One of the finest and most finished books to come out of the West Indies, V. S. Naipaul. C L R James, historian, novelist, cultural critic and political activist, was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1901. In 1932 he joined his friend Learie Constantine in Britain, where he became cricket correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. A central figure in the Pan-African movement and the struggle for colonial emancipation, he returned to Trinidad in 1958 in its run-up to independence. He later went back to London, where he died in 1989.. 'To say "the best cricket book ever written" is piffingly inadequate praise' Guardian'Great claims have been made for [Beyond a Boundary] since its first appearance in 1963: that it is the greatest sports book ever written; that it brings the outsider a privileged insight into West Indian culture; that it is a severe examination of the colonial condition. All are true' Sunday TimesC L R James, one of the foremost thinkers of the twentieth century, was devoted to the game of cricket. In this classic summation of half a lifetime spent playing, watching and writing about the sport, he recounts the story of his overriding passion and tells us of the players whom he knew and loved, exploring the game's psychology and aesthetics, and the issues of class, race and politics that surround it. Part memoir of a West Indian boyhood, part passionate celebration and defence of cricket as an art form, part indictment of colonialism, Beyond a Boundary addresses not just a sport but a whole culture and asks the question, 'What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?
Filled with Humour as well as imaginative metaphors. James is a cricket-centric author par excellence. The prompt to read this book came from its being mentioned by Ed Smith in his book “What Sport teaches us about Life. He also mentioned William Makepeace Thackeray and Vanity Fair, a book on Victorian and earlier Vanity. The cricket book is peppered with wonderful paragraphs lifted from the CLR James’ diaries. The central theme is “tales of cricket’’ and it is ...
Can't recommend highly enough I ordered this book on the strength of a blog post by Kenan Malik. I'm not a huge fan of cricket and reading this book was sometimes like reading a Patrick O'Brien novel (a lot of jargon) but it did not interfere with my enjoyment of the book. Though it did make me somewhat jealous of the affection, the knowledge and the passion, the author had for the game of cricket. It's difficult to say exactly what this book is about as it is parts autobiography, biography, paean to the game of cricket, a treatise on art, a social history of England, Trinidad & Tobago, an introduction to a national awakening and flowering, a literary review, a philosophical commentary, a window into the gradations of racism, the degradations caused by racism and the sun setting on an imperial power. I've never had the pleasure of reading something so eclectic and yet so informative.
The greatest cricket book ever written This is the greatest cricket book ever written. It's amazing. Because it's not about cricket. It's about life, about class, about politics, about colonialism, about racism. Because James realises you can't talk about cricket without talking about these things. As he says, "what do they know of cricket that only cricket know?" Cricket books seem to work better than many other sport books because the game has only just started to change. There's been no new equipment to revolutionise the game, no huge influxes of obscene money (until this year); Bradman would have scored runs by the hatful today, and Warne would have taken wickets by the bucketload then. Which is lovely and means that this book feels almost as relevant now as when it was written. If you know a cricket fan (or a sports fan, for that matter) who hasn't read this book, buy it for them. They will thank you
Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand cricket - and politics - in the West Indies James's book is perhaps best known for the quote "What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?" This book should be required reading for anybody aspiring to write or talk about the game. Thought provoking, funny and angry by turns, this is masterful writing by an intellectual and political activist who sees his - and his nation's cricketing development as inextricably linked with the politics and self-identify, not only of his home country of Trinidad, but of the entire Caribbean.
Read this The best book ever written about cricket? Certainly. The best Marxist analysis of colonialism? I'd say so. A glorious piece of prose? Oh yes. Set aside some time and savour this, the defining work of a great mind.
A classic This book is unique - the work of a unique author. A person who can write with equal authority, wit and - on occasion - poignancy on cricket (this book) and on the Haiti slave revolt (The Black Jacobins) deserves respect and gratitude. 'Beyond a boundary' is a cricket book for the cricket enthusiast, but it's frame of reference is so much wider than cricket. A classic.
SIX! This is an exquisitely evocative memoir full of poetic language and compelling encomia about cricket and life in colonial Trinidad. CLR's style is magnanimous and warm making it an easy book to read despite some significant intellectualism. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to English cricket fans and social historians. Magnificent.
GREAT BOOK ABOUT WEST INDIAN LIFE AND CRICKET, UNDER COLONIALISM GREAT BOOK ABOUT WEST INDIAN LIFE AND CRICKET, UNDER COLONIALISM
Supersport This is a most unusual book, part autobiography, part politics, part cricket. It is beautifully written, essential reading for those of us who think of cricket as a spiritual experience as well as a game. CLR James must have been an exceptionally well-educated man, and this shows in his ability to set his arguments out in an intelligent way. It is not too intellectual, but occasionally it goes off at some curious tangents. Most enjoyable.
what wonderful writing. A classic, what wonderful writing.
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