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The Book of Fame Paperback – 31 Aug 2000

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Paperback, 31 Aug 2000
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About the Author

Multi-award-winning novelist Lloyd Jones was born in 1955 in Lower Hutt in New Zealand and graduated from Victoria University. He has worked as a journalist and covered Papua New Guinea's blockade of Bougainville during the 1990s, which formed the setting for his bestselling, Booker-Prize-shortlisted "Mister Pip." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Fantastic Novel from New Zealand's National Treasure 20 May 2013
By Foster Corbin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Lloyd Jones' THE BOOK OF FAME is one of those novels that you start, cannot put down and finish in one sitting. Based on an actual event, it is about a group of young men from Auckland, New Zealand who set out on a journey in 1905 to show the world how good a rugby team they are; and they conquer that world. Mr. Jones says in the "Acknowledgements" that he uses imagination to fill in the gaps although he did his research and had a copy of both George Dixon's diary and Bill Stead's scrapbooks, two of the men who made the journey. Dixon was the team's manager while Stead was one of the 27 ragtag players consisting of a bookmaker, a farmer, meat works foreman, miner, bank officer, blacksmith, civil servant-- in a word mostly ordinary blokes.

From the pen of this genius, these men come alive. You can hear the roar of the crowds as this group invades the continent. You will root for them, glory in their triumphs, you will smile with them, and, to quote the now trite words of a former president of these United States, "feel their pain" as they get battered and bruised with their breakneck schedule. They conquer England, Ireland, France and the United States. As is often the case with travelers on an extended trip, they experience homesickness: "Our thoughts turned homeward." When they cross the equator on their voyage, Bill Cunningham, a miner, wears a dress. In London they visit both the National Portrait Gallery and Madam Tussaud's, tiptoeing "around the Shah of Persia, Garibaldi, Shakespeare." They fall in love with Paris: "We decided we liked Paris. We liked it for not being Wales or England."

George Dixon gives the team good advice before they arrive in England: They are just to be themselves. "We did not want to interrupt England." In one of the most moving passages in this most-difficult-to-describe little masterpiece at just a little over two hundred pages, when these men that you , the reader, have now come to love reach Londonderry, some of the townspeople, meeting the train, recognize their relatives from New Zealand whom they have never met just because they all favor each other: "A few people are waiting on the platform, among them his [Billy Wallace, a foundryman] relatives. He's never seen these people before in his life, but at once he recognizes them. It's like seeing how he will eventually look when he's very old; and not so old. As he steps on to the platform his father's father and his father's brother crush him on both sides. They hug him then hold him at arm's length to look at him. One sees a son and the other sees a brother. Billy sees his origins."

It is obvious that Mr. Jones can write a fantastic novel on any subject. This one, the latest to be published in the U. S., is not to be missed.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read and reflection on fame - then and now. 6 April 2013
By Annabel Norman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Book of Fame grows on you once you get used to the writing style- being more like poetry. It is a wonderful reflection of the time (1905) and these working class New Zealand men going back to what was still considered "the Mother Country" to pit themselves against the English (mostly public school boys) and find they have a game far ahead of what is happening in the rest of the world. It is more about fame than rugby (which i'm not a great fan of) and how these working class tough men cope with it.

It is not a book just for people who like sport but will interest anyone who is interested in the idea of fame and how (in our times now) so many people are looking for it while these men in 1905 had no expectations of such a thing and how they manage it when it comes there way.
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it! 24 April 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A delightful, mostly forgotten story. If you are a rugby player or fan, this is a MUST read.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Fame 17 Mar. 2013
By Roxanne - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
It is always a pleasure to read Lloyd Jones books and this one was no exception. It is beautifully written, the pictures he draws with his words makes you feel what the characters felt, see what they saw and experienced. You certainly don't have to be a fan of rugby to enjoy this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very different and very awesome! 9 April 2014
By Victoria Matthews - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very different approach to writing, mixing fact and fiction, every sports fan should read it! An awesome read from a talented author
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