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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brutally Honest
It is somewhat amusing that when the history of the green baize is written, the greatest snooker tornament of them all will most most certainly be remembered for the man who never won it ... the peoples champion ... Jimmy White. In the final chapter of this book White delivers a surprisingly philosophical verdict on why he has never captured the World Snooker Crown having...
Published on 12 April 2001 by Gary J Lashmar

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Restless Soul
Having had a modest interest in the career ups and downs of the truly exceptional talent that is/was Jimmy White, I had been really looking forward to reading this book. So when I spotted it in the local library I felt compelled to read it. And having done so, I can't help feeling disappointed, not so much with the book but with White himself.
White always...
Published on 14 Feb 2006 by gusandade


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brutally Honest, 12 April 2001
It is somewhat amusing that when the history of the green baize is written, the greatest snooker tornament of them all will most most certainly be remembered for the man who never won it ... the peoples champion ... Jimmy White. In the final chapter of this book White delivers a surprisingly philosophical verdict on why he has never captured the World Snooker Crown having particpated in 6 finals at the Legendary Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, and bad luck has nothing to do with it. The book is filled with dozens of colourful characters straight out of a Guy Richie movie and Jimmys adventures with Alex Higgins, Tony Meo, Steve Davis, and lesser known Dodgy Bob and best friend Pee-Wee make for hillarious reading. What is refreshing about this book is that White is not out to win any new fans, indeed with his depiction of his and wife Maureen's terrible, sometimes violent arguments, and his squandering of literally thousands of pounds of their money, Jimmy takes us to the edge, dissolving a lot of the fun loving lovable rogue type persona that made him such an household name. Brutally Honest. Yet these type of characters seemingly always hold a place in our hearts no matter what they do. This is a good biography surprisingly void of snooker.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fitting tale of a legend, 28 Nov 2006
As I write this, I have been a follower of snooker for the past fifteen years. The reason for this is quite simply I fell in awe of Jimmy White's game and his unfaillingly humble attitude. So I obviously looked forward to reading his story. And I was not disappointed, this is a brilliant account of Jimmy's raucous life. There are some lovely anecdotes about his drunken exploits, there are also some rather sinister tales that take place in dodgy snooker halls.

As noted by other reviewers, Jimmy doesn't fill the book with snooker stories this book's tales focus more on Jimmy's behaviour away from the baize. We are told of Jimmy's truanting as a child as well as misadventures such as two week "escapes" to Ireland. However Jimmy, at times, does not paint a good picture of himself. At times his treatment of his wife Maureen seems irresponsible to say the least, although as his life progressed this behaviour did abate a little.

So, all things considered, this is a very enjoyable read and a must for Jimmy White's legions of fans. And I would also recommend this even to non-snooker fans. Excellent!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Restless Soul, 14 Feb 2006
Having had a modest interest in the career ups and downs of the truly exceptional talent that is/was Jimmy White, I had been really looking forward to reading this book. So when I spotted it in the local library I felt compelled to read it. And having done so, I can't help feeling disappointed, not so much with the book but with White himself.
White always gave the impression of being a maverick and his very candid and open account of his life does nothing to counteract this. With stories about going AWOL from school, to hustling money on the underground circuit and no-end of shenanigans with friends and other snooker stars - notably Alex Higgins, White has certainly led a full life. And perhaps this is the issue, for I felt that the cheeky Cockney took the partying a step too far.
Some of his recollections are doubtless amusing, but to continually read that he has gone on alcohol-fuelled benders for days and weeks at a time leaving his long-suffering partner home alone with the kids, strikes me as nothing short of irresponsible. A handful of times you could forgive, but this seems to have been a constant theme throughout his life and his selfishness can surely not have benefitted his young kids.
I can confidently still say that I admire him tremendously for his ability on a snooker table, but unfortunately I can not say the same of him as a father or as a person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb collection of anecdotes from the people's champion., 29 April 1999
By A Customer
This book is so unlike any other sporting biography. Just reading the book sends you on a roller coaster of a ride from Zan's snooker club, Tooting to the Crucible, Sheffield. Along the way there's plenty to shock, from gambling to wife beating, it's all there - the stories behind the headlines. There's plenty of laughs to. You simply cannot miss the story of Lazarus O'Higgins when he flew through the windscreen of Jimmy's car as it crashed into a wall!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing Read, 4 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Overall I found this a dissapointing read. The book should have been entitled 'Jimmy The Lad' as the contents focus repeatedly on Jimmy's ongoing drinking binges and dissapearing escapades throughout his illustrious career. The book from the outset descends to a series of haphazardly written anecdotes detailing Jimmy's adventures throughout the eighties and nineties, but despite this the reader is never quite aware at what point in time his anecdotes are occurring . I bought with the expectation of reading about the some of Jimmy's great clashes down through the years with the likes of Higgins and Hendry. Little reference is made to such and I found myself constantly frustrated at having to digest another drinking binge story.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Emotional!, 14 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Hello, One year ago , in January 1999 , I spent a year in England and discovered snooker. One day I went to a library called Waterstone's and found a book called "Behind the White Ball" written by a certain Jimmy White who became one of my ten favourite players. So when I began to read his book , I was so impressed by his fantastic and emotional own autobiography that I couldn't stop reading it. He had the courage to write his own life from his childhood spent in snooker halls to his unfortunate world championship finals but also to tell his life problems and his good and bad adventure with his friends using his own word.You may not believe me but some extract made me cry so it was sad and emotional. So Congratulations Jimmy ! (My dream is to see you World Champion for the first time.Finally keep playing an absolutely fantastic snooker. Love , Laurence.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll get drunk just reading it..., 27 Nov 2003
For the armchair sporting public, Jimmy White remains an icon of the days when snooker was fun, when players knocked back the vodkas instead of poncy mineral water, and when they hit the front pages as often as the back ones. White contributed (much) more than his fair share of the debauchery and tells us about some of it in this book.
Behind the White Ball mirrors Jimmy’s life in form as well as content. It tells like a good round of stories in the pub. The chapters veer unsteadily from drinking binges in London, the ensuing hangover (in Dublin), taking in Canada, Tasmania, Hong Kong, India and anywhere else where the balls are set up and the bar is open. Jimmy was there, getting up to God knows what. The book has a habit of avoiding dates and times. They don’t matter. Jimmy probably doesn’t remember anyway. Whatever happened was just one more comedy of errors in his life. Who cares what year it was?
He tells his tale exactly as you’d expect, free of both arrogance and false modesty, a thoroughly likeable character whose treatment of his wife is the only black mark. Unlike Alex Higgins and other Professional Lads, he never seems like someone you’d cross the street to avoid. Even when, perhaps inevitably given his lifestyle, Jimmy hits the rocks with personal difficulties and serious illness, everything is told with humour (he’s still Jimmy after all) but a contrasting poignancy as well, particularly when recounting his late brother’s unconventional send-off.
The misses? Well, a blurb on the back regards the book as ‘refreshingly free of snooker’. It’s true that BTWB sensibly avoids the endless rehashing of old matches, Player A won a frame, Player B scored a 75 to draw level etc. But perhaps Jimmy could have reminisced a little more about his great matches. How did he really feel about the missed black in 1994? What did he do afterwards, who did he speak to? We learn very little of the pin-drop moments when the green baize enthralled the nation, and of which he was such a big part. His matches with Higgins, Hendry, and Thorburn. He remarks early on of how enchanting he found the ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of a snooker hall. Could he not have elaborated as he progressed from dingy clubs to Wembley and the Crucible?
But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t thoroughly enjoy BTWB. You can read it in a couple of hours but you’ll come back to it (or certain chapters) far more often. And Jimmy WILL win the world title. Just you wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing read, 26 Oct 1999
I thought that from reading this book, I would obtain an insight into Jimmy White's snookering success. However all it seemed to be was an ego boost for the author. Writing about how many friends he's got, and how many drinks he can take without being sick! Very disappointing read. The only autobiography that I have read where there seems to be no insight into the author's personal feelings, apart from the fact that he is out for a laugh. Not to mention the poor writing style......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! A Damn Good Read!, 3 Jun 2000
By A Customer
From start to finish this book is hilarious. A good insight into Jimmy's life with stories you won't believe. Don't miss his 'drink-driving' escapade and his brush with the law. Don't read this book if all you want to know about is potting balls this autobiography will take you much further as his life isn't just about snooker. By the end of the book you'll feel like this talented snooker player is one of your best friends. Highly recommended. Hope there's a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another modern day snooker hero tells of the ups and downs, 4 Dec 1999
Jimmy tells it as he sees it, which, for a man with his background, is the only way it should be told. Seemingly written as if Jimmy told it to you, it captures the moods and times of the modern day alex higgins completely - it makes you want to know the man.
Very interesting
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