The Book Of Fame
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The Book Of Fame

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  136 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A glorious novel from the award-winning author of Mister Pip, now available as a trade paperback original from Vintage Canada.

The Book of Fame is a lyrical semi-fictional account of the 1905 All Black rugby tour of Europe - a tour that shaped New Zealand's identity, from which the players returned to find themselves accorded almost god-like status. This remarkable, award-w...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by John Murray Publishers (first published 2000)
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Chris LaHatte
I borrowed this recently and greatly enjoyed it. It has the same (very) sparse prose style as his more recent books, used to great effect. I had avoided reading this as I thought it was a conventional treatment of the 1905 rugby tour of Great Britain, but while it clear Lloyd Jones knows his rugby, this is about the way the players, from colonial New Zealand, reacted to what they still called the motherland. None were professional athletes, and they came from diverse backgrounds, united by their...more
Charles
A lovely, surprising book, and one I didn't expect to enjoy anywhere near as much as I did. I'm no fan of team sports and a book that's ostensibly about the 1905 All Blacks tour to Europe and the US only found its way onto my shelves because I'd enjoyed Mister Pip a couple of years ago and saw it remaindered. Well, I'm glad I bought it. As the title suggests, it's as much about fame and the effects of fame as it is about rugby, but it's also about friendship, nostalgia, pain, desire. It's filled...more
Alan Wightman
Jan 01, 2011 Alan Wightman rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alan by: Hamish Clayton
Fictionalised tale of the Original All Blacks on their tour to Great Britain and Ireland in 1905. Jones writes poetically in a patchwork type style - reminiscent of Ondaatje at times. The New Zealanders feel odd - they are away from their homes, which they miss, yet find themselves excelling as they lose only one game in the tour.

The feelings of excitement, discovery and home sickness are a pre-cursor of how so many NZers would feel in the future as they left their tiny, isolated home to mix it,...more
zespri
What an interesting novel - based on the 1905 All Black tour of France and Great Britain, I did not even know they had All Blacks then!

Lloyd Jones has researched the tour well, and then fleshed out the story with what may have been. It is a motley bunch that sets out by steamer for a journey to the other side of the world, but the team returns as conquering heroes. Fascinating to read of this diverse group of men and how they stole hearts wherever they went. No coach, no doc, no physio, no sposo...more
Sarah Shrubb
It's a very odd book, but very enjoyable too. The major problem was that it was forever hard to distinguish one player from another, but it's not really a character-based book. It's a very unusual book, aimed at doing something books are not generally aimed at doing. It gives us a picture of a group of men, a time, many places. It made me think and wonder a lot about sporting teams touring, about sporting teams per se, about the media, about having strangers in your town/city/country. I would re...more
Ian
It's a novel but one based closely on the extraordinary exploits of the original All Blacks. In poetry and prose Lloyd Jones paints a vivid and engaging picture of the 1905 tour of the United Kingdom and France by the previously unknown New Zealand Rugby team; winning all but one game, and amassing 830 points for and only 39 against the teams fame was forever established.
Natalie
I surprised myself with how much I actually enjoyed this book! I was sent it to read, and on reading the blurb, thought it wouldn't be anything like my sort of book, the word Rugby doesn't normally inspire my confidence in a book, but I found myself swept away by the simple journal type style and the brisk tales!
A fascinating study on fame and it's effects!
Georgia
I really enjoyed this novel about the 1905 tour of the All Blacks rugby team. The sparse, poetic storytelling gave the novel a scrap book quality which perfectly suited the story. It was a little difficult to connect with the narrator who was the collective team rather than an individual. A great book though, I would recommend it whether you like rugby or not.
Julia
Nov 01, 2008 Julia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sports fans, men
I think this is a great boys book. The subject matter - the first tour of the all blacks to the UK - will resonate with every sports fan. However what takes it to another level is the stories Lloyd Jones weaves around the tour - all the historical and geographical detail you learn. Very easy to dip in and out of.
Linda
Grabbing this book of the Library shelf minutes before closing, I didn't realise it was about Rugby - a game I do not watch or enjoy.
But a wet day later it gave me a captivating insight to New Zealand's passion and committment to the game.
The prose style is one I do not like, but it made for a quick read.
Magnolia
AMAZING !! Have you never read this??? You'd think a book about old school rugby would be so so boring (unless you were me and loved rugby) but this is kinda magical. Lyrical, meditative, funny and insightful. Makes you respect our long rugby tradition AND love the arts even more than you thought you already did.
Tracy
All about the 1st All Black tour of England, Wales, Scotland and France in 1908. Based on fact with an interesting story of what it might have been like, from the 6 week boat journey to their overwhelming experience of fame.
You don't have to be a rugby fan to enjoy this book.
Malcolm
The 1905 All Black rugby tour of Britain lies at the heart of national myths in both New Zealand and Wales: this novel by Jones is a beguiling tale from the inside of that tour – beautifully written and marvellously evocative.
Bev
I loved this amazing book. Somewhere between poetry and prose, this is a story of the legendary All Blacks rugby team that dazzled Britain by its astonishing play in 1905. I enjoy Lloyd Jones' writing so much.
N. M. Scuri
I absolutely love this book. Even if you know nothing of rugby or the All Blacks, Jones's storytelling glows with an irresistible inner light. This book isn't easily available in the US, but well worth the search.
Tina Siegel
Perhaps two and a half stars would be more accurate. I enjoy Jones' writing, but I just had a great deal of difficulty getting into this book. I didn't care about the characters.
Alexandra
As with Mister Pip, this was one book that made me surf the net for hours looking for more information on its story.
Shane
The most unique sporting book I have ever read. What a fascinating chapter in sporting history. A great read.
Steve
Bloody Brilliant. Thanks Amy Grant!
Huck
Easy read but for those who like prose.
Tania
couldn't get into this one ...
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Lloyd Jones was born in 1955 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, a place which has become a frequent setting and subject for his subsequent works of fiction. He studied at Victoria University, and has worked as a journalist and consultant as well as a writer. His recent novels are: Biografi (1993); Choo Woo (1998); Here At The End of the World We Learn to Dance (2002); Paint Your Wife (2004);and Mister Pi...more
More about Lloyd Jones...
Mister Pip Hand Me Down World Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance A History of Silence: a memoir Biografi: A Traveler's Tale

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