Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Coming down the mountain
on 2 April 2009
Boy, would I hate to be Jonny Wilkinson. I spent half of Tackling Life wincing at the horrible injuries Wilkinson's suffered and the other half cringing at the anguish he puts himself through. Never be a perfectionist - that seems to be the take home message. It hurts.
I read the book mainly to see what Wilkinson says about Buddhism. As far as I can tell, his interest is genuine but trivialised and sensationalised by the media.
Wilkinson doesn't actually discuss Buddhism that much - the noun occurs only 2 times - but apparently that was deliberate. But I did wonder whether you can be a Buddhist and have such an unparalleled, single-minded devotion to winning?
That said, I found Tackling Life an intense, enjoyable read. The flat prose style might have begun to pall after a while, but the copy editor has done a fine job of breaking the copy up and scattering pullquotes around.
The inspirational advice from Steve Black 'Blackie' is useful, if a little repetitive.
And as he does on the pitch, Wilkinson never ducks a tackle. He's honest to the point of obsession about the demons that drive him.
This is a man who felt [page 79] that being lucky was worse than losing because he felt it meant he didn't deserve to win!
Wilkinson has had a tough time of it since the famous Rugby World Cup win of 2003.
Not only with injuries. One of the biggest problems he faced was the disappointment of reaching the top of game and then having to come down the mountain. Where do you go when you've won the top accolades your profession has to offer? What do you do when you've won?
In many respects this book is an attempt to answer that question, which is perhaps why it has such a ring of the self help about it.
That's not a bad thing, by the way.