Masters of the Baize: Cue Legends, Bad Boys and Forgotten Men in Search of Snooker's Ultimate Prize Hardcover – 14 Apr 2005
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"Who is the greatest snooker player of them all? And what criteria would you employ to choose that No. 1 man? This entertaining read attempts to answer both questions" (Book of the Week Sunday Times)
"Timely, well-meaning and thought-provoking are all arguable descriptions of this guide to the 20 players who have won snooker's world championship" (Book of the Week The Independent)
"Commendably thorough, offering some off-the-wall oddments" (Daily Telegraph)
"Diligently researched . . . interesting and illuminating" (Snooker Scene)
From the Author
Masters of the Baize focuses on the 20 players (plus one notable exception) who have lifted the World Snooker Championship, without doubt the sport's blue riband event. From the great Joe Davis, through forgotten heroes like Walter Donaldson and John Pulman, to the likes of Alex Higgins, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan, we examine their colourful lives and times. What made them the players they were? Who were their guiding influences? Where did it all go right, or in some cases wrong? We place each of these champions under the microscope in their own exhaustively researched chapter. Drawing on exclusive interviews and long unseen archive material, we shed new light on familiar faces and offer fresh insights on how these great cuemen influenced the sport. There is relatively little in-depth snooker literature currently available and Masters of the Baize aims to rectify this by offering fans a journey through the game's rich and absorbing history.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with an introduction covering the development and history of the game and then focuses on the 20 players who have been World Champion, plus Jimmy White. Horace Lindrum is also included for winning the world title (the BA&CC version) in 1952, the year in which a rift in the sport caused 2 World Championships to be played.
"Masters of the Baize" has been compiled from a wide array of sources including books, magazines, TV interviews and documentaries, web sites, and newspaper articles. Each chapter on the players averages about 10 pages and is well written, entertaining and informative. The prose at times does become hackneyed - [Joe] "Johnson taught us that if you dare to dream, fairy tales do sometimes come true." However, the overall quality of the book and depth of information means the clichéd expressions only remain a minor annoyance. The chapter on Alex Higgins is especially poignant and heartfelt - this is snooker being written about and described by fans who obviously care deeply about the game.
One weakness of the book is its reluctance to criticise any of the players, particularly Joe Davis. For example, on p.68 the authors note "... Patsy Houlihan [was] the sort of player who could have reinvigorated snooker in the 1950s and '60s if he had been encouraged to turn professional." What they omit to say is that Joe Davis held the game in such an iron grip at that time, that those players he did not personally approve of (e.g. Houlihan) had no chance of being invited into the professional ranks.Read more ›