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on 4 August 2017
Very thought-provoking. It certainly made me consider my perspective on things.
Loved it - highly recommend.
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on 6 September 2017
Excellent
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on 20 April 2012
Very nicely shaded look at what role luck plays in our lives. Although not at all a "sports" book, Ed Smith uses his sporting experience as an initial lens to look at the gradations and nuances of luck.

I found this quick read to have good insight into how even the most prepared and gifted still might be where they are by dint of luck at some point in their lives. By maintaining that luck has persistence one cannot help but to reflect on a little discussed aspect of fate's machinations.

Smith makes an excellent case that luck does indeed have meaning and it very much does matter!
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on 19 May 2013
Ed Smith's book poses lots of interesting questions - is luck really quite a sophisticated concept (with alternative views of the world that rule our luck and attribute everything to agency, perhaps the agency of witches, perhaps our own agency as when we claim credit for things that have happened through luck, or perhaps divine agency); do we like games of luck or skill (where tennis can be very much a game of skill with a pre-eminent champion who always wins for periods of up to 5 years, but football is a game where luck is much more to the fore); how could the course of history have been different (both Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler survived potentially fatal car accidents in the 1930s; Napoleon once applied for a job to the British Admiralty).

It's also laced with really entertaining anecdotes - his own bad luck breaking of his leg in 2008 (following his good luck in going to a school that had the 2nd best cricket pitch he had ever played on); the luck of a now 94 year old veteran of the Battle of Britain; and of a friend in just the right place at the right time following a totally unanticipated and unanticipatable heart attack.

Furthermore, it's also a very easy and entertaining read. Smith is well read but wears his learning lightly. And he is a good companion throughout the book.

My strongest reservation would be that the books remains, at the end of the day, perhaps just a very entertaining light read - the work of an elegant essayist - though writing on an interesting subject and writing well.
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on 12 March 2015
Bit of a strange book - full of lots of general info but I felt it went round in a circle and at the end of the book you were left feeling "what was that all about"!
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on 21 March 2015
Ed Smith is most comfortable when he's writing about what he knows best, and what he knows best is sport - especially cricket. He relates various theories of luck, of fate, of destiny, of the randomness of events, and is convincing when he speaks in terms of sport. There were passages of Luck that I found riveting, nearly all of which focus on sporting pursuits. When he strays away from sport he's less convincing, but the book is enjoyable nevertheless. This is far from a book on self-help and Smith doesn't believe in making your own luck, but the ultimate message is that it is the active amongst us that are lucky, that get out there and create opportunities, rather than sit and wait to experience whatever hand fate deals us.
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on 27 August 2014
I enjoy Ed Smith's writing in the paper and listening to his commentary on Test Match Special so was naturally intrigued by Luck. Furthermore, personally as someone who believes they have enjoyed a good amount of luck I have a natural interest in the subject. Smith makes thought provoking observations best exemplified by an excellent selection of stories and anecdotes. I don't know if I am altogether any clearer (from the book) as to what 'luck' actually means, indeed Smith observes it means very different things to different people's and cultures. Nonetheless an enjoyable read and I will certainly continue to read Smith's work.
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on 6 June 2012
I bought this book after hearing Ed Smith being interviewed about it on the radio. It stimulated my curiosity and the book certainly got me thinking. I guess the fact that I have been talking about it to various groups of people tells you how fascinated I am with it all. Very well written and extremely thought provoking.
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on 12 July 2013
Had some very interesting stories which follows much of the style of Syed. Definitely would recommend for Bounce readers.

Matt
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on 18 September 2013
I didn't previously believe in the concept of luck. Instead, I preferred to follow the mantra of one of my all time heroes, Gary Player, who famously once stated "the more I practice, the luckier I get". This book puts forward a compelling alternative theory that, while talent and work ethic undoubtedly influences the direction your life may take, luck, which by definition is out of your control, plays an equally, if not more important, role. Recommended.
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