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Bellies and Bullseyes: The Outrageous True Story of Darts Hardcover – 1 Aug 2007
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Sid Waddell's commentaries are the black puddings of sports reporting - savoury, hot and bursting with blood and guts. -- Nancy Banks-Smith, Guardian
The hilarious and exhilarating true story of darts by the sport's true legend --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
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Entertaining anecdotes are sprinkled between seemingly neverending drinking sessions. Sid makes little effort to hide his view on the split in darts and, while I broadly agree with him, a little balance wouldn't have gone amiss.
I have to admit to skimming the final 30 pages or so as I was starting to find Sids trumpet blowing and self congratulation rather tiresome. Rather like the man's commentary, a little goes a long way and its better taken in small doses in my opinion.
An enjoyable read but could have been so much more.
This book is fascinating. On the one hand it is compelling and you can't put it down, and at other times, you are wondering whether it is worth finishing because it seems a waste of good time! This is down to Sid's style but also down to the content -on the one hand as gripping as his commentary and on the other, the book occasionally slips into a rather dull narrative. However, he's good for a bar room yarn!
Other reviewers have commented on the clash between the history of darts and Sid's achievements, but to his credit he has interwoven the two nicely so they are actually quite seamless. Can I recommend this book? As a history of darts, it is very interesting but beware, it is a very odd read!
Added 12/08/12 - RIP Sid. A good man sorely missed.
Sid Waddell was a naturally funny man, gifted with a wonderful turn of phrase coupled with his irrepressible Geordie personality and accent to match. When I've heard his commentaries he's reduced me to fits of giggles on a regular basis, and I hoped that this book would have the same effect on me.
It's a bit of a disappointment all in all. Yes there are funny bits, but it falls between two stools, seemingly unsure as to whether it wants to be the autobiography of Sid Waddell or the story of darts, and as a result it doesn't really succeed at being either. It's more the story of Sid's life in darts, and there are lots of stories about going out for a curry and numerous pints with the players, alongside other chapters that feel almost like essays about some of the players Waddell has previously written about, such as Jocky Wilson or Phil Taylor. It's an entertaining enough read, but considering it was written by such a funny man it's strangely flat, not that amusing, and actually just a little bit dull.
It's OK, but it could have been a lot better unfortunately.
There are fascinating stories about many of the legends of the game. Jocky, Brissy and Taylor in particular. Sid was in the fortunate position of getting to know the characters and was a good friend to many of them.
A few reviews have suggested that Sid was guilty of blowing his own trumpet. This maybe so, however no one can deny that his true passion for the game of darts, dart players and theatre that this created shone through with every commentary. For me, although he references many of the unique and often bizarre lines that he used in commentary, he will be best remembered for his undeniable love of the game. This is what set him apart from all other sporting commentators.
Sid, May you rest in darting heaven.
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This book is written in sharp educated fashion as only Waddell can.