Is Kevin Pietersen’s book worth buying?

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We didn’t get a review copy of KP: The Autobiography. Apparently it was already getting enough attention without a review appearing here in about six months’ time.

We wonder whether we need to read it. The two-page email from Rahul Dravid about how to play spin that features within it sounds interesting, but as far as we can make out, the book’s mostly all about the run-up to his sacking (KP’s, not Dravid’s – who’d sack Dravid from anything?). We felt like we’d pretty much got all of that information after an hour on Twitter yesterday.

Andy Flower’s a mood hoover. Alastair Cook’s a company man. Matt Prior refers to himself in the third person as ‘the Big Cheese’, saying things like “the Big Cheese has earned some beer tonight” (pretty sure that last one’s either a lie or Prior was saying it with great irony, but it is quite funny all the same).

What else?

The interesting stuff that might cause us to read the book falls into two categories.

Stuff about cricket

Like the Dravid email or the observation: “We are on the road for 250 days a year, we wear our England kit on most of these days … It never, ever ended.”

We’d like to know more about this sort of stuff, but is there really any room for it in a book that seems to spend most of its time focused on fall-outs of the recent past.

Accidental Partridge

I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan – there’s a book that’s worth a read. But we also love the accidental Partridges pro sportsmen are prone to. Apparently at one point Pietersen says that most England players don’t have many friends internationally “whereas I have friends in literally every single international team,” which is a brilliantly petty piece of one-upmanship.

Sadly, we’d be surprised if his ghost writer, David Walsh, allowed much of this to get through. Having someone filter his thoughts probably means that even if Pietersen doesn’t have the brain mechanism that stops him saying such things, his words generally won’t make it as far as the printed page.

So, in summary: No, we’re probably not going to read Kevin Pietersen’s book. Now that all the best lines have been published on the nation’s sports pages, we’re just not sure there’d be enough in it that’s new to us


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Ged’s book concentrates way too much on the reasons for his exclusion from the England cricket team, and not on what it is supposed to be about. For a book that describes itself in the title as “The Price of Fish”, there’s way too little in it about actual fish prices. I bought it because I needed to know how much a piece of haddock costs, and even basic information like this isn’t in it. Meanwhile, we get is the author whinging about his relationships with his colleagues (he describes co-author Michael Milli-Vanilli as “a moody sucker”).

      Anyway, that’s three people I know of who’ve written a book – Ged, Kevin Pietersen and Barbara Cartland. Will this ridiculous trend never end?

    2. Bert – just for you:

      But how did you know about the grumpiness of Milli Vanilli? That stuff is only in the Directors’ Cut, not only unpublished but not even on a networked hard drive. Have you been bugging/burgling my apartment again? This is nothing less than Notting Hill Gate-gate.

      As for your comment, Deep Cower, when (or should I say, if) KP’s book wins an IPPY Gold, no doubt Amazon will stop discounting the thing so much. I suggest you try both and report back on which was better value!

  1. It is strange that the publishers would allow so much of the book to be re-printed by journalists. On the face it is this is a standard marketing move, but as you say we don’t need to actually buy the thing now.

    Barney Ronay live tweeting as he read it was hilarious, although as ever with Ronay it’s hard to tell what was actually in the book and what was ironic satire.

  2. I will read it but I won’t buy it. I am going to order it from the library for the princely sum of 60p ( probably just the right amount of money the book is worth)

  3. If he has friends in “literally every single international team” would anyone like to speculate as to who KP’s friends are in the Afghanistan, UAE, Jersey and Vanuatu

    Or is he talking about Full Members only?

    1. I understand he’s big mates with former Zimbabwe all-rounder Dylan de Beer and former South African batsman Divan de Beer.

      They’re planning a knockabout sitcom for E4 in which our hero is lonely and looking for some roommates to brighten up his life.

      It will be called…

      …(wait for it)…

      KP Gets de Beers In.

      Thank you, thanks so much.

    2. …apropos to that thought, my co-author and business partner (forever henceforward to be known as Milli-Vanilli – thank you Bert) very kindly gave us the statue shown in the following picture:

      Coincidentally, Daisy and I named this statue “AP”, as a sort-of mix between KP and the Greek god Apollo.

      So in some ways the KP cargo cult has already got going amongst us wacky tribes-folk of West London.

  4. Ged, I remember listening to something on Radio 4 about the Prince Phillip ‘cult’ – it ended with a phrase like “…the Prince has been advised by his aides not to return to the island”.

    1. Strangely, Princess Anne is set to visit Vanuatu, including Tanna, at the end of this month.

  5. The main problem with following the Australia-Pakistan ODI is Steve Smith’s gurning face in the statbox on the right. Never realised how much it bothers me until recently.

  6. Bert keeps going on about my single ball. Surely quality beats quantity. Mine’s a cricket ball. His three are corporate gimcrack juggling balls.

    Anyway, I feel duty bound to report a culture of bullying on this thread. Duty bound, not least because my publisher says that I should say lots of sensationalistic things, such as “culture of bullying” in the context of “The Price of Fish”.

    Apparently it works even better when “The Price of Fish” is juxtaposed with trending news words and phrases, such as Ebola, Duchess of Cambridge, Pietersen, ISIS/ISIL/so-called IS, collagen and lycopene.

  7. The ECB’s dossier is about as convincing as Tony Blair’s was.

    “It riled the team and management that KP allowed Piers Morgan to belittle AC and the team on social media. When asked by some of his team mates to get Piers Morgan to stop tweeting about the team, KP laughed at the players and told them to get a thicker skin.”

    Every single person involved in this debacle should be thoroughly embarrassed. They’re a bunch of pathetic children.

    a) KP is extraordinarily petulant, egotistical and difficult, b) a clique of senior players was clearly dominating the dressing room and acting like bullies, which worked in the short term but was always going to fall apart (see also Flower’s management style and c) Alastair Cook is a bloody useless captain because sorting this kind of rubbish out is exactly what he should have been doing.

    I’m not going to read this stupid book or anything more about this sorry situation, but from what I have read, I’ve come out with a lower opinion of everyone involved, especially Pietersen, Prior and Swann (and in two of those cases I’m surprised I was able to manage that).

    The only other thing I’ve noticed is that nobody seems to have anything bad to say about Ian Bell.

    1. You mean KP and Prior? No, KP and Swann? No, no I mean Prior and Swann?

      3!/2!*1!=3. Yup, got everything.

    2. Prior seemed to me like a reasonable chap (although there was the jelly bean kerfuffle, which I’d forgotten. Maybe he was always a jerk too). KP and Swann were always clearly complete tossers. Great players, both, but weapons-grade tools.

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