Paul Winslow was old enough to know better when cricket finally gripped him in its thrall. Having ignored its myriad charms for years, he let his guard down and found himself conscripted into the Barmy Army, blindly following the England cricket team to Belfast, Barbados, Brisbane and beyond to feed his new addiction. His career stalled, homelessness ensued and relationships came under strain, but none of it mattered as long as there was a cricket tour to go on.
Going Barmy is not a history of the Barmy Army; it is a story of gradual cricket obsession and a personal insight into what life is really like with the Barmy Army, both on tour and as a business. This unique consideration of a sporting and cultural phenomenon opens the door on the songwriting, the camaraderie and the relationship with the players, one of whom, England off-spinner Graeme Swann, who wrote the foreword and says: 'I'm glad that Winslow has written this book. Hopefully it will give you an insight into the life of the 'real', and often misunderstood Barmy Army. They are not hooligans, they are not troublemakers, they are just cricket nuts who fly the flag for this brilliant country we live in. They are the very heartbeat of our Test team abroad. And I love them for it'
perfect Christmas gift
...Winslow has written what is often an extremely funny book. It's not great literature, although he never claims it is, but this is a perfect Christmas gift for any cricket lover.
such great value
For all my reservations, I found this to be a most enjoyable book (and such great value; how do they do it for that price?) It is a travel work that brings together aspects of sport and culture that had left me far behind. Now I feel that I've caught up.
wry, perceptive and winningly written
Happily, as journalist Winslow affirms in his wry, perceptive and winningly written travelogue of life on the road "chasing the cricket dragon", the brand of looniness favoured by foot soldiers such as himself is not only almost entirely benign (Ricky Ponting doubtless disagrees) but, in its way, rather beautiful. In a sweet, sweaty, bromantic sort of way.