When Freddie Became Jesus by Jarrod Kimber | book review

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First, a disclaimer: we went to Jarrod’s wedding. Set against that is the fact that he’s Australian, so we probably average out as being impartial.

People always talk about the swearing and the sex references when they talk about Jarrod’s writing. Jarrod himself often plays up to this, but he’s doing himself a disservice in doing so. It makes it sound gimmicky, when it’s nothing of the sort. The truth is, he’s a sharp writer and the occasional ‘fucken’ is just window dressing.

When Freddie Became Jesus is about the 2009 Ashes, but it’s best when it’s not about that. The parts about the action itself, while energetically-described, are the weakest parts of the book, because the series is in the past now. It’s far better when he can draw conclusions that still ring true.

He deflates Australian pundits who talk up once-in-a-generation cricketers by pointing out that there were no fewer than five once-in-a-generation cricketers in the 2009 Ashes squad and for someone who would hate to be called politically correct, Jarrod can’t bear the one-dimensional look of the Npower girls:

They’re such great role models for young girls coming to the cricket for the first time: be white, dye your hair blonde, remain under size-12 and apply fake tan and you too can be popular at the cricket.

There’s also a nice running joke about Phil Hughes’s inane contributions on Twitter. “Need to dig deep today.”

The book builds to a climax with the series going to the last match, the wedding in the offing and Jarrod’s media exposure going through the roof (or at least into the loft).

If you buy When Freddie Became Jesus, you will enjoy it. We can’t state it much better than that.


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  1. Actually, it’s a good thing that he uses the swear words. It’s what makes his writing enjoyable, rather than somethin’ like Peter Roebuck, who can get kinda boring with his poetry! But, like u say, he hides a lot of wit behind the ‘cunts’ and the perverted angles! 😛

  2. We’ve no problems with the swearing, we’re just saying that’s not the actual point of his writing, which is sometimes the way it’s presented.

  3. I’m half way through it and love the Natalie Portman references, the absence of Boycott (so far anyway), and the swearing. More books should feature the word ‘fucken’ if you ask me. Cracking read!

  4. Vernon ‘God’ Little is the definitive ‘fucken’ book, if that’s what you’re after.

  5. I think I might love him for that bit about the Npower girls, being a female cricket fanatic who ticks off absolutely none of those boxes.

    The book’s in the mail, can’t wait to read it…

  6. My copy EVENTUALLY arrived (stupid Christmas post/snow) and I’m nearly a third of the way through.

    Even ignoring the fact I was predisposed to like it because the author is a thoroughly fab bloke (!), I’m absolutely loving it. Brilliantly insightful, hilarious and definitely one I don’t want to put down. Resenting all the chores atm as just want to keep reading!

  7. Have mine before me and I read with glee “You can never tell what sort of decision Rudi Koertzen will give. Sometimes I think he gives himself extra time by raising his finger slowly just so he can surprise himself.”

    And that’s just the page I happen to be reading – there’s a little gem on most pages.

  8. I concur. This is the first cricket book I’ve read and I enjoyed it enormously.

    As an aside, I used to work as a data entry lackey for the NSW Police Force in the early 90s. Now, Australian police used to be pretty much like Boss Hogg with Ford Fairlaines and the ‘verbal’ was a standard way for a policeman (they were always men) to get a conviction against someone they didn’t like.
    I was working on the computerisation of the police files and I found the number of subpoenas I had to type in that charged someone with offensive language – to wit ‘he called me a fucken cunt’ – remarkable . They way they all had the same statement, same spelling and the idea that a possibly corrupt, hard drinking hard fighting NSW police officer would be offended by those words made me giggle time and again. We used to call such words ‘station language’.

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