on 1 April 2016
I picked this book as I am a great fan of Miles Jupp with his sense of humour, love the In and out of the kitchen series. so I was delighted to find this book and settled back to try reading it as if Miles was delivering it to me.
Unfortunately I found the funny lines were just too sparse for me. I am not a cricket fan, ( I know its all about cricket) but have read another book with a cricket theme "Riding to the Ashes" which I enjoyed.
If you love cricket you may well enjoy recalling the play of the 2006 India tour, but for me just too many pages to skim through.
on 6 March 2014
Well, I wasn't sure whether this book was going to be my thing or not but I was hooked after the first couple of pages. I laughed out loud and chortled my way through my tram-bound commute to a coroners inquest - perhaps inappropriately, in retrospect.
Great stuff and I thoroughly recommend it to cricket fans and cricket casual acquaintances alike!
on 28 July 2015
A relaxing read and Miles comes across well; happy to recount quite a few moments when things are difficult and frustrating, which sums up quite big swathes of the whole trip in fact! As much a personal journey of someone trying to work out what to do with their life, as anything else. Always interesting to get some impression as to what famous ex-cricketers, now commentators, are like behind the scenes. The more generalised insight into how the press corps operates was also good. I happen to be studying Divinity at Edinburgh too, as a matter of fact; so if you read this, Miles, greetings from New College.
A confession: I have never watched 'Balamory', so I knew very little about Miles until he started making TV appearances on panel shows and such things. I found that he came across as bright, articulate and likeable, so I thought I'd give this book a try.
I did fear that it would be yet another book of forced, matey Cricket humour, but it isn't that. In fact, what you find yourself reading is an enjoyably humorous look behind the scenes that gives the reader an idea of what it is like to follow the England cricket team as a job, rather than as a fan.
Miles battles with sweltering heat, fear of being unmasked as a fraud, elusive accreditation and his bowels. But while many of the people he finds himself meeting, from ex-players to experienced journalists, turn out to be friendly and helpful, he finds himself questioning whether being paid to watch Cricket is actually all it is cracked up to be.
This book recounts Miles Jupp's attempts to blag his way as a cricket journalist on England's tour of India in 2006. Despite no experience, Jupp decides this is simply what he has to do; he loves cricket and feels envious of the occupants of the press box, so decides to attempt to join them. By deceit and trickery, he persuades BBC Scotland and the Western Mail (South Wales) to cover the tour for them, but this doesn't result in a smooth passage. He has endless trouble getting hold of a press pass, and, once in India, neither potential employer seems keen to engage him in any real journalistic work. He does end up writing a blog for the Western Mail, though. Jupp's tale is one of hapless and often hilarious woe; he quickly shows himself up in the press box by acting like a fan rather than a journalist, and there are several other moments that made me cringe on his behalf. However, as the tour goes on, a rather nasty stomach complaint gives him time to reflect on the situation he finds himself in; journalism seems harder than he thought, and the change in attitude from supporter to someone watching the cricket as part of their job is far bigger than he'd imagined. After feeling thoroughly fed up, he does, however, rekindle his passion for cricket, but once again as a supporter, rather than a journalist. Throughout, the story is told with self-deprecating good humour, and it's an easy, enjoyable read.
on 20 March 2013
This is a book by someone who sets out to become a cricket journalist but fails, following an England test tour of India that ends as a draw. So as a piece of work it has some inbuilt miss-fires and false steps, a bit like a fast bowler steaming in to the wicket only to pull up just before the delivery stride. This may explain why it took so long to become a book, given that the action in question took place in 2005/2006 in the national cricketing euphoria immediately after England's historic Ashes victory. But, as the publishers would no doubt argue, a good travel book is about the journey rather than the destination. However, this isn't a travel book, despite Miles Jupp's attempts to throw in the usual litany of Indian travel woes (taxi traumas, toilet traumas, train traumas, tiger traumas etc, etc). Instead, this is really about someone trying to "find their place", as Jupp lurches from his embryonic entertainment career towards something that he hopes will be more challenging and rewarding. The "place" he is looking for isn't just about finding his true calling or getting a seat with his name on it in the press box - it's about being accepted by the battle-hardened journalists he tries to rub along with, and ultimately the discovery he makes is that he doesn't want to be with the joyless men of the press at all really. He wants to be out in the stands with the fans, where he can clap and cheer and be himself. The last seven years have shown that Miles' true niche was in entertainment afterall, and not in writing books, and this work seems to emphasise that. This is fine, but "In And Out Of The kitchen" on Radio 4 is miles better.
This is a very enjoyable book made all the better by being read by the author himself in his customary affable style. Some passages are laugh out loud whilst others are terribly poignant, the author being ignored by the other journalists in the hotel bar being a particular example. By the way, cricketing journalists as a whole don't come out of this book terribly well although Jupp makes the very valid point that their job isn't the cakewalk that we and indeed he thought it was. Whilst the book will be of interest to any sports fan, or anyone interested in India, some of the cricket reportage, facts and figures will only mean something to an aficionado so this book might not appeal to all but is recommended nevertheless.
on 10 July 2013
Miles Jupp is rapidly becoming a stand up sta,r but at one time he was known only to people under the age of five as 'Archie The Inventor' on CBBC's Balamory.
Having tired of the rock and roll lifestyle that children's TV offered he decides to follow his passion and become a cricket journalist.
To his credit he gets considerably further than most of us would, managing to blag his way into the inner sanctum of the press box for England's Test Tour of India.
He does this with a mix of charm, wit and the occasional bare faced lie. To the envy of every cricket fan he also gets to socialise with such cricket heroes as David Gower, Aggers and even Botham himself. Eventually the effort of his fibbing catches up with him as he wilts in the Indian heat but you have to give him credit as he tackles Indian bureaucrats, armed guards and..er..diarrhoea, coming out if not exactly smiling, certainly with a tale to tell.
If you are a cricket fan then this book has more than enough to keep you reading. Where else would you find out what Geoffrey Boycot wears under his nightshirt? Where else would you find out that Ian Botham introduces himself as Beef? (Is it me, or is that a bit odd?)
Even if you aren't particularly passionate about cricket this is still an entertaining book, part travelogue, part comedy, at times descending into farce, Mles Jupp has a comic touch and, I have to say, balls of steel. Excellent.
on 30 August 2012
I heard the back end of an interview with Miles Jupp on TMS a bit ago and thought he sounded a lot like Archie from Balamory,having watched it with my granddaughter on several occasions.Whether it was this that made him stick in my mind or the few details that I gleaned about the book from the bit about it that I heard,I don't know, but when I saw the book,I bought it and I'm glad that I did for several reasons.
Firstly,it is funny,often very funny but it doesn't give the impression of trying to be funny all the time.Jupp gives the impression of having genuine intelligence and wit that infuses his writing.He sometimes strays into rather strained comic metaphor but generally steers clear of the artificially produced laugh and relies on the obvious comic potential of his situation and the people around him to produce humour.His references to Boycott are a case in point:you don't have to exaggerate Geoffrey to make him comic,all you have to do is say what he does.
Secondly,the book is honest.Jupp is unsparing when relating the desperate sadness and feelings of inadequacy that his situation creates.He tells us about his social blunders,his panics and the sheer misery that trying to fit in with the "real" journalists causes him.His joy at being asked for a pen by Atherton only to be crushed by the great man's understandable indifference to him will strike a chord with many.The emotional highs and lows here put into context the troubles experienced by cricketers on tour.Jupp's ability to describe his feelings is impressive,as is his ability to convey the joy destroying nature of cricket journalism.
Another aspect of the book which I admired was its presentation of the journalists and commentators themselves.Jupp is clever in his ability to choose brief encounters with people like Agnew and Marks which reveal elements of their character quite clearly.No one named comes out of the book badly,with the arguable exception of Boycott who probably wouldn't think he does even if he could be bothered to read it and it's pleasing to hear that cricketing greats have the humanity to include a gauche newcomer in their revelry.Simon Mann comes out of the book especially well which confirmed my growing opinion of him as a decent bloke on the radio.Where Jupp makes criticism,anonymity is preserved althugh I'm sure those better versed in cricket writing will have their suspicions.
Jupp is also good at India.He presents the heat,the passion of the crowds and the petty officialdom very convincingly.He also writes well about cricket and cricketers,which,I suppose should be a given in a book such as this.It's obvious that he loves the game and admires the people who play or have played it.He even acknowledges Boycott's popularity in India.
I enjoyed the book a lot and was sorry to finish it.
on 5 November 2013
my husband loved the book it made him laugh and having been to India to watch cricket he could so identify with what Miles was saying very well written seeing the funnier side of cricket more please Miles.