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Luck: What It Means and Why It Matters
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Luck: What It Means and Why It Matters

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  15 reviews
To what extent do we control our own destiny? Can those who have risen to the top really say it was all down to them? Is lucky success somehow less deserving?

Watch Ed Smith talk about Luck

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA (first published March 29th 2012)
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May 27, 2013 Nick added it

I have this habit of picking up and reading any book that has the word "random" "chance" or "luck" in the title. I even searched a library catalogue for chance once and discovered Paul Auster's works.

This book was on the new book shelf at the local library so I borrowed it. And I have read it in 3 days. Which is quite surprising as I nearly gave up on it when there were too many cricketing anecdotes at the start.

Anyway I am glad that I perservered - though I did skip a couple more cricketing bit
Ed Smith was a budding and talented English cricketer whose hopes for an extended international career were put paid by a freak ankle injury suffered while playing for Middlesex. Undaunted by this set back, Smith substituted a pen for his trusted willow and is currently flourishing in his second avatar as a leading writer for the prestigious 'The Times'

In this arresting work, Smith takes up in earnest the concept of luck and the influence that wields in the life of a human being. Are we justifie
Nick Hayhoe
Cricket is the greatest sport in the world and (somewhat passively, admittedly) this book might be one of the reasons why. I mean, can you imagine John Terry or Ashley Cole writing a book on the philosophical discussions surrounding the concept of luck and fortune? No. Neither can I?

Ed Smith was lucky at first. A natural talent nurtured in a private school which he says had the best pitch he ever played on bar Lords. Then it all went wrong after a freak injury where he began to reassess his life
Tyler Jones
Luck is a straight-forward look into a rather murky subject. I like books like this that take a subject I think I have a fairly good grasp on, show me that some of my thinking is wonky, and leave me feeling I'm thinking a lot more clearly. Smith manages to clearly delineate the difference between what we mean by words such as luck, chance and probability, and I hope I can remember the differences as it is quite important to be able to accept the responsibility when you are to blame, but to let i ...more
Tariq Mahmood
The book is simple to read and relate to especially for British readers. But for someone like me who comes from an Asian culture where luck is still pretty relevant, the book only provided the shift of luck from a central tenant to obscurity in the Western culture. This thumping of luck in the Western anglophile culture begins to make sense when you consider the enormous strides its culture has made over all others. I think luck became a victim of an ascendant Western cultural hubris which is a ...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
I am not sure if other readers would agree, but this book seemed like a kind of sociological look at different lives and how various factors would influence their "luck" or lot in life. Also, how we use various terms which may not necessarily be interchangeable with the idea or connotation of luck. What an author of a book of this sort brings to the reader is his own personal experiences. Unfortunately for me as a reader I hate cricket and think it boring at best, therefore much of this book I f ...more
Ashish K
First of all some context.Ed Smith was one who was tipped to be the next big thing to happen to English Cricket when he scored more than anyone at the county and university level and when he led his team to a 12 match (or was it 14) winning streak. But unfortunately, as cruel as fate can get, he suffered virtual career-ending injury in a practice match that all but ended his career. This made him super depressed and he went on a witch hunt to understand why this had happened to him.

In this book,
Well written, full of good anecdotes and insights regarding superstition and the professional sportsman. A light hearted look at luck well worth reading.
I didn't realise before I bought it that the author is a professional cricketer. Quite a bit of an emphasis on luck in sports. But not bad, for all that.
"You make your own luck" is the most bollocks phrase of all time.
Gentle and quite autobiographical.
Greg Linster
This book is essentially a series of short essays about a variety of topics that are all unified under the theme of luck. Ed Smith was lucky enough to be a professional cricket player before his writing career blossomed. What's refreshing is that he's one of the few successful people who's not afraid to admit that luck, at least partially, got him to where he is today.
Achal Shah
quite an amazing piece of work by Ed. Its got a whole new prospective to luck and how it plays a major role in any given life. Ed too brings in his personal experiences about his life, readily showing his success and failures.
Chris Urban
Quick, light-hearted and personal take on a pseduo-autobiography from a footballer. Overcoming injuries, personal persistence and a bit of...
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