Review: The Rules of Backyard Cricket

The Rules of Backyard Cricket
The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is great. There. I could just stop there, but I’ll attempt more. This is the story of two brothers, Wally and Darren Keefe, cricket obsessed, playing constantly in the hot Australian sun in their backyard throughout their childhood, trying to get into better and better teams and generally just living for the game. Their mum is always there, supporting and helping out, trying to ease the path and always with their backs. Cricket, however, is as rife with dodgy players, scams and all manner of grasping and manipulation as any other sport, Darren, from whose point of view the story is told, is caught up in the seedier side of cricket life from an early age. His brother is the paragon of virtue though, a fine upstanding cricketer through and through.

The opening of the book finds Darren, tied up and stuffed into the boot of a car. The beginning of every chapter finds him still there, struggling to get out and reflecting on his life. The people he annoyed, the people he mixed with and the opportunities he took which maybe he shouldn’t have! No … he definitely shouldn’t have! Great story, fabulous writing, excellent structure and a blimmin brilliant read. (Disclaimer: I’m not a cricket fan, I’m often surrounded by wall to wall cricket in my life as my partner is a serious fan, I can talk about cricket but I really don’t care about it, and yet still I enjoyed this book!)

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