is Moore's relatively brief accounts of the psychological effects of his being adopted and of the sexual abuse he suffered as a child which are the really powerful parts of the book. I think he deals with them brilliantly, trying to be as honest and insightful as possible about how these things have affected him, but doesn't dwell needlessly and there is no hint of that loathsome celebrity "My Agony" stuff. It is straightforward, un-self-pitying, courageous and insightful.

This book is well worth reading even if you only have a passing interest in rugby. It is far more than just the account of a distinguished sporting career and I recommend it warmly.
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on 16 January 2012
Brian Moore was an agressive, abrasive, committed and talented rugby player. My own transition into 'open age' rugby mirrors much of the playing career of Moore and the teams he played defined my aspirations as a rugby player. So i read this with more than just and enthusiasts eye and as somone caught up in alot of the ame isues (at a lower playing level) The late 80's and early 90's completely redefined rugby, world cups, professionlism and just the general up scale in popularity of the game. Moore was part of an England team that dominated European rugby and reached the final and semi-finals of two world cups and also a successful Lions team. His place in English rugby legend is assured.

This book is the not the usual painting by numbers flim flam of most sporting biographies, it is pnchy and aggressive with Moore giving intelligent and forthright-opinions on big games, sport and life. Yes the reveleations of his inner turmoil and child abuse are brave and help to paint a rich picture of the sporting-man, but it is the revelations of self-doubt, inner turmoil and his skill at capturing the pressures of international sport that really raise this book higher than others.

Moore captures the pack mentality of rugby forwards perectlly, so to the grudging and often open respect for others players as well as the disdain and irritation that oponents and players can instil in you. Moore writes like a normal rugby player - he isn't concerned with appeasing or cajloing people. He openly admits dislike or disinterest and the book is all the more visceral for it. Some reviewers of the book and critics of his commentary call him biased - this simply untrue and a warped sense of reality. Moore doesn't give praise easily but he shows due respect and admiration when he deems it necessary and he is Engand harshest critic when they play 'dull' rugby. He talks alot of sense about rugby and while his style is not to all tastes he should never be called biased, yes he thinks he's the best player in his post

This book never offers excuses for losses or failures, rather he deals with events in a candid and generally even handed - for exampl the Scots deserved their 1990 grand slam win, no attempt to belittle their achievement, he is candid about the brilliance of players like Farr-Jones, Lynagh and others. For sure he focuses on the players in the England squad he played with...why wouldn't he, he knew them best.

The book dosn't get five stars because on occasion the book and chapters can be a little repetitive and in truth we learn little about the personal relationships in his life which is a shame. Any intelligent rugby fan will find this an illuminating and very entertaining read. I would highly recommend it.
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on 6 April 2011
It's a brave book and you would have to be heartless not to admire Brian Moore's candour. Love him or hate him; he's a character and the personal insights into his early life are remarkable. It is not your average sportsman's autobiography; he is excellent in describing all the pressures of an international rugby player. Articulate, well written but....and here is my only quibble. His personal relationships are only briefly mentioned. His marriages are mentioned en passant. I got a good sense of Brian Moore, the man alone but very little of the social Brian Moore. That having been said; excellent read and well worth the time spent in his company.
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VINE VOICEon 30 January 2011
A no-holds barred account of the never less than interesting life of an opinionated, vulnerable yet refreshingly intelligent sportsman. The examination of the painful private experience behind the outspoken public persona takes the book beyond its immediate sporting audience.

For all his strongly held opinions, Moore cannot be described as a literary stylist. His legal background is apparent in his writing and the robust argument, combined with the extraordinary candour, can often make for a gruelling read.

However, his frank admission of ongoing vulnerability in the face of sporting machismo is admirable.
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on 10 March 2015
I read this due to the fact that I was a huge admirer of the man as a rugby player ( how the country could do with a sportsman of his calibre these days...) and enjoy his knowledgeable commentary whenever England take to the field. I was quite dumbfounded at some of the facts of his life as I was completely unaware of events when he was very young and the first chapter is particularly both disturbing and brave at the same time. However, the rest of the book , whilst written eloquently , can come across as rather cold and distant and I cannot decide whether it's a result his childhood experiences or the rather formal prose style Brian adopts for the book; you can tell he is former barrister!
I would have liked to have known more about the man himself, but perhaps this was too much to expect from such a book. Having said that, I really enjoyed this book about a proud Englishman that is both well written and hugely informative about the game of Rugby. Loved it! I've given five stars for the man AND the book....
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on 5 March 2010
Great book and gives you a very good insight of the man in the scrum, pit bull as usual pulls no punches.
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on 22 March 2012
I enjoyed this autobigraphy by one of the games more controversial figures,namely Brian Moore.It was written with candour and honesty with no holds barred.It was pleasant to read a sporting biography that gave a true insight into a sportsman personna.Brian writes about the trauma and repercussons of abuse and adoption, and anyone who has experienced either will understand the problems and difficulties that he faced. The chapter on scrums was very interesting from a retired and aging rugby player,I never thought that there was so much theory to the position of hooker.Brian Moore does not pull any punches on his own shortcomings,and it was refreshing to read such candour.
Brian Moore is a self opinated ex rugby player, but he does admit to this.He covers the change from amateur to professional status in Rugby Union well,and explains the differences that occured from 1995 onwards,and he puts into perspective my feelings about Rugby Union in the 21st century that it is not as exciting or open as it once was. It is interesting that he states that players would not get up to the japes that his generation of rugby players did, but one only needs to look at the activities of rugby players in the last World Cup to know that unfortunately is not the truth.
Good and interesting read even for the non rugby reader.
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