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Penguins Stopped Play: Eleven Village Cricketers Take on the World

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  648 ratings  ·  72 reviews
It seemed a simple enough idea at the outset: to assemble a team of eleven men to play cricket on each of the seven continents of the globe. Except...that's not a simple idea at all. And when you throw in incompetent airline officials, cunning Bajan drug dealers, overzealous American anti-terrorist police, idiotic Welshmen dressed as Santa Claus and whole armies of pitch-i ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Ulverscroft (first published 2006)
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Darkpool (protesting GR censorship)
I'm so sad I finished this book. I just loved it. I loved the type of humour, the style of writing, and above all I loved the subject matter. I don't believe that anyone not fluent in cricket would enjoy this book half so much.
As I drove back and forth to work over the last few weeks with this audiobook chuntering away in the CD player, I often found myself hooting with laughter. It was just as well I didn't have a paper copy, as I'm sure I would have been unable to resist carrying it with me s
Steve Mitchell
This is one of the funniest books that I have ever read; but it also has some parts that raise other emotions. Some of the reviewers have mentioned that you do not need to know anything about cricket to enjoy this book, and although this is probably true, a slight understanding of the game would be a benefit. A more essential experience would be ever trying to organise an event with a group of friends: a stag night, a group holiday or even a works outing all seem simple but the number of things ...more
Phil Mc
Greater than the sum of its parts and the closest a book has ever brought me to crying. One of the best sports books ever written.

This is part travelogue, part memoir of a village cricketer and part world record attempt handbook. It excels when describing and discussing that most writable of sports, cricket; however, in describing the colourful characters and cities that Thompson encountered it is no less impressive. The fact that it is factual belies the wonderful narrative of Thompson’s cricke
Stephen Wallace
This book has the ability to make you look very silly as you stifle a smirk on the bus so that people will not think you are mad - while reading on another joke makes you try and stifle the urge to laugh out loud causing snot to shoot from one's nose, making you look extemely silly!

Great book, heart renching ending - even though it's the second time I have read this I laughed heartily and cried miserably once again.

I would recommend this to everyone who has a sense of humour, even if the subje
The author was an amateur cricketer and a writer of TV comedy. The book is his memoir of his cricket team, focused upon an all-continent tour taken by his team, playing a game at every stop. This book was laugh-out-loud funny at many points, but much of the humour would be lost on non-cricket fans. I suspect that some of the anecdotes are made up, and certain that others are exaggerated, but I'll forgive that. Thompson had a real issue with British Airways, and I really liked his account of thei ...more
One book which perfectly fits the category of the aforementioned quote of the genius is the memorable “Penguins Stopped Play – eleven village cricketers take on the world” by the late Harry Thompson. Remarkably hilarious and laced with an irrepressible sense of wit and wisdom, this is one work which every book lover in general and a lover of cricket in particular would savour to the hilt.
A motley crew of also-rans deprived from experiencing the exhilaration of playing the pristine gentleman’s ga
Oh I just loved, loved, loved this book. Laugh out loud funny in many places (but you have to be a cricket fan to appreciate it properly) but with the absolute saddest ending.
I wouldn't exactly call myself a cricket fan as such, but it's a game I do have some experience of. I was at school with Minal Patel, who had a long career as a professional with Kent and even won a few England caps. My old hockey club was based at a cricket club where Middlesex played occasionally and I once found myself at the bar discussing the football results with former England captain Mike Gatting. I even played a game once, getting out for 0 when batting before getting heatstroke in the ...more
Loved it, if you love cricket you'll love this. Or even if you don't. It's very funny.
Clare O'Beara
This is a thoroughly entertaining travelogue about a village cricket team, optimistically called the Captain Scott XI. Having played up and down England and adventured to a few other countries, they decide to play their way around the world.

Harry Thompson captains the team and has played in Antarctica when he happened to be there, so he sets out to be the first person to play cricket on all seven continents. Taking a long New Year break he and the team head off on appallingly mismanaged flights
Anal Ghosh
A group of comic village cricketers go around the world just for the kick of having played the game in every continent. The result is an extremely funny book, especially when written by a British journalist full of dry wit and sarcasm. The first half of the book is all about Captain Scott XI coming to existence, but the second half really takes off as the eclectic bunch traverse the globe in 3 weeks with one hilarious turn of event leading to another. And just when you thought their histrionics ...more
Shazwan Azizan
I love the humour and writing stule, and as some have pointed out, you don't need to know much about cricket to appreciate it. What did surprise me was that it's a semiautobiography and that those events were actually true save for some hilariously OTT descriptions.
Comic travelogue/memoir about a very poor village cricket team's attempt to play cricket on every continent in the world. The author, Harry Thompson, writes in a very funny and breezy style so it is a shock to read in the postscript that he wrote this book while suffering from inoperable lung cancer. The afterword is even sadder as it is written by Thompson's wife shortly after his death.

There are a few annoying anti-American cracks sprinkled throughout but the author saves most of his venom for
As much as I enjoyed the book, I can't say 'I really liked it'. While the concept was appealing, many of the events engaging and the people diverse and interesting, I struggled with the descriptions of some of the cricket matches - purely because I don't find the sport too interesting. The author was extremely personable, amusing, self-deprecating and very human. His style was very readable. It's a cut above most of the other 'Let's Make a Crazy Bet in the Pub and See if we Can Get a TV Series a ...more
Rob Linsdell
Bless Harry, this is a deeply funny book that ultimately becomes so poignant and so important. A must for all fans of cricket, and many fans of life. It's on my desert island shortlist...
Gary Corken
I've read this three times, given it away three times and have just bought it again. An amazing book. So funny, so sad and it's about cricket, which I despise.
Knowing only the basics of cricket, I learned more but didn't get overwhelmed with the technicalities. Some great rants about air travel and British Airways.
I really like cricket and this book does not disappoint. Wonderfully funny it is about a team of eleven village cricketers playing on all seven continents of the globe. It is not all about cricket with the team doing very silly things while playing the cricket. The ending is written by the writers wife as he dies with lung cancer at the end. It was written in 2005. One of the cricketers dies at the end.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The ending hit me for six. I was not expecting that. I guess not being English, I had no idea who the author was. Also, being Australian, I really disliked Greg.
I have to a say I bought this book for its travel aspect rather than the cricket. I was not disappointed. While a cursory understanding of cricket helps I'm sure, my lack of interest in the sport in no way stopped me enjoying what is an often hilarious and interesting journey around the world and through Thompson's cricketing life. In addition i bought the book for my brother-in-law who is a cricket junkie, and he loved it just as much as me. Filled with colourful characters and interesting loca ...more
a book for all cricket lovers no doubt. I believe that those of us who have played the game at any level, aiming to win, but faced with middle order batting collapses, were left chewing our nails, or tearing hair off our heads, will relate very well to it.

Written with dollops of humour, the book covers the journey of the Captain Scott Cricket team on their around the world in 3 weeks. Madcap adventures abound. Most of it outside the Cricket field.

All kinds of emotions are laid out for the reader
H.A. Kotys
Really enjoyable read that is a must for anyone that enjoys cricket - lots of humour but more than just that.
Hysterically funny, and yet poignant at the end. Had me laughing out loud on the bus. A must-read for any cricket fan!
My (grown-up) children looked on aghast as their mother snorted and wept, holding her aching sides - and this was just the 1st chapter..and I'm not exactly a cricket aficionado ...
Try his other book "This thing of Darkness" - another stunning and , at times, funny nbook, this time about Fitzroy, he who later fought for a weather forecast service. His voyages to Tierra del Fuego, the dealings with the indigenous people's...indelible in my memory.
But if it's another side-splitting read you're afte
Suleman Ali
Fun and enjoyable 'memoir' of Harry Thompson and his amatuer cricket playing tours.

You follow the troubled cricket tours which take Harry Thompson around the world with his amateur cricket buddies. Luckily for the reader, pretty much every tour comes unstuck due to his fellow travellers, the poor planning of the locals or, as as often the case with cricket, the weather.

For cricketing fans there is plenty to enjoy, with the various characters being ones any local amatuer team would recognise in t
struggling for motivation with this, despite theme of average bozos using cricket as a vehicle for adventure, something close to my heart. too much cricket and smarty pants writing and not enough adventure. maybe just the fact that english cricket and those who play it are pretty i finished it, and it does come home poignantly, most particularly as the author a man with zest and an interest in the world and its inhabitants (SPOILER!!)dies not long after finishing the book - 3.5/5
Dangerous Dan
Penguins, travel and cricket - some of my favourite things. If you didn't give this 5 stars, I might have to fight you.
I clearly missed something as I cannot believe so many people gave this book 4 or 5 stars. I like cricket - I don't love it though. I like travel books - but rarely go out of my way to read them. This one was given to me and after a few efforts to overcome the boredom I finally gave up and gave it to a charity shop. Save yourself the bother.
Robert Newell
A Superb funny book and well written. It details the antics of the Captain Scott XI's cricket tours around the world and made me laugh out loud several times.
Stephen Dawson
Most descriptions will tell you this is a book about cricket, but really it's a funny tale about the eccentric English, with a bit of cricket thrown in. Okay, there are some eccentrics from other countries too. It's also something in the nature of an autobiography which is full of joy, frustration and tragedy. Oh, and a tale of the incompetence of British Airways.
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Harry William Thompson was an English radio and television producer, comedy writer, novelist and biographer. Early in his career Thompson produced the radio comedy programmes The News Quiz and The Mary Whitehouse Experience. Following his move into television, he produced Newman and Baddiel in Pieces, Harry Enfield and Chums and Monkey Dust, and co-produced Never Mind The Buzzcocks. In 1998 he was ...more
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