Feeling is the Thing that Happens in 1000th of a Second
A Season of Cricket Photographer Patrick Eagar: LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017
By Christian Ryan
A book which centres on the most significant all-time figure in cricket words and pictures, photographer Patrick Eagar
LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017
'Exquisite' Gideon Haigh
'Magical, a head rush, a marvel' Rahul Bhattacharya
'Startlingly original' Matthew Engel
In 1975 Patrick Eagar took some photographs which were unlike any cricket photographs anyone had seen before.
It was the summer of an Ashes and a World Cup (cricket's first), a near last-gasp summer before revolution when cricket was still a sport of helmetless faces and green fields with no advertising paint on them. A clamour of rare glamour descended on England: Thommo and D.K., baby-cheeked Viv Richards, careworn David Steele, lithe supercat Clive Lloyd, the Chappell brothers, Andy Roberts, Tony Greig, Doug Walters, trails of cigarette smoke gusting in his wake. From this raw material, a thirty-one-year-old with an expired Sports Illustrated subscription and a love of long lenses found something almost magical.
Eagar's pictures reveal that "feeling is the thing that happens in 1000th of a second". So this is a cricket book about photography and what it can do - tell the future and show human beings in ways not available to our eyes. It is part detective story, (and reconstruction of one of cricket's greatest summers), part biography, part wild-roaming conversation, part essay on the power of the image, myth and reality. It shows Christian Ryan as one of the most elegant and perceptive writers on sport today.
With seventy black-and-white and colour photographs by Patrick Eagar and other seminal photographers, it is is essential reading (and looking) for ardent fans and will exhilarate those who know nothing about cricket.
Christian Ryan is one of the most stylish and intelligent of writers on the sport today. He was awarded UK Cricket Book of the Year in 2010 for Golden Boy, his book on Kim Hughes's tempestuous period as Captain of the Australian Cricket team.
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- Publication date:
07 Sep 2017
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A brilliant photographer, a brilliant writer - and one of the most startlingly original cricket books ever published — Matthew Engel
Christian Ryan is cricket writing's most exquisite miniaturist, capable of revealing whole worlds with a knowing glance. In the peerless Patrick Eagar, he finds his perfect subject — Gideon Haigh
Feeling is magical, a head rush, a marvel. It takes one summer many summers ago in the life of a cricket photographer and conjures something timeless and human. The breadth of artistic insight, the exhilarating diversions, connections and epiphanies, the miraculous details, the structural genius - taut and unspooling like John McPhee's Levels of the Game, but wilder - are propelled by an unaccountable suspense. What, you find yourself asking, will this gentle, extraordinary photographer do next? Where will this brilliant, obsessed writer take you next? Can he pull it off? Shouldn't be able to. Does he pull it off? Yes, yes, yes. — Rahul Bhattacharya, Ondaatje Prize-winning author of Pundits from Pakistan
Patrick Eagar, the genius photographer of cricket's modern era, has retired now, leaving behind a treasure trove of images . . . The summer of 1975, when Australia's fast bowlers came to terrorise, and the first World Cup was staged. It is a fascinating study of Eagar's art before the internet, and the digital age. — Mike Atherton, The Times
What Eagar got out of it is a photograph of Thomson like no other . . . Other photographs may say more about the game of cricket, but no other picture better conveys the intent of the fast bowler who at the moment of delivery has eyes only for the batsman at the other end of the wicket. He's in for the kill. — Inigo Thomas, London Review of Books
Christian Ryan takes a bunch of photographs from that season and reverses the tired cliché about a picture and a thousand words. In thousands of words, he spells out the magic contained in a kind of cricket photograph whose like we do not see so much these days. — Sharda Ugra, Cricket Monthly