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The Trundlers Paperback – 2 May 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2 May 2013
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408704064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408704066
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Quirky and thoroughly entertaining (Good Book Guide)

This may be a book forged in the deepest pit of eccentricity, but nobody writes about cricket's lunatic fringe more beguilingly (John Preston Daily Mail)

An unalloyed delight for anyone remotely interest in the history of the game (Independent on Sunday, Sport Book of the Week)

Book Description

Affectionate, witty and often hilarious, Harry Pearson celebrates medium-paced 'trundlers'; cricket's most overlooked men.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Trundlers. Dobbers. Line and length merchants. Medium pace bowlers have gone by many names over the history of the game and have largely had an unworthy press. Everyone loves the mystery and magic of a great spin bowler, as well as the sheer excitement of a fast bowler steaming in off his full run (except for the batsman facing, of course).

Harry Pearson's latest book is a celebration of bowlers whose heyday came in the age of uncovered wickets, when their command of line and length made them the trickiest of all bowlers. You might get down the track to a flighting spinner and hit him on the full toss. You might get respite from a quick bowler who was errant in line and length, but the trundler would always be at you, making you play and getting available assistance from the ball, wicket and weather.

Those uncovered wickets at times rendered them unplayable and Harry Pearson's book is a cavalcade of the great bowlers through the history of the game whose feats have entered into folklore. Thus the book starts with Edward 'Lumpy' Stevens, whose eighteenth century lobs were of such accuracy that they necessitated the introduction of a third, middle stump, where previously a batsman would not have been out when it passed through the gap. The names of the intervening period are also discussed, but the book really comes into its own with the advent of the golden era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

There's George Hirst, whose inswing was so pronounced that at times it was 'like facing a throw coming in from the covers' and Maurice Tate, that most worthy of bowlers from Sussex, not remotely built like an athlete but a man who would willingly bowl all day and find the right line and length every time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book which brings to life the often-forgotten world of medium-pace bowling. The early chapters, on the likes of Barnes and Lohmann, are particularly interesting, with the author looking in detail at the origins of overarm bowling and the techniques and innovations developed during the Victorian-Edwardian era. My one gripe is that too many bowlers have been lumped in as "trundlers", the title possibly a little pejorative, or at least self-mocking. The spectrum of medium-to-medium-fast bowling is wide and it seems a tad unfair to group world-beating "effort bowlers", such as Maurice Tate and Alec Bedser, with some rather more pedestrian county dobbers. But Harry Pearson is a superb writer who argues the case for rescuing so many bowlers from obscurity. For someone so entertaining, he is also meticulous in his research. A terrific and thought-provoking read.
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My review title is actually a quote from the book, so I don't feel too guilty about pinching it, but I think Harry Pearson realised from the 'start of play' that he was setting himself a huge target, in trying to make an interesting and amusing story about the forgotten men of cricket - the medium pacers, or eponymous "trundlers". Inevitably perhaps, what he has produced is mildly diverting, but not exactly a roller-coaster read. In fact the ups and downs of the tale come more from whatever level the bowler's arm comes over at (or under) rather than the actual subject matter as the book takes us from early ball-rollers, through the round-armers to the great 'dobbers' of the post-war years. Pearson is right that pacemen and spinners get all the attention in cricket literature, but there is a reason for that - their stories and exploits are more dramatic/eccentric generally, and sadly this book falls well short of the author's other forays into cricket writing.
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Harry Pearson has written entertainingly about cricket, and will do so again, I hope, but this is a disappointment. Pearson's chosen brief is to deal with "bowlers who delivered the ball at between 55 and 75mph". These he describes variously as "trundlers", "dobbers", "wibbly-wobbly men" and so on. There could be an interesting study done here, perhaps focussing on the development of techniques over time. This isn't it. Rather, what Pearson offers is a series of miniature pen-portraits of a collection of seamers throughout history. But sadly, there's nothing new here, no original research, and no new insight. Any book that suggests that Alan Davidson (a strike bowler who was significantly quicker than 75mph) belongs under the heading of "trundler" has problems. Mentioning the leg-spinner Douglas Wright as a "trundler" because of the speed at which he bowled is just weird. And there are too many factual errors - for example, JJ Ferris was an orthodox left-arm spinner, not a "left-arm seam bowler" or a "left arm wobblyman". It's wrong that Jack Massie "never played cricket again" after being wounded at Gallipoli - indeed, he afterwards opened the bowling at Lord's. It was a later injury to his foot on the Western Front that ended his career in first-class (but not club) cricket. Gary Gilmour isn't "short". I faced Mike Whitney early in his career, and I can promise you that (like Davidson) he was distinctly quicker than 75mph. There is a bizarre digression, a chapter on underam bowlers, some of which seems to be cribbed word-for-word from Gerald Brodribb's book on the subject (which is, in fairness acknowledged - but what is this material doing in this book?).Read more ›
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