Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



Read Review
<back to archive

Going Barmy : Despatches from a Cricketing Foot Soldier By Paul Winslow

Release date: 11th October, 2012
Publisher: Sportsbooks Ltd

List Price: £8.99
Our Price: £8.09
You Save: £0.9 (10%)
Buy Now

Graeme Swann's foreword to Going Barmy leaves you in no doubt about the extent to which England's cricketers hold their loyal, raucous travelling support, aka the Barmy Army, in esteem.

"Those hardy souls who travel the globe are especially favoured," he writes, adding, "Paul Winslow is definitely one of these."

The stage appears set, presumably for a romp-a-page tale of (mostly) boys on tour and everything that encompasses: archaic rules, frequent drinking penalties and other time-honoured forfeits. But thankfully, Going Barmy is not simply a collection of regurgitated, beer-infused anecdotes which were probably hilarious at the time, but fall a little short in the humour department in the cold light of day.

This is because Winslow is primarily a cricket fan. The point at which he first took an interest in the game came as an 11 year-old, although it clearly failed to make an immediate impression. It was, he says, like playing with "the girl next doorÖwithout knowingÖshe was the most captivating, beautifulÖthing I would ever lay eyes on."

It was not until 16 years later, when back-packing around the world and having spent more than three months in South America that he became determined to go to Australia to watch an Ashes series.

He was lucky enough to witness an English victory Down Under, but he also enjoyed his first taste of life with the Barmy Army, a group of otherwise perfectly respectable individuals who chanted lines such as "You all live in a convict colony" (to the tune of Yellow Submarine) to the Australian supporters.

By the time you reach the second chapter, you find you're singing along to some rather witty (some less so) versions of songs to other well-known tunes including the Australian National Anthem, Waltzing Matilda and House of the Rising Sun.

Not surprisingly, this is a tale of camaraderie, long-standing friendships, unexpected delights and how cricket's occasional quirky nature breeds welcome eccentricity. If it has an unfortunate aspect, it's Jimmy Saville. No, not that Jimmy Saville, but poor Victor Flowers, a high-profile Barmy Army regular whose nicknamed after the now disgraced former DJ.

Set this aside and Winslow has written what is often an extremely funny book. It's not great literature, although he never claims it is, but this is a perfect Christmas gift for any cricket lover


<back to archive


Toolstation


SBOTM Current Top 10

Unstoppable: My Life So Far By Maria Sharapova
Particular Books
Read Review Buy Now
Over and Out: My Innings of a Lifetime with Test Match Special By Henry Blofeld
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Football: My Life, My Passion By Graeme Souness
Headline
Read Review Buy Now
Rugby, The Game Of My Life: Battling For England in the Professional Era By Rob Andrew
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Ali: A Life By Jonathan Eig
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
A Clear Blue Sky By Jonny Bairstow with Duncan Hamilton
Harper Collins
Read Review Buy Now
From Orient to the Emirates The Plucky Rise of Burnley FC By Tim Quelch
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Ascent By Sir Chris Bonnington
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
Glove Story By Rob Stokes, Derek Hammond & Gary Silke
Conker Editions
Read Review Buy Now
The Way of the Runner A Journey Into the Fabled World of Japanese Running By Adharanand Finn
WW Norton
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.