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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 4 August 2007
Peter Tinniswood's creation, The Brigadier, is at his finest here, in his original outing. Dotty, bombastic, eccentric, a bit rude - the Brigadier is all of these and so much more. The book follows the Brigadier recounting his past memories of "the summer game", and frequently mistaking well known cricketers for other famous people. Comments such as "Majid Khan, son of Sammy" will either paralyse you with laughter, or leave you stone cold. I am firmly in the first camp and definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves cricket and who loves a really silly off the wall laugh. Most of the other Peter Tinniswood "Brigadier" books ("More Tales from the Long Room", "Tales of Witney Scrotum", "Brigadier's Brief Lives" etc.) are all good in places, but none of them can hold a candle to this opener.
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on 25 September 2013
A lovely little book, this. Tinniswood's northern British humour is to die for, and this book is probably the best example. It is certainly the most extreme, the most satirical and the funniest. The book should be on the school syllabus. The copy I bought was secondhand old and yellowing. I think it must be well out of print by now, and looks as though it was self-published in some back-alley in the first place. This is my fourth copy. I gave the others away to treasured friends. Here's a tiny sample just to give you a flavour, The Battle of Root's Boot:

"The incidents pertaining to this conflict occurred in 1914 during the MCC's first and only tour to the Belgian Congo.
"Who on earth had the crass stupidity to give the Congo to the Belgians in the first palce is quite beyond me."

Fantastic. If you like cricket or even if you hate it, read this book.
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on 23 February 2014
It doesn't seem long since Peter Tinniswood was everywhere, with the sitcom 'I Didn't Know You Cared' running on BBC 1 and Robin Bailey delivering the Brigadier's monologues on Channel 4. But I sense he has now been forgotten as you can't seem to get any of his Brigadier books in electronic editions. I suppose part of the problem is the fact that the cricketers he refers to in his Witney Scrotum writings are now long gone themselves and a modern audience wouldn't recognise them and their foibles.

But, now that the BBC has finally seen fit to air old series of The Likely Lads again, reminding us of the high quality of self-deprecating north country humour, it is perhaps time for a Tinniswood revival. This would be a particularly good time to do it now that English cricket has sunk back into its (let's face it) normal state of fretful incompetence, redolent of the 1980s and 1990s, and all we have left to savour are past successes. True, I'm not sure Uncle Mort would entirely approve of Tinniswood on Kindle (easy to imagine him railing against it... "I didn't fight through two world wars just to read t' Pigeon Fancier's Gazette on a bit of plastic fashioned out o' Botham's abdominal protector!"). But there are still plenty of us armchair cricket lovers around who remember Cowdrey, Trueman, Statham, etc, who love this sort of stuff - even effete Southerners like me - and I'm sure the more discerning of the younger generations would love it too.
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on 2 September 2009
What a fantastic book! Read this through in one sitting and re-read it again a week later when my ribs had stopped aching! For those who are familiar with Peter Tinniswood you may have already read this but if not it is the man as his acidic, un-PC, and elaborate tall tale telling best. Wonderfully offensive but genuinely warm and nostalgic. 'Tales from a Long Room' recounts various cricketing adventures and episodes in the Brigadiers colourful past: tales of the MCC trip to the belgian Congo, the promising early batting career; cut short by more pressing duties, of the late queen Victoria, and the legendary Mendip-Hughes the one legged off spinner are hilarious but the real treasure lies in the beautiful imagery brought to mind of an England long past, of tea and scones, sunday cricket, summer meadows and 'the clink of hipflask and the heady scent of fine malt whiskey'.

An English treasure and one to be savoured, this is a very funny book - provided you're not one of a delicate nature! If you like 70's and 80's English sitcoms this is right up your street - trust me, brilliant.
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on 19 October 2010
From the first lines where Tinniswood's character 'The Brigadier' vents his spleen at those 'eaters of horse flesh' (the Belgians), Tales From a Long Room made me laugh out loud. The Brigadier is a superbly painted character - an old English imperialist and devotee of 'The Summer Game' par excellence, he ruminates and reminisces his way through the book. His short stories are often ludicrous in content, (Queen Victoria netting with her Prince Albert); sometimes surreal, (hordes of pygmies disembarking from a cricket boot boat to lay waste to those 'eaters of horse flesh'). There is a touch of the PG Wodehouse about the style, although the protagonist is very different.

If you know a tiny bit about cricket it will help, but even if you don't this will be a cracking read.
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on 6 June 2013
Classic eccentric Tinniswood. You either like Tinniswoods humour or you don't. You either get it or you don't and you probably shouldn't try to find out if you're a member of the politically correct brigade.
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on 31 August 2013
From the pen of one of the most engaging writers of the genre this warm & amusing collection made for a very entertaining afternoons read. A smile never left my lips the whole time as the visual picture was created. Sadly missed.
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on 24 August 2014
I'm Scottish, I'm female and I have loved this book since the day it was published. I have bought it 4 times now as I keep lending it and not getting it back. I wish real life was more like the eccentric, terribly correct world of the Brigadier. This book makes me laugh out loud and certain passages have to be read and re-read and savoured slowly. When you meet someone who loves this book as much you it really gladdens the heart.
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on 2 June 2011
Yes the book is just as wonderful as the remembered TV readings by Robin Bailey. Quite surreal in plot the tales are a caricature of a man of a certain type from a bygone age that slipped away some thirty or forty years ago. The senile like ramblings and asides with half remembered facts incongorously linked together as truths, make this a gem of Tinniswood's writing.

A slight knowledge of 'the summer game' and remeberance of some of the names from the 60's and 70's cricket elite will aid the reader to fully appreciate this slim volume to the full.
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on 15 December 2009
Some of the best writing since Wodehouse. Tinniswood's gift for portraying the fading Empire's last throes is unparalleled.
Sit back and discover why good comedy does not rely on profanity. The English langauge is rich enough to provide prose for all occasions, especially in the misty-eyes of the Brigadier, whom Robin Bailey could have been born to play.
In short, a masterpiece !
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