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.