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What Sport Tells Us About Life
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What Sport Tells Us About Life

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  139 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Why will there never be another Bradman?

How do you win 33 games in a row?

Why did Zidane lose his rag on the world's stage?

Foraying deep into sport's leftfield, Ed smith asks the questions we rarely ask of our teams and players. When is cheating really cheating? Is the free market good for sport? Can talent be a curse? Does luck matter? His answers, often controversial and
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 29th 2009 by Penguin (first published January 1st 2009)
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May 17, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sportsmen, sport coaches
Great book which takes a light look at sporting anomalies and why they happen. The author's strong grasp of statistics, sporting history and life-skills of pro sportsmen gives him an unique insight into conundrums.

I like a lot of his writing - but you need a good vocabulary and an ability to grasp long sentence constructions and complex concepts. It's not a "light read" at bedtime.

Jagmag H K
Jan 06, 2012 Jagmag H K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This being my very first book by Ed Smith, i didnt know exactly what to expect. I had read a few articles by him related to cricket and found them a lot less shallow and well thought through than the regular i-will-tell-you-what-i-saw kind of article. Also, Ed Smith came highly recommended by my friend Vishy, and he being quite a discerning reader, I did have high expectations. I was not disappointed.

The breadth of topics ranged from the classic discussion points about talent v/s practice to th
Peter Geyer
Feb 13, 2017 Peter Geyer rated it really liked it
Shelves: society, culture, sport
One of the things interesting about sport and life as far as conversation and opinion goes (not necessarily the same event) is the amount of polarisation that goes on, art and sport or art and education being opposites for instance, or that sport is trivial and other pursuits are more worthy and serious. Sometimes there's a class basis to this kind of discussion, even regarding what sports you're supposed to like, or play, or watch.

For me, a genuine interest in sport has enabled connection with
Mar 22, 2010 Caleb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book by an English professional cricket player is a collection of essays on sports' lessons for life. Some are quite insightful, and Smith is both well-read and knows a decent amount about other sports, particularly baseball. That said, the essay for me that would have been the best--whether capitalism is good for sports--was completely off the mark, missing the point that European soccer is pure capitalism, leading to amazing club teams that often hemorrhage money while American sports, parti ...more
Sep 12, 2016 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could, but on this scale I believe in rounding up. Sometimes the top-heavy cricket stories, followed by rugby stories in second place, felt a bit relentless when there are so many sports to choose from. However, I check this feeling and decide I'm being harsh; to have a professional sportsman that can write - and express his own thoughts - so well is a rarity! Plus, these are sports I tend to not to watch often (baseball gets many mentions too) so it was an interesti ...more
Mar 16, 2009 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without wanting to damn with faint praise, it is a really interesting book. Sport is ultimately all about having fun, but Ed Smith adds an analytical and intellectual approach to the meaning of sport which, grafted onto his own experiences as an international sportsman, casts some events in a totally new light. I love books about sport that also make you think, and this is almost up there with Simon Barnes' book for quality.
Huckleberry Bluedog
It was never anything other than an effortless pleasure to turn each page. You obviously have to love sport, and cricket in particular, but Smith has an easy and sincere style which is greatly helped by Smith being a current sportsman, whose been at the top of his game, and who writes his own words. Some of the philosophical stuff tried a little too hard to be profound, but that's easily forgiven and this is a thoroughly recommended read to anyone with a passing interest in sport.
Renny Morgan
Oct 20, 2013 Renny Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
Very good book in so much detail it appealed a lot to me. Sometimes it is hard to understand but never the less so good. This book is great for other reasons like if you find a chapter hard or boring you can skip it! All you have to read is the intro and the chapters that appeal to you.
Jun 05, 2008 Durdles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
Extremely insightful and thought provoking. Very readable chapters on a number of aspects of why we love sport so much. Whether it's talent, luck, cheating or history Smith has a way of explaining the importance of different qualities that combine to make successful sportmen or sportswomen tick.
Sep 27, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
I'm in the middle of a very good run of sports books at the moment. Illuminating and entertaining from someone who was also good enough to play for England. Shove it in the Christmas stocking of any thinking sports fan.
Jack Barraclough
Jul 03, 2011 Jack Barraclough rated it it was ok
Shelves: sport
The early chapters were mostly pop psychology - and really didn't say much at all. A couple of the later chapters were fairly interesting - especially the chapter on his Welsh roots. Overall, it was all a bit random and didn't really seem to reflect the statement on the front of the book.
Steve Cuss
Jun 12, 2013 Steve Cuss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right up my street
Dec 27, 2010 Tisaranavamsa rated it liked it
The book begins well but drags you later on.
A cricket fan might love the book but for the rest, it's very mediocre.
Nick Burridge
Apr 24, 2012 Nick Burridge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books about Sport and Life. You do not have to be interested in sport to enjoy this.
Jul 10, 2014 Shoaib rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ed smith likes sports, waffling and logic, the three ingredients that make a great book.
May 08, 2016 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
May 30, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining but lacking in sustained analysis - a bit of a hodgepodge.
Apr 04, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great book, particularly sharp on why england won the ashes in 2005
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Edward Thomas "Ed" Smith is an English author and journalist, former professional cricketer, and cricket commentator.

He attended Yardley Court, Tonbridge School and Cambridge University before playing First-class cricket for Kent, Middlesex and England. Prematurely retiring from professional cricket due to injury in 2008, at the age of just 31, he became an author and journalist.
More about Ed Smith...

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