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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly enjoy these Bluffer's Guides. I had the good fortune to be sent a few for review by the publisher: they are pocket-sized and only around 100 pages long and I have found them all amusing, informative and very enjoyable. They are, in fact, a bluff in themselves because although they purport to be a guide for those who simply want to bluff their way, they use this as a cover for providing lots of very sound fact, written by people who really know and love their subject while being very witty about it and often scathing about the pretence which surrounds it.

This Guide to Cricket is an up-to-date (in 2013) view of the game, with some basics about what terms mean, the Laws (a successful bluffer must never refer to "the rules", of course), the history, some characters and the modern game in general. It offers some funny and penetrating insights into all sorts of things including, as a random sample, village cricket, the KP/Strauss "incident", Twenty20 and a very funny summary of the important characteristics of various national teams. As a life-long cricket follower, I found it very funny and in places genuinely informative about some of the dustier corners of the game (ideal for a bluffer, of course).

The book acknowledges that a true novice would need actually to attend a match or two and listen to a bit of TMS before they could bluff their way convincingly even after reading this book - but then the book is all a bluff anyway and, although a novice would learn a good deal, it is really aimed at cricket fans who want an amusing, informative read by a fellow lover of the game. They'll get it. I enjoyed it hugely and sometimes laughed out loud. Warmly recommended.

[You probably don't want to know this, but just to show how difficult real bluffing is, I spotted a mistake even this book. It claims on p.68 that AC MacLaren's 424 "is still the highest individual first-class score on an English cricket ground." In fact, as we all know, BC Lara scored 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994. Let this be a warning to aspiring bluffers. :o)]
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2001
I bought this book to genuinely bluff my way into my, now, fiances conversations as he talked of little else with his friends. I was surprised that reading about cricket was so enjoyable but the author made the subject very humorous. This is a great gift for cricket widows (as we're called) for an introduction to cricket but also for its players and lovers for its funny take on the game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly enjoy these Bluffer's Guides. I had the good fortune to be sent a few for review by the publisher: they are pocket-sized and only around 100 pages long and I have found them all amusing, informative and very enjoyable. They are, in fact, a bluff in themselves because although they purport to be a guide for those who simply want to bluff their way, they use this as a cover for providing lots of very sound fact, written by people who really know and love their subject while being very witty about it and often scathing about the pretence which surrounds it.

This Guide to Cricket is an up-to-date (in 2013) view of the game, with some basics about what terms mean, the Laws (a successful bluffer must never refer to "the rules", of course), the history, some characters and the modern game in general. It offers some funny and penetrating insights into all sorts of things including, as a random sample, village cricket, the KP/Strauss "incident", Twenty20 and a very funny summary of the important characteristics of various national teams. As a life-long cricket follower, I found it very funny and in places genuinely informative about some of the dustier corners of the game (ideal for a bluffer, of course).

The book acknowledges that a true novice would need actually to attend a match or two and listen to a bit of TMS before they could bluff their way convincingly even after reading this book - but then the book is all a bluff anyway and, although a novice would learn a good deal, it is really aimed at cricket fans who want an amusing, informative read by a fellow lover of the game. They'll get it. I enjoyed it hugely and sometimes laughed out loud. Warmly recommended.

[You probably don't want to know this, but just to show how difficult real bluffing is, I spotted a mistake even this book. It claims on p.68 that AC MacLaren's 424 "is still the highest individual first-class score on an English cricket ground." In fact, as we all know, BC Lara scored 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994. Let this be a warning to aspiring bluffers. :o)]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The classic bluffer's guide has been relaunched in an updated form. And you WILL be tested at the end (if you want).

It's a lighthearted survey of the rules and history of cricket, including a couple of diagrams that have finally sorted out for me the difference between an attacking and a defending field. And some of the fielding positions, and why they're called what they are (the difference between "longstop" and "very fine leg", for example, appears to be whether you're being polite to your wicket-keeper or not).

There's the traditional Bluffer's Guide chapter on how to bluff your way at actually playing cricket even if you really haven't a clue what you're doing. The excuses suggested are the sort you'd expect to hear at many an after-match session at the pub: perhaps the people you see playing village cricket are bluffers too.

The Bluffer's Guide series is a classic series of humorous guides, from the era of George Mikes and the like. The text has been updated, though, as has the cover (which looks pleasingly retro while still feeling stylish and modern). It's very British in its humour, and it manages to be educational without quite converting you to an "instant expert". If you have a passing interest in cricket and you want to understand a little more about what all those people in white sweaters are doing, you could do worse than read this book.

And there is a test. When you get to the end, you fond that there's a link to a short test on the Bluffer's website (and a QR code so you can get your smartphone to take you there quickly). It's not a difficult test, and it's not about the rules of cricket, but I was still pleased to get all but one question right.

The nice people at Bluffers sent me a copy of the eBook so I could write this review; I really enjoyed reading it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2010
concise, entertaining/humorous and as a cheap way to have some vaguely useful cricket knowledge to hand it was well worth the purchase.
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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2013
There are not, perhaps, all that many things about English culture that would be sorely missed if living abroad in permanent exile. Country pubs, Earl Grey tea, toll-free motorways, perhaps. But cricket, and cricket commentary, definitely. If you're the kind of person who prefers Test Match Special's convivial and humorous take on things to live, but bland, TV coverage of the sport, this is probably the book for you.

Things start auspiciously, with a quotation from GBS (and if you don't know who he is, you'll have to wait for the Bluffer's Guide to Literature). 'It has been said', he writes, 'that the English, not being by nature a religious people, invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.' And the carefree, witty, anecdote-filled prose carries on from there. Here's an example of what I mean: 'Jonathan (Aggers) Agnew played for Leicestershire and, all too briefly, for England ... Geoff Boycott played for Yorkshire and England, forever ... and ever.' And of New Zealand's qualities as a cricket nation: 'Opponents aren't dismissed, they succumb to boredom.'

There is only one fly in the ointment for this guide, and that concerns the fortunes of the English team. As it astutely observes, interest in cricket fluctuates according to perceptions of the national team's cricketing prowess. Rated number one in the world rankings as recently as 2011, England are beginning to show signs of weakness: humiliated by Pakistan's spinners, and even embarrassed by the Kiwis last winter. This summer's Ashes series will do much to decide the fortunes of our national game. Success against the Aussies may continue to send cricket on its upward trajectory, in which case ignorance of cricket, its rules, personnel and history, will once again become a social handicap. We can be more certain about one thing, however. The English summer, and the frequent rain interruptions it brings to the national game, will give you plenty of opportunity to read this literate, wise and uplifting little book!
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on 28 July 2015
Definitely not my preferred subject and as I knew nothing about the sport, although I whimsically in the past tried to par-take in discussions, my husband thought to buy me this as a 'gift'. It has become my Cricket Bible!
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on 3 November 2013
We all hear the cricketing words and now I know what they mean. Has given us an insight into the mysterious world of cricket. Pocket size to take to a game and know what they are talking about.
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on 11 October 2014
Not a book aimed at women, not even those who listen to TMS - in my case the non-cricketing commentary. But I can confirm that this book is an undemanding, entertaining read.
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on 28 September 2014
Humorous and straightforward introduction.
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