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Penguins Stopped Play: Eleven Village Cricketers Take on the World Paperback – 5 Apr 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Penguins Stopped Play: Eleven Village Cricketers Take on the World
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  • Rain Men: Madness of Cricket
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  • Fatty Batter: How cricket saved my life (then ruined it)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; Reprint edition (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719563461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719563461
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Harry Thompson and Penguins Stopped Play: (.)

'Actually completely brilliant' (Ian Hislop)

'A real gold standard sense of humour' (David Baddiel)

'Rare, clever, creative ... a maverick, pushing boundaries with outrageous jokes' (Guardian)

'Crammed with sharp observation, comic and cruel characterisation and a great many very good jokes... Gloriously funny and life-affirming' (Daily Telegraph)

'Surely the funniest book ever written about the English addiction to cricket...a beautiful tale of classic British humour, self-deprecation, great courage' (Daily Mail)

'Even people who despise cricket will adore this' (Times)

'Isn't only a marvellous read but in many ways captures the very essence of the game' (Observer)

'Very funny . . .he fills his warm-hearted book with a satisfying selection of tales' (Sunday Times)

'Funny and inspiring...Thompson writes with a novelist's sympathy about a wonderfully mixed bunch of characters' - Hugh Massingberd (Literary Review)

'As funny as you would expect from the writer of Have I Got News For You' (Daily Express)

'Harry Thompson wrote with such verve and wit that he could have made a trip round a multi-storey car park into an adventure' (Celia Brayfield, The Times)

'A very funny, peculiarly British travel book' (Markus Berkman, Daily Mail)

'A rip-roaring and at times touching account of a global tour by a bunch of village cricketers' (Oxford Mail)

Book Description

A hilarious odyssey in which an amateurish bunch of English eccentrics go cricketing across the globe

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. From start to finish it holds the reader's thrall. It is well written and engaging whether you like the game of cricket or not, it is a funny account of the experiences of a less than professional cricket XI as they attempt to play the game on evry continent in the world over a limited time. It is worth mentioning however that although it offers much to the general reader, the most satisfaction and enjoyment will be had by those with an appreciation and an understanding of the little nuances, subtleties and terms inherent in the game of cricket, after all "tickling it down to fine leg" and "firing it in just short of a length" is not in everyone's natural parlance!
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Format: Hardcover
Penguins Stopped Play is a remarkable account of the infamous Captain Scott XI which has already featured in 'Rain Men' & 'Zimmer Men' by Marcus Berkmann.

This time the focus is on the over seas tours the team embarked upon and the hilarious, embarrassing and awful situations that followed them around the globe. (I particularly enjoyed the withering attack on BA).

If you enjoy Cricket & travel then this book is a must. It is constantly laugh out loud funny with great stories on travel, sport & friendship. Well written and observant not only on foreign lands & cricket but also on the people that participate and play this silly game.

The books conclusion is particularly moving and poignant with the author facing the challenges of a terminal illness, which is met with much bravery and a straight bat. Penguins Stopped Play is a great book and Harry Thompson will be missed even by those who didn't know him! Thanks Harry!
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Format: Hardcover
'Penguins Stopped Play' is an utterly eccentric but delightful tale, filled with humour and pathos. If you want to undertand the mind of an Englishman, this is the book for you.

Driven to make the journey of a lifetime, Harry Thompson and his team conquer the world in pursuit of cricket. There's good chunks of travel writing here, some brilliant characterisation, and a good many jokes. It's a refreshing read, which you'll polish off in a session. The book's haunting ending will remain with you for a long, long time.
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Format: Hardcover
'Penguins Stopped Play' is a rollicking travelogue that takes the reader from the frozen cricket fields of Antartica to the sweaty skyscrapers of Singapore. So much more than an ex-county nobody's boring bio, Harry Thompson writes with peerless wit and the elegance of a Gower cover-drive. His book combines hilarious tour disasters, with quirky match analyses, amid vivid landscape depictions. His character studies will make you feel you're part of the fledgling Scott XI.

Laugh-out-loud funny in parts, bewildering in others, and tragic in its conclusion, 'Penguins Stopped Play' is a must for all sports fans. It is a great shame that this hero of British comedy will be unable to produce a follow-up.
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Format: Hardcover
A classic true tale of eccentricity extra-ordinaire, Penguins Stopped Play is far more that a book on either foreign climes or the daft sport of cricket. At times extra-ordinarily funny, the book provides a great insight into the cultures touched, molested or even fostered by the British, and demonstrates how, through sport, timeless friendships are built. That the book ends on such a final, tragic note only goes to enhance the verve with which Harry Thompson attacked his aim of playing cricket on every continent. It is a most fitting epitaph to his endeavours and will remind all readers how we must make the most of our brief time on this "mortal coil".
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This brilliant book will make you laugh out loud. Please don't let the fact that it's about cricket put you off - it's more about relationships between the very different (and funny) characters, drawn together to play cricket as it is a travel novel.

Fantastic!
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Format: Hardcover
Probably the funniest book i've read. If you like cricket you'll love this. I dont think 1 page went by without me laughing out loud. The author invented 'Have I Got News For You' and 'Never Mind The Buzzocks'.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a reasonably entertaining read, along the lines of Fatty Batter and The Rain Men. However it strains a little too hard for comic effect, and somehow manages to irritate almost as much as it amuses. Nevertheless if you like this kind of thing, then this is the kind of thing you'll like. (Thompson's tragically early death perhaps meant that he didn't have the chance to polish the book as he might have wished.)
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