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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 February 2009
I've always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with sports autobiographies: I buy lots of them and they are almost invariably diabolical.

One of the reasons is that they are all amost exactly the same. You could use a computer template to generate around 95% of the book and then just replace the names, the teams and the sport. Another is that they are generally ghost-written and, even when the ghost-writer is very good (say, Hunter Davies), the finished book is usually woeful (say, Wayne Rooney's). The only good ones are where the subject has very strong opinions and is not afraid to express them, as is the case here.

Not since Tony Cascarino's Full Time have I read a book from this genre where the author was unafraid to tell it like it is. I do not agree with some of Josh Lewsey's views but they are always expressed eloquently and compellingly. I do not even know much about rugby (football's my thing), but everyone remembers England winning the World Cup in 2003 and Josh was part of that. The sections about that tournament (the preparation, the setbacks, the ultimate elation) could translate to being about any kind of sporting success and make for fascinating reading, but the more personal stuff is interesting too (a spirited defense of fox hunting, for example, is written with insight and self-awareness, whatever your own views on the subject may be).

Intelligent, personal and real, Josh writes with humour and humanity - all qualities I thought were long dead in this strain of writing.
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on 13 April 2009
In addition to being one of the best, Josh Lewsey is among the more interesting of professional rugby players in that he has more than one string to his bow. As well as having been a member of the English world cup team and won many medals with Wasps, he is a university graduate in both Physiology and Law, and has also been an army officer. To add to this, he has written this autobiography himself. In it, Lewsey comes across as a person of high personal standards and integrity, and as such, whilst he describes his own background and the varied approach of the players and officials he has come across in his career, he does not indulge in too much gossip. The book is timely in that he has already finished with international rugby, and will be retiring altogether at the end of this season. The action photographs remind us how much we shall miss him.
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on 7 March 2009
I read this book with great enjoyment. It is a really good read, fast moving, interesting, well written and personal.
I particularly enjoyed the tension in the build-ups to Josh's first international at Twickenham and the World Cup Final and also reading about the pressure times when Josh was combining academic or military activities with fulfilment of his rugby career.
He has the writing skill to cover intricate topics simply and succinctly.
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on 19 August 2010
Josh Lewsey is one of the greats of English rugby, having won every competition going and was one of my personal heroes so I was very excited about this book!

As previous reviewers have mentioned there is not a huge amount of detail about his personal life or upbringing but the story of his journey and participation in the 2003 World Cup more than makes up for this. Lewsey has lots of interests outside of rugby, including most outdoor sports, a previous career as an army officer and a varied educational backgroun which is facinating. He also waxes lyrical about rugby specific topics and different leadership and management styles which is a break from the norm in sports bios.

It is not a book for juicy gossip or 'goes on tour...' stories but is in fact better and more interesting than that. It shows more of what makes him the player and man he is and leaves you wondering just what time he gets up in the morning to achieve everything that he has!

I am hoping for a second book on his trip to Everest already!
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on 4 January 2013
Was given to my son for Christmas as he attends the same grammar school that Josh Lewsey attended.
He hasn't started to read it, but from the pages I've read scanning through, I may even pinch it to read myself when he's done with it
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on 17 March 2009
A little disappointed by this book I must admit.
Having read numerous biographies/auto biographies by many england players I was left wanting with this offering.
I found the book to be 'lacking' and although certain chapters were entertaining and insightful I found myself wishing I could skip the current chapter that I was reading in the hope the next was a little better and wasn't as full of waffle and repeated phrases.

All in all a 'must' read for any england fan, however don't hold your breath for the magic of Robinson or the Heart of Leonard. Unfortunately it just doesnt compare. A shame as I was expecting more from in my opinion, one of the best to ever wear an England shirt.
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on 11 March 2010
This is possibly the worst autobiography/biography I have ever read. Please understand, as a Wasps and England fan I LOVED watching Josh in action. But this book stinks.

This book reveals nothing of his personal life. It reveals nothing of his emotions. For example, there is no mention of his girlfried/ wife until the closing pages in which he basically says "Oh yeah, I met a nice girl and she married me." Josh uses the book as a platform from which to lecture the reader about rugby leadership (yawn) and the theory of Rush Defence (yawn yawn). Contrast this with the excellent Dallaglio biography; you read about his relatinships with his family; the tragedy of his sister's death, the highs and lows of professional rugby, some amusing stories from over the years etc.

In summary, this book should act as a warning to all professional sportspeople considering an autobiography: unless you happen to be an exceptionally gifted writer yourself, USE A GHOST WRITER.
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on 30 January 2013
An unusually honest account of the views of a sportsman, written without use of a ghost writter. Good insight into top level sport interesting for all sports fans.
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on 27 February 2014
Bought as a gift for someone obsessed with Josh Lewsey! Very well received & much enjoyed - apparently very well written & a good read
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on 7 April 2014
Agood read from a very interesting book by a top class rugby player of ahis career todate and animage of a very determind young man
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