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  • Black Farce and Cue Ball Wizards

    Anybody read this?

    Premise of the book is that Clive Everton describes what has happened 'behind the scenes' during snooker's history. In this warts-and-all book, Everton reveals how snooker has been grossly mismanaged over the years despite various regime changes. This was written before the Barry Hearn takeover.

    For me as a snooker fan, it wasn't a very engaging read as the book has more to do with various financial mismanagement than snooker itself. There are a few great stories about individual players - notably the Alex Higgins accounts were fascinating - but overall they were sandwiched between large chapters of management stories.

    Although I am a huge fan of Clive as a commentator, I found his writer's voice very monotone, and as such I found myself slogging through the book, skimming to find the good bits. Perhaps for people more versed in finance and how a professional sport is run it would be an interested read though.

    Overall, you are left with the lasting impression that snooker's progress has been severely hindered by the people running the sport.

    I'd recommend people to read it if you are really interested in finding out what it was like in Snooker's past, but as a book for the general snooker fan I'd go for one of the autobiographies instead, like Ronnie's.

    Hope you find this review useful!

  • #2
    the book shows just how snooker ended up a part time job with nothing much happening.

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    • #3
      It is very much a die-hard snooker fan's book. Clive is very passionate about ensuring people know the reasons why snooker has suffered in recent years since the "boom" period, and as such some of the copy can be quite difficult to follow unless you have specific interest in the politics of the game.

      I found the book both interesting and readable, but maybe this is because I was always a staunch opposer of the status quo before Barry Hearn took over.

      MW

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      • #4
        Yeah for sure I think it's the diehard fan's book rather than the casual observer's. But rather than being an entertaining read (and I'm not saying that it isn't), I think it is more aimed at being a written record of the shenanigans within a sport's governing body, from the standpoint of one person. I think it does this rather well and may become an important historical record rather than a general bestseller.

        It is interesting, reading about the early days when Joe Davis was God and through the 60s as the game tried to drag itself out of the doldrums, that the well highlighted internal strife of more recent times was to some degree ingrained in the game from long before.

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        • #5
          Yes, I read it about a year ago, and would agree that it got a bit heavy. But I guess its meant to be that way...a serious book in which Clive gets to vent his frustration at the mismanagement and missed opportunities, which is fair enough. One thing I wandered was tho...how does he get on with Neil Foulds, because he doesn't have give his dad some stick from what I recall. Maybe its all water under the bridge now.
          http://frameball.com

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          • #6
            tcollick, I wonder how he gets on with anyone these days, as it seems like he doesn't leave anybody out! I heard he's got some long running feud with Willie Thorne, but it isn't elaborated in the book, besides one or two paragraphs on WT.

            Just to be clear, I'm not against Clive and saying that he's not right - the book just left me with the impression that he has lots of enemies!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tcollick View Post
              Yes, I read it about a year ago, and would agree that it got a bit heavy. But I guess its meant to be that way...a serious book in which Clive gets to vent his frustration at the mismanagement and missed opportunities, which is fair enough. One thing I wandered was tho...how does he get on with Neil Foulds, because he doesn't have give his dad some stick from what I recall. Maybe its all water under the bridge now.
              He says at one point (p286) "... which is how Neal, with whom I was to spend many a pleasant hour in the commentary box, was drawn into this business through his father's attempts to help him."

              He certainly seems to have disliked Jack Karhehm - "As chairman, though, Karnehm soon became hooked on the taste of power, petty as this was..." - who you never hear a bad word about anywhere else. (I'm not saying he's unjustified).

              I suspect he could write an excellent book on the history of the game and the players*; this focusses much more on the behind-the-scenes infighting and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to a casual fan.

              *Quite possibly he already has, as Wiki says he's written "History of Snooker and Billiards", but that's now 25 years out of date...

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              • #8
                Yes, I was surprised at the degree he criticised Karhehm. Completely opposite to his public persona, but I guess you never know.

                Even though I didn't enjoy the read, I'd be very interested if he wrote a follow up a few years down the line after Barry Hearn's leadership.

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