Sunday, 23 May 2010

#27 The Best After-Dinner Sports Tales, compiled by Will Chignell (CollinsWillow)

In the event (see previous blog), I opted for The Best After-Dinner Sports Tales, compiled by Will Chignell, the reasoning being that I could do with a bit of cheering up rather than sinking further into the fount of despair.

Unfortunately, The Best After-Dinner Sports Tales wasn't really the book to provide assistance in this area, with the numerous collected tales decidedly lacking in much cheer. There was the odd chuckle, admittedly, not to mention occasional insight into life as a sportsman and the incidents which take place behind closed doors, but actual guffaws were few and far between.

In some ways, it was a perfect choice. The short excerpts from famous sports celebrities such as Phil Tufnell, Rodney Marsh and Ray Reardon were quick to read and easy to dip in and out of, which was helpful as I tried to erase a particularly annoying spyware programme which had somehow downloaded onto my computer. Indeed, given its unchallenging nature, it was no surprise I finished the book before I managed to delete the spyware.

Times may be changing, but when I picture after-dinner speeches, I have an image of a very male-orientated world, a smoky room (despite the ban - it's my mental image, remember) and a boozy atmosphere. It’s hardly a surprise, therefore, that the majority of the contributing speakers are male, and there is an impression you are never far from an Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman joke.

All that said, I can't be too sniffy about a book which raised thousands of pounds for charity. But it scores much higher in the worthiness rating than in my quality assessment.

So, rating time:

#27 The Best After-Dinner Sports Tales, compiled by Will Chignell (CollinsWillow) - 5/10

Next up: Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby (Penguin Group)

  • Click here for the full list of books so far, and their rating
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