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on 14 July 2012
It's fair to say that it takes Harry Pearson a couple of chapters to get into his rhythm. The beginning has a real early-season feel to it, as though the author hadn't warmed-up properly, but once he hits his stride with a series of absorbing facts and anecdotes about some of international cricket's great and historic names, you want him to keep going unchanged. This was a real eye-opener for me. I actually lived in Lancashire for a fair chunk of the period covered but the great names turning the ball and throwing the bat in the towns and villages all around just passed me by. What a missed opportunity - if only I'd had a story-teller like Pearson to get me interested then. Aside from lots of misty-eyed nostalgia for the good old days, much of this, particularly in the latter half is laugh-out-loud funny, and overall a great advert for league cricket. Let's all go and see some matches before it's too late.
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on 2 April 2015
I recently re-read Pearson's earlier work 'The Far Corner', which is a tour around the football teams and legends of the North-East, which I would thoroughly recommend. In many respects this is a cricketing equivalent although he possibly travels further afield - I'm a southerner so are not entirely confident of the distances and areas. Regardless, this is an excellent book that even a non-cricketing aficionado like myself enjoy. What I like about Pearson's work is the manner in which he draws together the present and the past so that we flip backwards and forwards from the glory days of the past to the much more mundane present. Interspersed though-out are vignettes of the villages, players, spectators and people he meets or more accurately observes and listens to on his journeys. When I finished the book I was left with two feelings - one, that I should really try and watch more local cricket and two, that I really need to explore parts in the north of the country, although not all parts!

Could a book deliver anymore?
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on 8 February 2016
I came to this with high hopes. I am originally from the North-East of England and Harry Pearson's 'The Far Corner' remains one of the best books I've read about the region - not just because it comes closer to any other that I've read in explaining the importance of football to the North-Eastern psyche (and should be mandatory reading for every football journalist and pundit who has ever thrown around lazy phrases like 'sleeping giants' or 'passionate fans' when talking about the region) but because it is a loving and insightful tribute to the area that is also genuinely funny. As someone who has played cricket all over Britain, I came to 'Slipless in Settle' anticipating something similar - an antidote or companion to other books about the game that tend to dwell on the 'accepted' version of its history. In this aspect, I wasn't disappointed. As usual, the jokes are sharp and the narrative compelling. But in the copy I've picked up the tenses seem to jump curiously so that one moment the author is recounting the action but the next is still inside it. When it first happened, I presumed it was a typo. The second time, I guessed (possibly incorrectly) that when compiling the book the author had used any notes taken at the time as a starting point, meaning to tidy everything up later, but that this too had slipped through the editor's net. By the time I reached 'A snick through the slips zipped to the boundary to bring up the hundred. Point dived but narrowly missed another slash that skips cheerily through the off for another four' I began to wonder if HP was deliberately experimenting with his style! A few pages later, after a few more examples of this type, on reaching 'a grey-bearded man named Fariq Iqbal who bowled brisk off-spin and gets thumped around' I had to give up. I've always found HP well-written and readable but I found the consistency with which this was happening very jarring, completely disrupting the flow of my reading. Glancing through these reviews, this doesn't seem to be an issue for other readers, so I can only think that somehow I've picked up a proof-copy and that corrections were made in the final publication to bring the narrative into sync - or I'm having a bad grammar day and picking up on things no-one else has noticed or even cares about. So, while I remain a fan of the author and his work generally, the above issues really torpedoed this one for me.
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on 7 February 2018
Absolutely brilliant read.
For someone from a certain era brought up on this background of both social and sporting era with a love of cricket and an eye on his fellow man his discriptions are spot on.
He manages to give you a history and an update on stats which we cricket lovers like but also encapsulates a genuine feel and love of the game in a humorous way.
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on 31 January 2013
Harry Pearson first came to my attention when Penguins Stopped Play was passed to me to read. This is a great story of an unlikely world cricket tour that can be enjoyed by both cricket fans and people with zero knowledge of the sport.

Slipless in Settle is more for the hard-core cricket enthusiast and is jammed full of the history of the sport in the North of England. Harry describes the colouful characters who played in the early leagues and adds his own anecdotes with their inevitable giggle-moments.

It is a beautifully written wander through the mining and mill towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire viewed from the patches of green where some of the finest cricketers in the world delghted the locals with their skills and antics.

Recommended for cricket fans as it is packed with stats and history of the game, but non-enthusiasts might find some parts hard going.
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on 27 September 2010
This guy is very,very funny.

O,and knowlegeable and witty and very informative about the serious end of cricket.

Buy it for long,cold dark Winters oop North.

Tis a pity he's a Yorkshireman but nobody's ideal.
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on 2 November 2017
Very funny look at local league cricket
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on 22 January 2017
Good book if you like your cricket
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on 15 July 2015
a very well written book giving humorous and informational insight into league cricket in the north
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on 23 February 2017
A very pleasant read, very funny at times and I struggled to put it down. A must read for cricket fans and not just northerners.
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