Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bowling Through India

Title: Bowling Through India; five kiwi blokes take on India at Cricket
Author: Justin Brown
Publisher: Random House NZ
Price: $39.95

There is only one thing better than receiving a free book, and that's receiving a great free book and after winning a competition on Twitter run by Bowling Through India's author Justin Brown that was exactly the position I found myself in.

Bowling Through India is the true account of five kiwi blokes who set out for a holiday with a difference; travelling through India with a cricket bat and a ball named Vicki, to play backyard cricket in the most cricket obsessed nation on earth. The appropriately named "Black Craps," include a photographer, farmer, businessman, radio DJ and the trip bludger affectionately nicknamed "Blanket Boy."

It's a travel books with a difference: I don't think Lonely Planet guidebooks will tell you how to go about organising a cricket match in a Varanasi cemetery, in front of the magnificent Taj Mahal or along side the Ganges River as bodies (both human and canine) float by. Nor will many travel books take you so far off the beaten tourist tracks as our intrepid Black Craps ventured in their pursuit of a game against the next Tendulkars or Kumbles.

Don't think this is a book reserved for cricket aficionados only (although as a mad keen fan of our summer game I absolutely adored it). The Black Craps' journey, as the book's blurb states, is in equal parts about travel, humour, mateship in often trying conditions as well as the game that unites people whatever their age, situation and station.

And then there is the amazing photography by Brendon O'Hagan throughout. His images are liberally sprinkled throughout and are simple but effortlessly beautiful, capturing the stunning scenery, the magic and the misery of everyday India as well as those hard fought international matches.

Bowling Through India is a good old fashioned kiwi yarn, full of humour (with nary a bad sporting pun in sight), warmth and of course, cricket. It's an effortless read, helped along by that magical photography and is a near perfect Christmas present for the blokes in your life (at least that's what my Dad will be getting this year!).

1 comment:

Heather said...

Ohh, my dad is SO getting this for Christmas!