OK so first up I am a massive Cricket fan and a grades Cricketer myself but I also love fiction although Sci-Fi is more my genre. I'm loving this book! It's easy to read and the format is compelling, if I read at night I normally fall asleep inside 5 pages of a book (any book) but I found myself at page 100 before forcing myself to turn out the light. The story is good and really gets you into the characters of the main protagonists and if you know anything about Cricket or any team sport the feelings describing the players emotions and thoughts at critical moments in the play are uncomfortably accurate! With that in mind I could really buy into one aspect of Cricket I (sadly) know nothing about - how it feels to be exposed to the media and touring circus that is international Cricket.
So all in all and very enjoyable and insightful book.
Mr Leamon has dutifully captured the feeling for the last test of an Ashes series. Into which he has mixed a series of characters who live the drama and their individual problems. The last day of the match is cleverly created, with high drama. An enjoyable read.
An easy read, that offers more than you'd expect a novel about cricket to serve up. While the backdrop is cricket, the story will appeal to a much wider audience than just cricket fans. However, its insights into the game and in particular the psyche of international cricketers has already changed the way I've watched the current test against India.
This insider's account has all the thrills one could possibiy want while also offering a complete portrait of a man from childhood onwards. We're not spared the possible downside of professional sport - fractured families, alcoholism, playing through injuries, mental disintegration - but there's also wry humour and some great characters. In addition to statistics and probability theory, there's philosophising and plenty of poetry. It was a pleasure to look up the quotes from Louis Macneice, Sir Henry Newbolt, Stephen Spender, Robert Hayden. While the main story rattles along with bags of tension and a thrilling denouement, you're left with plenty of food for thought. Entertaining, enlightening., informative. Thoroughly enjoyable.