Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now

on 18 June 2013
I was looking forward to reading some 'behind the scenes' TMS stories, learning a bit more about the commentary team & what's involved in reporting from overseas. I guess it ticks some of those boxes - certainly on the technical side at least. After a few chapters I'd really had enough of microphones, cables, telexes & so on. But the writing about the commentary team is disappointingly shallow - we're assured how CMJ & Aggers are great guys loved by all, while (understandably) there's no love lost for Little Englander Don Mosey, but that's about it. The chapters are divided thematically for each tour destination, but as a couple of other people say here, the organisation of material in each chapter can be pretty chaotic at times. I've constantly had to scroll back to work out which Test or tour he's talking about. There's also a 'cricket notes' section tagged on to the end of chapters (often repeating what's already been written)in a rather 'will this do?' way.

Given the subject matter, there are bound to be redeeming features for any hardcore cricket nut. The author has a dry sense of humour, which makes up for some of the duller or more repetitive parts, or the occasional patronising attitudes to the locals (notably in India), but the feeling remains of a slightly rushed job and missed opportunity.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 31 December 2012
I bought this book as a fan of TMS for fourty years now who had already bought and read several TMS books. This one, published after Peter Baxter has retired and, now well away from his connections with the BBC, is the first to reveal in detail, as opposed to briefly in passing, a slightly less savoury side to some TMS goings on. A recurring theme in the book is the strong mutual dislike between him and Don Mosey, who was such an integral part of the TMS dream team in the late 1970s and 1980s that has never been approached in quality since. The fact that this intense dislike was never even hinted at on air, or in previous TMS books is a tribute to the professionalism of the TMS team.

I demolished this book in only a day over Christmas. The only slightly annoying thing about it is that many of the anecdotes and even some of the text has previously been used in his book "Inside the Box", published on his retirement and is just repeated verbatim.

There is plenty of inside information on issues of broadcasting rights, on how TMS struggled to cover some series and the lengths to which people went on occasion to try to stop TMS covering those series (with some unexpected allies appearing, often just in the knick of time who saved coverage). There are plenty of extracts from Peter Baxter's tour diaries, with TMS-eye view of occasions such as the abandoned Test in Antigua and the Shakoor Rana affair: in the case of the latter what stands out is that fact that, at the time, those broadcasting were scarcely aware that anything particularly untoward had happened on the field of play.

The difficulties of broadcasting from some tours are detailed at length. unsurprisingly, India figures prominently but is far from unique in this respect; some of the particularly problematic locations are far more unexpected. However, the book is not just limited to the issues of how the commentaries and reports got back. There are also ten quite extensive sections on cricketing highlights that Peter Baxter has witnessed on tour over the years.

After so many years of touring there is one tour and one series that stands out as by far the author's favourite. Many cricket fans would expect it to be one of the Ashes series, or a Caribbean tour. In fact, it is, unexpectedly, the 1984/85 tour of India that started out as if cursed, but became a great success on and off the field.

Anyway, I loved this book. It is more than 300 pages, but large print and can be read quite quickly. It is a good read if you love cricket and want to know how it gets broadcast.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 January 2013
Some aspects were interesting but the lay-out of the book was confusing. After reading this I was drawn to another book by Don Mosey. From reading Peter Baxter's book I learnt that there was a conflict between the two. Seeing the two sides was rewarding
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 February 2013
Very well written by a well-known radio producer/commentator (Add writer to that)

Anyone who like me has listened to TMS for many years will love this book - I for one had no idea just what went into getting on the air! especially from inhospitable and remote locations.

Just the facts, well-presented and without any sniping at friend and foe so often a feature of such a work. .
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 May 2013
Am not sure whether the book left me disappointed or waiting for more, I wanted more and it was not there. Felt like a book he had to get off his chest but did not really know how to do it. The jousts with the curmudgeonly Don Mosey were wonderful stuff and there were I am sure many elements left on the cutting room floor from those conversations.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 February 2013
If you enjoy test match special then this is for you. I often wondered how a producer of TMS could possibly keep order with such a disparate bunch of egos. When Aggers and Johners were together watch out!
This book Is a revelation
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 January 2015
A truly fascinating insight that will gently amuse and resonate with TMS aficionados and cricket lovers in general. A gentle easy read that is certain to put a smile on your face at least once but probably far more often.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 August 2015
Interesting content ruined by the format. No cohesion in the way the stories are presented.
Surprised the editing didn't sort this out. Too much about bits of wire and not enough about people.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 May 2013
Tends to Labour the same theme all through the book. I enjoyed the stories and remember when they took place. A nice holiday read
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 February 2013
A good insight into what we cricket fans take for granted. A brilliant career for Peter Baxter where he gave much pleasure.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)