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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 13 April 2017
Through Mr Farrar, you live the year you always wanted to, but never had the guts. Up there with Anthony Holden's 'Big Deal' about his year on the poker tour...
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on 1 March 2012
This is a superbly written book for sports fans, particularly those who like a bet. Firstly, let me declare an interest: Dave is a friend and former colleague of mine and for that reason I was shocked when I read his account of how he had fallen into a crazy spell of betting and losing, sparked off by the end of a relationship with his girlfriend. This book is about Dave's attempt to get to grips with his gambling but his approach is a million miles from conventional. An addiction counsellor would probably tell someone in Dave's position to stay well away from the bookies and close his online accounts. Instead he embarked on a journey to attend the sporting events that had cost him most dearly in his losing streak. His portrayal of these trips is the strength of the book. As a sports travelogue it excellent and the author has a fantastic grasp of the subjects and air of authority that is delicately mixed with self-effacing humour.
Potential readers should be aware that there are a couple of things this book is not. He does not teach you how to bet well. There are plenty of times during the story at which I despaired, and wished he would simply give up gambling. He studies the events in great detail but doesn't get clinical about it. For example, he has a bet on a tennis player to win an event at 28-1 and when she gets to the final he doesn't `lay off' the bet to lock in his winnings but watches the final knowing that it is all or nothing.
And sports fans don't worry - it is not a love story. There is a girl on the opening page but she soon fades when he gets down to the real business of deciding how to win two grand on the Ryder Cup.
The Perfect Punter is a terrifically good sports book, and if that is what you like, you should give it a go.
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on 25 May 2012
Follow a painful break-up, Farrar tried for some salvation with sports betting, a subject he's well versed in but in post break-up grief gambled recklessly and unluckily, losing heavily (been there myself). Having got his head together, this is his account of trying to get some of that cash back by travelling to the events he lost on to find a way to get one step ahead of the bookies and taking everything he could into account - site conditions on the day, chatting to experts, commentators, players, fans and covering a wide variety of sports in venues all over the world, from the Crucible to Belmont Park, from American Football to Italian Football and various other sports and venues in between, finishing up at Goodwood for the Stewards' Cup.
Farrar has a dry sense of humour and the book's an entertaining read although if you're looking for it to provide the magical ingredients to beat the bookies - well if he had all the answers he'd be too busy making millions than writing a book although you'll pick-up some largely common sense but useful ideas as you read through and he's certainly encouraged me to get back to keeping a diary of my bets and thinking of adjusting my betting to aiming to win the same amount every time (his target is £2k each time, just a bit beyond my means!). I tip up the book as an enjoyable read but if you want to get rich in sports betting, immerse yourself in your chosen sport and keep your fingers crossed too!
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on 5 September 2012
I read this on the basis of the review given by Bruce Millington and the 2 reviews already on here, 1 good and 1 bad. There were many parts of the book I could identify with, even his liking for American politics and his love of The West Wing. I have the box set and have watched the entire series 5 times. If I sound like a nerd i,m not (at least I think not). Like Farrar I identify with Josh Lyman.
The bets he has and the sports he chooses are probably most common to all punters and easy to get into. I did not find the detail of his selections to nit picky and found parts of the book quite poignant, eg like meeting Secratariats jockey at Belmont.
It was uncanny that in his golf chapter he talked about following Snedeker, believing that one day he would win a major, as I followed the same player with the same belief. And like most punters we all have stories about the one that got away. Mine was missing out on Fred Funk at 300/1. As I said a lot of the book rang true with me.

If you have no interest in betting I suspect this is not the book for you. If on the other hand you have ever said to yourself, "why did I put that bet on" or what a plonker I was etc etc then you might just enjoy it. Don't look for the secret to everlasting riches as you won't find it here
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on 28 June 2012
Entertaining read, no strategies described but rather one man's mission and why he made the bets he did when he did
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on 14 July 2014
As the title says, page after page of the authors recollections of the research he did before placing a single bet on American Football, the US Open Golf and a French football final. Thank goodness I've finished.
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on 21 November 2016
As a fan of casual betting this book appealed to me to get an insight it to the minds of those punters who literally risk it all for a winning bet. This book didn't disappoint and it showed what actually occurs in the life of a high stakes gambler. Very easy to read and i got through it in a couple of sittings.
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on 7 October 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this read. Liked that the guy took gambling into a different angle and he said so many things that resonated (slightly worrying). Would recommend it.
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on 3 March 2012
It's a title that just has to seduce every self confessed wannabe perfect punter. I would suspect that there is no punter who has lost and never thought that he must try and win it all back. It's a great concept and the opening was a brilliant description of gambling addiction and I suspect that there isn't one person who has ever stepped into a bookmakers who can't see themselves in this section of the book. However, Farrar overwrites each chapter which deals with a bet on a particular sporting event, to the extent that it actually becomes a little boring and tedious. Maybe studying events in such detail makes betting like work rather than fun. If this is what he intended, then he may have succeeded in making readers (many of whom will be gamblers) mindful that luck is not a factor in being a profitable gambler.
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on 23 January 2016
Hard to believe,a man who has lost all his money travels all the way to America to put a football bet on ,come on.lost interest after first chapter.
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