Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cricket Society Journal reviews Out of It

Michael O’Leary whose cricket novel I edited earlier in the year got a brief but good review in the Cricket Society’s Journal. Out of It was re-released as a 25th anniversary edition through my company HeadworX:


Review of Out of It by Michael O'Leary (HeadworX 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 New 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.

(From Journal of the Cricket Society, Volume 26, No. 3, Autumn 2012, UK)

Cricket Society Journal reviews A Tingling Catch

A brief review of A Tingling Catch appeared in the Journal of the Cricket Society in London. It's nice to be among 'the better offerings' in the collection of nearly 200 pages.


Review of A Tingling Catch - A Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864-2009, Mark Pirie, Editor (HeadworX Wellington, New Zealand)
This is a reprint of the 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 on things New Zealand; 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.

(From Journal of the Cricket Society, Volume 26, No. 3, Autumn 2012, UK)

New selection of cricketer Robert J Pope’s poetry

This is my first post for a while. The new cricket season has opened in New Zealand.
Over the past three months I’ve been putting in the hard hours on a new selection of Wellington club cricketer Robert J Pope’s poetry to be published in November 2012. The selection also contains his club cricket essay on his days as a cricketer for the Star Club from 1884/85 till 1888.
Pope played in the Senior Pearce Cup competition as an opening batsman. This was the leading club competition in his day. Star Club won the cup twice: 1883/84 and 1884/85 seasons. Pope later played for the Wellington Cricket Club and the Wairarapa Cricket Club and learnt his school boy cricket under J P Firth at Wellington College.
Members of Pope’s Star Club team included Wellington slow bowler Charlie Dryden as well as Harry Roberts and Sid Nicholls, the fathers of future All Black footballers (i.e. Teddie Roberts and the three Nicholls brothers, most notably Mark Nicholls of the Invincibles 1924/25 team).
The book is 192 pages in total.
I will post more details on the book’s release.