Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Witty and knowledgeable
on 23 July 2013
I thoroughly enjoy these Bluffer's Guides. I had the good fortune to be sent a few for review by the publisher: they are pocket-sized and only around 100 pages long and I have found them all amusing, informative and very enjoyable. They are, in fact, a bluff in themselves because although they purport to be a guide for those who simply want to bluff their way, they use this as a cover for providing lots of very sound fact, written by people who really know and love their subject while being very witty about it and often scathing about the pretence which surrounds it.
This Guide to Cricket is an up-to-date (in 2013) view of the game, with some basics about what terms mean, the Laws (a successful bluffer must never refer to "the rules", of course), the history, some characters and the modern game in general. It offers some funny and penetrating insights into all sorts of things including, as a random sample, village cricket, the KP/Strauss "incident", Twenty20 and a very funny summary of the important characteristics of various national teams. As a life-long cricket follower, I found it very funny and in places genuinely informative about some of the dustier corners of the game (ideal for a bluffer, of course).
The book acknowledges that a true novice would need actually to attend a match or two and listen to a bit of TMS before they could bluff their way convincingly even after reading this book - but then the book is all a bluff anyway and, although a novice would learn a good deal, it is really aimed at cricket fans who want an amusing, informative read by a fellow lover of the game. They'll get it. I enjoyed it hugely and sometimes laughed out loud. Warmly recommended.
[You probably don't want to know this, but just to show how difficult real bluffing is, I spotted a mistake even this book. It claims on p.68 that AC MacLaren's 424 "is still the highest individual first-class score on an English cricket ground." In fact, as we all know, BC Lara scored 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994. Let this be a warning to aspiring bluffers. :o)]