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on 7 January 2012
Atherton writes like a genius. Thursdays are among my favourite days because I can guarantee that there'll be soemthing supremely well written in the sports pages in the Times. This is a collection of his insightful pieces written over the last ten years. Treat yourself. Buy it. Lock yourself in a room and indulge yourself with soem brilliant sports' journalism.
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on 11 September 2012
I have always been a fan of Mike Atherton - as a player, commentator and writer. This book gathers together many of his articles / columns over the years for the various print media he has worked for since retiring from playing. Some of the articles written before certain major events are eerily prophetic. His views on the modern game and the Stanford affair make excellent reading. As he moves on to the players, series and other sporting greats the wonderful prose, almost poetic at times, comes to the fore. If you are in anyway interested in reading about cricket or sport in general you will love this book and I suspect admire the quality of the written language. A pleasure to read.
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on 3 May 2014
This is a series of articles from Atherton's newspaper column. As readers of that will know, Atherton is a wonderful writer - sympathetic, knowledgeable and not scared of voicing an opinion. However, a compliation of his pieces in this format - grouped around subjects or themes - is flawed. The section on Allen Stanford is a good example. Atherton sees him as a bad'un long before this was spotted by the ECB and there is interest in seeing his suspicions play out, but the article format makes elements of this reveal very repetitive. Most impressive are the one-off pieces of various sports-people, from both cricket and beyond, which exist more easily in a collection format.
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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2013
Cricket has long attracted great journalists, and ex-England captain Mike Atherton follows in a grand tradition, as this volume of selected writings amply demonstrates. The short pieces it contains are grouped thematically, and cover a period from about 2001 onwards. The first sections deal with various negative aspects of cricket in recent times - match fixing, the complexities and problems of the IPL, ICL, ICC etc, before the latter half deals with positives - great test matches of recent years, great players etc. Throughout, Atherton's writing is excellent; it's very easy to read, imbued with dry, often self-deprecating, humour, but above all it gives great insights into the game. At various times, hindsight has proved Atherton right, sometimes with unerring precision. Highly recommended.
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on 30 October 2012
I was eagerly awaiting the release of this book in paperback for weeks, and when it finally arrived, I could not wait to get cracking.

The book is essentially a collage of his newspaper reports about different topics, ranging from the match-fixing saga, to the rise of English cricket.

What makes this book interesting for me is not only that you get an understanding for some of the facts, but Atherton also gives his opinion, which allows the reader to perhaps read a different point of view.

I only gave this a three star rating because I felt that it was a bit too long, and after a while, I found it quite tedious. The book was only a disappointment for me because I thought that his autobiography was excellent.

Overall: Not a bad read, but I got bored after a while. A good book to read in stages.
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on 7 January 2015
At first I wasn’t sure about this book. I felt a bit cheated that it was just a collection of articles from the past but once I understood the format and got into it I loved it.

I love Athers style of writing which is eloquent but not exclusive, it’s like he considers the reader when he writes which should be quite standard but all too often is not. Athers writes like a fan who just happens to be a very well educated ex-England captain and all without a trace of self-importance.

Secondly his experience as the top batsman and captain of an English cricket side in permanent crisis mode really gives his opinion weight. More so to me as a Lancashire and England fan of school age at the time.

Thirdly the way the book is put together is helps the reader, the articles collected into subject then chronological order makes it really easy to pick up and put down.

I read it on a summer holiday in a couple of days, I couldn’t put it down.
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on 22 February 2013
Having watched Michael Atherton as a player,and listened to him as as a commentator on Sky I have always been impressed with his knowledge and understanding of the game of cricket,his writing is no less a revealation that he is all that I have said plus a literate and perceptive individual who can write with understandiong and background knowledge about the game he knows so well.I found his book enjoyable and thought provoking,and when he related to himself and his past experiences somewhat unnecessarily disparaging about his own performances and captaincy,refreshing in these celebratory driven days. The format was confusing to follow at times,perhaps wriing the date at the start of the piece might have added more clarity,but overall a book for the cricket thinker rather than the instant reaction and thought that we tend to get from many involved in sport nowadays.
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on 13 October 2013
Enjoyed this book very much. Mr Atherton brings a measured perspective to a large number of cricket-related stories. My only minor criticism was not knowing the dates of each article when starting to read them, and that I think they should all have been in chronological order, otherwise I would have given it 5 stars. Still definitely worth reading.
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on 28 January 2013
Atherton's a writer of insight and clarity. Good anecdotes, and real hard-earned wisdom from his career that, unusually for an ex-sportsman, he has the knack of telling relatively cliché-free. It's a compendium of columns, and ead consecutively his tendency to grumpiness gets a bit wearing, so this is definitely a toilet book.
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on 25 September 2013
Thoroughly good read, especially for those that don't catch all Atherton's articles in the Times. I read it within a matter of days and liked the fact it wasn't all cricket. Although I must admit to buying it purely from a cricket perspective.
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