Cricket, Lovely Cricket? by Lawrence Booth | book review

While Lawrence Booth’s posts sometimes nestle next to ours on the Wisden Cricketer blog, we’ve never actually spoken to him, so you can be assured of our impartiality.

Cricket, Lovely Cricket? An Addict’s Guide To The World’s Most Exasperating Game is officially recommended.It’s kind of an overview of the game as it currently stands; a primer to tell you everything you really need to know. Not the rules or the records, but the culture of the game.

As we read it, we continually thought it was the kind of book we’d try and foist onto a friend who didn’t like the sport to trick them into entering our world. ‘See, it’s not shit,’ would be our implicit message. But if you’re worried it’s a book for those new to cricket, it’s not.

We probably read more cricket writing than most, but there were plenty of good stories in here that we’d never heard before and Booth’s also a writer who’s not averse to sneaking out the kinds of stories that cricketers and cricket writers usually keep to themselves.

A man who writes a chapter on the language of cricket has to know the clichés well enough to steer clear of them and Booth is a writer who seems like he thinks about each of his sentences. We’re not sure he could write a duff cricket book. Buy it from Amazon, if you haven’t got a copy already.

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6 Appeals

  1. I took this book with me on holiday to Australia

    Whilst reading it I was thinking of all the other people who would enjoy it that I could lend it to when I got back

    Halfway through it fell apart, so I had to put it in the bin

  2. It is an excellent book. I reviewed it on MTWD this spring – here is a link to that (somewhat more comprehensive) review:

    http://www.cricketnetwork.co.uk/main/s66/st142878.htm

    But if I could only take once Lawrence Booth with me to the desert island it would be Arm Ball To Zooter, which I reviewed on MTWD at the time:

    http://www.cricketnetwork.co.uk/main/s66/st107702

  3. I bought this for myself last Christmas, and have indeed foisted it on many of my non-cricket friends since. It’s very, very, good.

    Have also made mental note not to lend any books to Price (or place anything else of a delicate nature in their hands).

  4. Mel, this is very wise. I have a history of books falling apart on me

    Am I doing something wrong? Am I reading too aggressively?

  5. I wouldn’t lend anything to Price.

    I lent him a sleeping bag once and it fell apart.

    God knows what he was doing aggressively in that.

  6. GED – completely agree, I love ” Arm Ball to Zooter”. My favourite entry gives examples of a ‘Stock Ball’ as a Matthew Hoggard out swinger, a Shane Warne ripping leg break or a Devon Malcolm legstump half volley. Poor old Devon.

    The Sledger’s Handbook is also a cracking read / toilet book if this sort of thing is your bag.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sledgers-Handbook-Deliver-Perfect-Cricketing/dp/1904332641

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