Monday, October 29, 2012
NZ authors reviewed by London Cricket Society
Mark Pirie says: "It is great for NZ cricket writing to receive mentions in their journal." Here are the brief reviews:
Review of A Tingling Catch - A Century of
Cricket Poems 1864-2009 New
Mark Pirie, Editor (
Wellington, New Zealand
This is a book originally published in 2010 and it's fair to say that the content is a little uneven, with a too-large number of parodies of other songs and poems, most of which seem to have been gathered by Sir Richard Hadlee in an earlier book, Hadlee's Humour, which certainly sounds like a contradiction in terms.
The poems are generally in blank verse (or as we used to say at school - "Sir - Sir - it doesn't rhyme Sir") although the works from earlier times are much more conventional. Poetry is perhaps one of the most subjective of all literary forms and, with the emphasis
it's hard to know if there will be a widespread appeal for this selection.
The editor, Mark Pirie, contributes a number and they are among the better offerings, but the standout poem is from Jenny Powell, with ‘Under Cover’ which evokes memories of cricket and a relationship shared at the Carisbrook ground with an underlying feeling that the relationship was becoming as sterile as some of the play. Dispassionate with a slight
air of wistfulness, this is an unsettling piece and I will look to read more from Jenny Powell. Bonus points to David McGill for attempting a limerick that gets lines to rhyme with Adam Parore.
Review of Out of It by Michael O'Leary (
Wellington, New Zealand
If there has ever been a stranger book on cricket, I've yet to see it. I always thought that Willie Rushton's W G. Grace's Last Case was the strangest but this one ..........................
Well, it's a reprint of a 1987 book which is apparently a 'cult classic.' The main story (?) is of a one-day match between a proper
Zealand side led by Jeremy Coney and a team
named Out Of It. The latter team is skippered by the Maori chief Te Rauparaha
with Bob Marley as Vice-Captain and the likes of Janis Joplin, Oscar Wilde,
Jimi Hendrix and Hermann Goring playing (look, I'm not making this up!) with a
running radio commentary from standard and made-up broadcasters.
It reads not unlike one of the earliest Dadaist offerings, written under the influence of hallucinogenics and although that almost certainly isn't the case, it may have been the author's intention to read as if it was. Perhaps it's about dislocation in society - perhaps it isn't. Maybe it's about a suburban man becoming unsettled in real life and entering the surreal world of the imagination - and maybe it isn't. It's unclassifiable (and occasionally, in parts, unreadable) but if you suspend disbelief, a kind of logic can be found.
It's not a spoiler to let prospective readers know that, unlike the song, Goring lasts for three overs and not the obligatory two balls, however small.
If you can find an inexpensive copy, you will have something in your collection that will be unique.
Reviews by John Symons, editor of The Cricket Society News Bulletin.
(From Journal of the Cricket Society, Volume 26, No. 3, Autumn 2012,
Pirie's blog Tingling Catch began in October 2010 and has since reached 150 posts. A recent article of interest is 'Maori cricket in New Zealand'. Web site: http://www.tinglingcatch.blogspot.co.nz/