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4.6 out of 5 stars65
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 17 May 2007
I am not a cricketer - and anyone who has seen my batting stance will happily verify that fact - so imagine my trepidation when I received this book as a gift. I was dreading boring reminisences about life on the boundary but curiously it turns out to be a autobiography-cum-cricket book that I think has real appeal for the non-cricketers amongst us too. Much of the book is taken up with humorously evocative descriptions of childhood; really well done I thought. The later parts of the book describe the trials and tribulations of the author's curious cricket team 'The Harry Baldwins' but they are populated with enough characters and incident to provide plenty of laughs. You really don't need to have an intimate knowledge of your googlies to enjoy this book as it would appeal to bat wielders and the bat-phobic alike. Touching and rib-tickling in turn...
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on 6 August 2007
Having played a lot of local village cricket I could relate to this book in so many ways. Having turned up to matches with only 9 players and having to drag other chaps along who just happened to be in the local pub 1 hour before the game was due to start. I read this book in 2 days after finding it so hard to put down. Some of the stories were hilarious and it was a pleasure to read Michael's own account of his cricket team. I am sure he would be able to find enough to write another similar story and if he should ever read these pages. I urge him to put some more anecdotes and stories down on paper....A well deserved 5 stars out of 5!!!
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on 26 April 2007
For goodness sakes, just buy this book! I devoured it in one sitting and was taken on a roller coaster ride of hilarity and sheer humanity. Simkins has written a book for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are a tired old cricketer for whom extra cover now means you need a blanket as well as a duvet, the wife of same, or indeed just a human being who has experienced school, families and friendship (i.e. everyone) then this is for you. Cricket might be the vehicle in which this book travels but it is really about life and the many banana skins we all face along the way. Six stars if I could!
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on 12 July 2007
I bought this book as a holiday gift for my cricket-loving, non-reading husband. When it arrived I flicked through the pages, started reading a passing paragraph and was hooked. Michael Simkins writes with wit, style and ease. He evokes with humour and considerable accuracy the frustrations and angst of the corpulent child becoming the tireless team organiser and devoted cricket fan. It's a joy to read for all cricket enthusiasts and their long-suffering partners.
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on 11 May 2007
A week's holiday in Normandy this May would have been utterly ruined by the appalling weather, were it not for this 300-page gem by Mr. Simkins, which transported me to some sunsoaked boundary of my own rememberings, where I seemed to bask all week in happy contemplation of another brilliant innings by this writer. He knows all the shots, and plays them off the sweet spot every time. Deeply touching but never mawkish; stylish, witty and just rude enough to make you shift a little in your deckchair, he is Alan Bennett in grass-stained flannels. His book about cricket is about so much more than just cricket. I think it's probably about being British. If there's any justice, it'll be an all-time classic, as synonymous with summertime as the first glass of Pimms.
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on 11 May 2007
I read a small serialisation of this book in the Daily Mail. I found myself laughing out loud. So, I just had to order this book for myself from Amazon. I have been a "cricket widow", a scorer and treasurer for a small village side in East Sussex for over thirty years. My goodness, this book is spot on!

It is so funny, touching and totally absorbing. Even if cricket isn't your thing, I feel sure you would still thoroughly enjoy this book. But, if you have ever played the wonderful game of cricket, this is a must for you. You will not put it down, believe me.

I simply did not want this book to end, so do yourself a big favour and buy this book. You will love it. As a previous reviewer has said, it deserves far more than five stars..........
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on 9 May 2007
The first book Michael Simkins wrote was about the theatre; but really just about life. He's done it again only this time the vehicle that he's pegged his writing on is cricket. It's not really a sports book, (although a passing aquaintance with cricket would be handy), it's a sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always entertaining book about how he sees life. I really did read it from cover to cover in a couple of days because it is...unputdownable.
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Although this is a book about cricket I would use a football term to sum it up - a book of two halves.
The first part of the book, about the authors childhood as the son of a Brighton shopkeeper is wonderful and is one of the best pieces of writing about childhood that I have ever read. The descriptions of life in the sixties is very evocative of the times but above all it is very funny.
The second part of the book, about his weekend cricket team, Harry Baldwins is, whilst still entertaining, not quite of as good. Maybe this is because it goes over an area that as already been written about by Marcus Berkmann in Rain Men & Zimmer Men and Harry Thompson in Penguins stopped play. That is only a personal moan though as anybody that hasn't read these particular books will probably enjoy this section equally as much as the childhood chapters.
I don't know how good an actor Michael Simkins is as I don't recognise his face but I do know that he is an excellent writer and I will be reading his previous book very soon.
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on 25 April 2007
As a theatre-lover, I really loved "What's my Motivation", Simkins' first and very droll offering in print. I approached this with more than a little trepidation, as I absolutely loathe the game of cricket. To be honest, the technical jargon in the first few chapters had me re-reading paragraphs, as my brain had completely glazed over with indifference but, after persevering as only a woman can under these conditions, I began to enjoy it enormously, as it says far more about those who play the game, even when they are useless at it, than it does about the sport itself. The early part, when Michael finds himself drawn to the sport, as a somewhat solitary youth, was rather moving, and the portraits of his parents were lovingly drawn. Don't let the subject matter put you off - this is a fine way to spend your time!
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on 16 May 2007
The must read of 2007, with an amusing anecdote on every page. Simkins' style is as he wished his cricketing skills could have developed - of the highest order.
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