Late Cuts: Musings on Cricket by Vic Mark was highly recommended by a friend who is a Somerset fan through and through and eagerly anticipated by myself, a big fan of his writing.
It is with some reluctance and a touch of trepidation that I report that I found the book adequate.
The premise was sound: a light hearted romp through the varies components that make up the wonderful game (and world) or cricket, narrated by a man who is undoubtably passionate about his cricket and talented both on and off the field.
The structure and content was good. Covered all the bases. Gave a good insight.
The book failed to live up to expectation with the narrative from Mr Marks though. Seemed to lack his usual humour, bite, insightful comment. There are flashes of the legend in places (and I certainly have to agree with him on The Hundred) but in trying to find a word that summed up the book I eventually came up with lazy.
Don’t get me wrong it was a pleasant and easy enough read. I just felt that it didn’t tell me anything new, insightful, or deliciously risky. Was hard to shake off the feeling that was not a hard book for him to write: the stories felt familiar and safe, the text joining them up safe and a little tired.
The Official Blurb
What follows, which explores some of the charms, the quirks and the peculiar allure of cricket from a variety of perspectives, is not intended as a memorial for long-lost sepia days. The game is still alive. Whether it turns out to be therapy for me or entertainment for you remains to be seen. To achieve both would be a bonus.
From Somerset stalwart to acclaimed writer and broadcaster, Vic Marks has lived a life steeped in cricket. In Late Cuts he takes us beyond the boundary rope, sharing the parts of the game fans don’t get to see, from the food served at lunchtime (then – sweaty ham; now – quinoa, cranberry and feta salad) to the politics of the dressing room.
Whether revisiting his playing days to reveal the secrets of bowling a killer spell and what it feels like to be heckled by a riled-up crowd, or ruminating on the current state of the game (don’t mention The Hundred!), this amusing and insightful collection will delight all cricket lovers.