Monday, October 4, 2010

Michael O'Leary’s Cricket Novel to be Reprinted

Michael O’Leary’s cricket poetry satires from his novel Out of It featured prominently in my anthology A Tingling Catch. Michael informs me he has decided to do a reprint in March 2011. Michael’s company Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop first published the book in 1987. Out of It is a novel/novella that remains a cricket cult classic. The book provides a moving and comic account of the disintegration of the protagonist's mind as he takes leave from everyday life to watch a One-Day cricket match and conjures a surreal game between New Zealand and an Out of It XI. The book includes a number of cricket satires/parodies that rank among the best written on the subject in this country. Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix bat against Richard Hadlee and New Zealand's great 1980s beige team on Eden Park. Read it to find out the outcome. Libraries in the main centres may still have copies for lending. Here’s a sample from Out of It, also included in A Tingling Catch:


From The Ballad of Reading Oval

(Oscar Wilde)

Yet each man pulls the stumps on himself
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a simple French Cut
And with unflattering word
Cowardly commentators say ‘Played on!’
Cutting deeper than a sword

Some play careless strokes when they are young
And some when they are old
Some leave such a gap twixt bat and pad
That the ball, like an arrow of gold
Straight to its target blindly goes
Leaving the batsman out in the cold

Some hit too little, some too long
Some wait for an extra or a bye
Some leave the field almost in tears
And some without a sigh
For each man pulls the stumps on himself
Yet none can answer why

Poem © Michael O'Leary

Note: After Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’. Wilde is batting against New Zealand in a fictitious match from Michael O’Leary’s novel Out of It, ESAW, Auckland, 1987.

1 comment:

  1. That's excellent news! I am reading "Out Of It" at the moment (I had to get it from the Library stacks) and enjoying it very much.