October 30, 2012
Michael O’Leary’s cricket novel received a brief but good review in the Cricket Society’s Journal. Out of It, edited by Mark Pirie, was re-released as a 25th anniversary edition through HeadworX:
Review of Out of It by Michael O’Leary (HeadworX Wellington, New Zealand)
If there has ever been a stranger book on cricket, I’ve yet to see it. I always thought that Willie Rushton’s W. G. Grace’s Last Case was the strangest but this one ……………………. Well, it’s a reprint of a 1987 book which is apparently a ‘cult classic.’ The main story (?) is of a one-day match between a proper New Zealand side led by Jeremy Coney and a team named Out Of It. The latter team is skippered by the Maori chief Te Rauparaha with Bob Marley as Vice-Captain and the likes of Janis Joplin, Oscar Wilde, Jimi Hendrix and Hermann Goring playing (look, I’m not making this up!) with a running radio commentary from standard and made-up broadcasters. It reads not unlike one of the earliest Dadaist offerings, written under the influence of hallucinogenics and although that almost certainly isn’t the case, it may have been the author’s intention to read as if it was. Perhaps it’s about dislocation in society – perhaps it isn’t. Maybe it’s about a suburban man becoming unsettled in real life and entering the surreal world of the imagination – and maybe it isn’t. It’s unclassifiable (and occasionally, in parts, unreadable) but if you suspend disbelief, a kind of logic can be found. It’s not a spoiler to let prospective readers know that, unlike the song, Goring lasts for three overs and not the obligatory two balls, however small. If you can find an inexpensive copy, you will have something in your collection that will be unique.
Review by John Symons, Editor of The Cricket Society News Bulletin
(From Journal of the Cricket Society, Volume 26, No. 3, Autumn 2012, UK)