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Beyond A Boundary Paperback – 7 Jul 2005
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"Great claims have been made for [Beyond a Boundary] since its first appearance in 1963: that it is the greatest sports book ever written; that it brings the outsider a privileged insight into West Indian culture; that it is a severe examination of the colonial condition. All are true" (Sunday Times)
"To say "the best cricket book ever written" is piffingly inadequate praise. A mental landscape triangulated by literature, socialism and cricket represents an ideal we should all aspire to, and this ennobling and beautifully written book should be read by anyone with the slightest interest in any one of the above" (Guardian)
"Anyone who has not encountered [Beyond A Boundary] should seize the chance now" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Years ago I had presumed, on being repeatedly told that C L R James' Beyond A Boundary was the finest sports book ever written, that it was the opposite; in fact, James' erudite tale probably warrants that label" (Independent)
"An innovative mixture of autobiography, sports journalism and political philosophy" (Daily Telegraph)
'The most finely crafted book on cricket ever written' - The TimesSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
C.L.R.James is a very erudite man and it shows.
Cricket, and the power it can have over an individual and a people, is central to his story. The development of cricket, people and politics in the West Indies was intertwined for most of the 20th century. And James does us all an immense favour by untangling these strands carefully, deliberately and intelligently and then for good measure shines a light on England and its' own cricketing heritage. It is a wonderful read.
Read this book if you love cricket, if you're fascinated by political history, if you love writing that is so good it leaves you breathless. Whatever your reason, just read it; and then spread the word.
It is more complex and thought provoking than any other sporting book I have ever encountered, and as such does not deserve the classification of sports book, though I couldn't begin to suggest how it SHOULD be classified!
The praise is justified. The only way that this is not the best cricket book ever written is if you do not consider it as a cricket book. It is beautifully crafted, transcending the genre: an engaging combination of cricket book, personal memoir and political and cultural commentary. There are other very good books about cricket but this is something more than that. It is a cricket book, a history book, a sociology book and more.
CLR James is a fascinating man: widely travelled, spending long periods in England and the USA as well as Trinidad, an important writer and journalist, a politically active Marxist, instrumental in getting Frank Worrell appointed captain of the West Indies team. The book covers a wide range of subjects including his childhood in Trinidad; great cricketers he has known and watched; Caribbean politics amongst others. For cricket lovers one of the beautiful things about the book is that James loves cricket, he appreciates it as an art form. He possesses the clarity of thought and the prose to convey this love and appreciation to the reader.
In places the book shows its age (it was written in 1963); it is very much of its time: a product of the anti-colonial struggle, and the emergence of West Indies cricket as a serious challenge to the domination of England and Australia. In some places events have overtaken some of his observations and some of the language jars. It is still a fantastic book – amazingly insightful and interesting.
This is a book that no genuine cricket lover should be without.
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