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This review is from: The Trundlers (Paperback)
Harry Pearson has written entertainingly about cricket, and will do so again, I hope, but this is a disappointment. Pearson's chosen brief is to deal with "bowlers who delivered the ball at between 55 and 75mph". These he describes variously as "trundlers", "dobbers", "wibbly-wobbly men" and so on. There could be an interesting study done here, perhaps focussing on the development of techniques over time. This isn't it. Rather, what Pearson offers is a series of miniature pen-portraits of a collection of seamers throughout history. But sadly, there's nothing new here, no original research, and no new insight. Any book that suggests that Alan Davidson (a strike bowler who was significantly quicker than 75mph) belongs under the heading of "trundler" has problems. Mentioning the leg-spinner Douglas Wright as a "trundler" because of the speed at which he bowled is just weird. And there are too many factual errors - for example, JJ Ferris was an orthodox left-arm spinner, not a "left-arm seam bowler" or a "left arm wobblyman". It's wrong that Jack Massie "never played cricket again" after being wounded at Gallipoli - indeed, he afterwards opened the bowling at Lord's. It was a later injury to his foot on the Western Front that ended his career in first-class (but not club) cricket. Gary Gilmour isn't "short". I faced Mike Whitney early in his career, and I can promise you that (like Davidson) he was distinctly quicker than 75mph. There is a bizarre digression, a chapter on underam bowlers, some of which seems to be cribbed word-for-word from Gerald Brodribb's book on the subject (which is, in fairness acknowledged - but what is this material doing in this book?). And, towards the end, the book just degenerates into lists and strange digressions (who really cares what Pearson's father thought of Max Walker's intelligence or that Pearson finds Elquemedo Willett's name amusing?). It's whimsical, if whimsy if your thing, but if you have read at least two cricket books before this one, you'll learn nothing here.
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Initial post: 31 Jul 2013 16:38:01 BDT
T. Benson says:
It is hard to write a fair, informative, one-star review. You have succeeded and I salute you.
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