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Chasing Shadows: The Life and Death of Peter Roebuck Paperback – 19 Nov 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hardie Grant Books (19 Nov. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1743790120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1743790120
  • Product Dimensions: 27.6 x 2.7 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Cartledge and Lane have woven a net to catch the shadows, and they capture just enough of Roebuck s essence - more than anyone has to date to make an odd story compelling. --Inside Cricket

A Meticulous study of a highly talented but seemingly repressed cricketer. --The Cricketer

About the Author

Tim Lane is one of the most well-known and respected sporting commentators in Australia, having called test cricket for over 30 years. Elliot Cartledge is a freelance editor and author. He has played and coached cricket in four different continents, has extensive contacts in both playing and official ranks, and has worked in cricket development for the ICC.


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This is, perhaps, the best cricket book I have read in recent years but has the least amount of cricket actually in it. It is a magnificent piece of work and research and tackles tough circumstances in a sensitive manner without sensationalising but also not holding back on the dark parts of Roebuck's character. I recall watching the slow, rather too studious looking and bespectacled young Roebuck for Somerset in their late 70s, early 80s heyday: wishing he would get out to make way for Richards and Botham. Turned out he was a fascinating character. The definitive answer as to what happened in room 623 of the hotel in South Africa May never be properly known. But the authors get as close as they possibly could. It left me with a strange mixture of feelings of repulsion towards him but tinged with heartbreak of how things could have been different had he taken his life path in a different direction in the mid 80s. Don't miss this book.
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This is an admirable book which reveals many things about Peter Roebuck I didn't previously know. But as its title suggests, the book is as much about the circumstances which led up to Roebuck's death as it is about his life, an emphasis which results in a somewhat downbeat tone. I would have liked to read more about Roebuck the cricketer and writer. I wanted to know more about how he transformed himself in his late 20s from a useful bit-player into an opener who could score big hundreds. I wanted more on his writing, the way in which his initially humorous and impressionistic style developed, not always for the better, into something much more stern and rhetorical. I would have liked to see more of his quirky sense of fun, and his evident drive and even joie de vivre which saw him in the 1990s creating a successful working life for himself on 3 different continents.

I also thought the psychological analysis of the man himself, with its inferences that he was either autistic, or else mildly psychopathic and lacking in empathy, were possibly some way off the mark. If his early cricket diary, It Never Rains, contains some of his best and most subtle writing, it also offers a clearer self-portrait than in anything else he wrote. He was evidently a deeply sensitive and emotional man who had an abject fear of rejection, something he only partly learned to cope with by developing a hard outer shell and shunning close human friendships - in later years he would often reject people before they could reject him. Most damaging of all was the fall-out of the 1986 Somerset affair. There were clear rights and wrongs on both sides, and although many in English cricket actually supported his decision at the time, Roebuck was surprised and shocked to the core by Botham's unforgiving attitude.
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A very difficult story about a very complex man very well told and very well researched.a sad read about a good man with good intentions but also a dark side.a brilliant book on a hard subject
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First class read for anyone interested in cricket .A compelling story of llife .and I totally agree with the other views presented here.
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If you go to this website page: [...] the daughter of one of Australia’s greatest intellectuals (Douglas Horne) provides her own account of a 2 year heterosexual relationship with Peter and a photograph. On the same page, one of his fellow tutors at a boys only boarding school speaks glowingly of his character. The spanking stuff is from an article by Adam Shand, which has been discredited, because the ‘victims’ he wrote about have now confirmed that they never said any of the things he said they and have gone on record to confirm that there never was any abuse. For those who have any experience of young African men, the idea that 20 odd of them all in their twenties and at University would have allowed any abuse at all in a hoe they all shared is all a bit silly. The fact is that there is no “evidence” of abuse, merely 1 article on 01 January 2012, now discredited and for which no corroboration has ever emerged. Next up is the 2001 case in the UK. For those interested in the facts, the original charges were ones of “indecent assault” and a conviction on those would have permitted adverse comment. However, after a 2 year worldwide investigation by Interpol, which produced no “evidence” of abuse and dozens of attestations that no such abuse ever ocurred, The prosecution then accepted pleas to “common assault”, which would only permit the comment that the 3 young men (Note. not boys) had not given their full permission for the canings, but involve no admission of indecency. Peter dealt with all of this is his renowned 2004 autiobiography “Sometimes I Forgot To Laugh”. That just leaves his death on 12 November 2011. The 26 year old who made the complaint then disappeared and according to this book seems to be a lot better off financially and has been travelling.Read more ›
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brilliantly researched and written. I followed PRs career from the start and always wondered 'who is this guy'?. I doubt anyone knows ,certainly not his family who seem in denial.The popular view seems ed to be that he was a repressed homosexual but the authors do tend to disprove this . I tend to think he was always searching for human affection and perhaps found it more likely with men. His break up with Julia certainly was a fateful decision. All in all a very sad tale.
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