November 13, 2012

Australian cricket

Gideon Haigh's 'best book yet'

Gideon Haigh and Shane Warne have a thing in common: both have the ability to surprise. When Haigh embarked upon his new book, On Warne, Ed Cowan said at its launch, he had been surprised. But Haigh was intrigued by Warne, and that has helped him churn out his "best book yet". More from www.meanjin.com.au.

What Gideon has given us, in my opinion, is his best book yet. It struck me almost immediately that this is not a cricket book. It is a book about a man who played cricket. What Gideon has on his side is perspective; he is not a cricket journalist, but a man who writes about cricket.

This is not a biography, but an examination of his art, his relationships, and his place in our lives. It is a social snapshot of our time, our culture--cricket and otherwise--and how Shane Warne helped sculpt it. This book gives Shane Warne context. It goes beyond 'when', and asks 'how' and 'why'. That is what makes this book so enjoyable--it does not fill in the gaps on our knowledge of Warne, but creates new layers.

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