Publication Date: 07/09/2017 ISBN: 9781786486820 Category:

Feeling is the Thing that Happens in 1000th of a Second

Christian Ryan

Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Publication Date: 07/09/2017 ISBN: 9781786486820 Category:



Mr B's review

In the baking hot 1975 cricketing summer England hosted both an Ashes tour and a World Cup. Photographer Patrick Eagar brought it to exuberant life with some of the most insightful and intimate photographs of sporting action ever taken. This unique book is at once a piece of dramatic cricket writing, a biography of Eager through his landmark summer and a consideration of the art of action photography. Stunning colour and black and white images pepper the text throughout. 


‘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.

Publisher Review

Christian Ryan takes a bunch of photographs from that season and reverses the tired cliche 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 * 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 * A brilliant photographer, a brilliant writer – and one of the most startlingly original cricket books ever published * Matthew Engel *

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