I wasn’t going to review this book until I started to read The Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace. As both are non-fiction it would be unfair skip one. So here is…
Anatomy of a Book: An Ocean of Cricket by Adam and Barry Cassidy
These new cricket stars are not the product of an English village green or a sunbaked sporting ground in Australia, but a single coastal village with a pitch on the main street. (p.11)
This is not a fiction book. This is a piece about the evolution of cricket amongst pacific island nations.
Notwithstanding crime, snakes and squatters, the rise of organized cricket in Papua New Guinea is an international success story. (p.20)
As a non-fiction the writers cannot manipulate events to entertain the reader. They must maintain the truth, so while some factual stories can contain entertaining elements for a reader – such as true crime novels, in this overview of cricket evolution some purely entertaining elements of a story are missing. As compensation the overachievement of other elements is important.
This element is clearly present, with the rise of pacific nations from cricket novices to cricket internationals intriguing. There are also themes of nation building and pride, and passages relating to this obtainment are interesting.
As mentioned, unlike a murder mystery or other fiction, a non-fiction piece cannot invent jeopardy for its characters. This book does show current health, economic and social benefits of cricket, however the success of cricket is not portrayed as essential to these results.
The book is believable partly because of the many photographs that support the text, but also because of the text itself. There are some terrific descriptions of location and people, using detail in moments that capture the reader.
This is not relevant to an informative story of this nature. If there was some jeopardy the urgency of accomplishment would make the time pressure relevant.
This is a primary element of this book. Along with outlining cricket development in the South Pacific, there are cultural and historical stories that make the book interesting, and there are some details on location that would be very useful to a tourist.
To buy the book click here: https://www.mup.com.au/items/9780522866025