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The Colonels Last Wicket [Paperback]

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Item description for The Colonels Last Wicket by Ramarao Garimella...

In South Asia, the army is a venerated institution and cricket is more a religion than a competitive game. Success in both is given only to a select band that devote their heart and soul to such a way of life. Colonel Seth is such a man, an officer and a gentleman with a love of cricket. His army career and his cricketing dream provide a roller-coaster ride that rockets him to the dizzy heights of fame but also plunges him into the abyss of despair. He discovers that the game, with its hidden nuances, and the institution, with its hidden agendas, are more than meets the eye. Cricket, once the 'gentleman's game', is no longer cricket and the army has many shades between black and white. Seth faces many ups and downs in his own career as officer and cricket player but finally, when he has hung up both his uniform and his boots, he makes a discovery. Raju, a young village orphan, enters his life and sets him on a new path to accomplish his dream. Colonel Seth's life becomes a keenly contested Test, which goes to the wire and is decided only when the last ball has been played.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   292
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5" Height: 0.61"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 6, 2007
Publisher   libros international
ISBN  1905988311  
ISBN13  9781905988310  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Colonels Last Wicket?

Excellent Book - "must read" for all cricket lovers  Aug 20, 2008
This is a throughly entertaining book! The way the author draws a parallelism between cricket and real life is very original and creative. A "Must Read" for all cricket lovers.
An excellent book  Jun 29, 2008
An excellent book and an engrossing read. The book provides insights into life in the armed forces, the game of cricket and the way of life in India. The manner in which various facets of the game of cricket are introduced at the beginning of each chapter and related to the narration of the story is interesting. I highly recommend this book.
A Book Review of the Colonel's Last Wicket by G.V. Rama Rao  Jun 17, 2008
It has been a great pleasure for me to have read G.V.Rama Rao's excellent novel called'The Colonel's Last Wicket'. Rama Rao has by his masterful treatment of a simple subject, succeeded in weaving a very interesting yarn. As he goes into quite some detail in explaining the modalities of cricket, that even a relative tyro can come to understand rudiments of the game, by reading Rama Rao's book. Because the locale of the novel is India, initially Vishakhapatnam a middle level city on East Coast of India, and then across India: the author also has taken great pains to explain local customs in sufficient detail to give the reader an understanding of implications on the story of these generally unknown(outside the area) customs.

As stated the story line is simple, the hero of the novel, a retired Colonel of the Indian Army(Col. Seth), by chance observes a boy play cricket in a dusty village field, is impressed by his determination to bowl fast and his fire in the belly. He inquires further and finds that he is an orphan and is being cared for as an orphan and not as an adoptive son, by the local poverty stricken school teacher.

Seth makes further trips and decides that the boy needs a home and also support, to refine his obvious ,but raw cricketing talents, into a steely cricketing machine, that can face competition and achieve greatness. The objective here is to make Raju a genuine penetrative fast bowler and achieve an ambition that Seth had but failed to achieve, which was to play for India. Seth takes Raju into his house,that had been denuded by his wife's death and the departure of his daughters to Universities in the US.

As my purpose is not to relate the story and steal Rama Rao's thunder, I will conclude by saying that the story leads us to the slow harrowing process of first making Raju into a fine young man, while honing his cricketing skills. The story leads to an interesting finale,with some unexpected turns.Rama Rao has some interesting flourishes and anecdotes.

He uses his book to relate India's social history from the angle of a retired army colonel. He further divides the book into chapters which are not numbered, but denoted with, in most cases, a cricketing metaphor: and then he goes on to explaining that metaphor in some detail. Thus, for instance, the first chapter is the'Sightscreen', the fourth chapter relates to the'Stance' of the batsman and another called the 'off stump'. It is an interesting demarcation and I can say that Rama Rao succeeds quite well in it.

As an adoptive parent of a former foundling, I would have preferred somebody more expressive and openly affectionate to a helpless child. Rama Rao has made Seth as outwardly cold and unexpressive. He initially starts of taking on the boy to essentially act out his fantasies of achieving greatness in cricket vicariously through the boy.

In a conversation with his daughter Aparna, he says(p 49)"...... I am not going to make him (raju) my son. I brought him home with me to improve his talent for cricket". Though Seth continues to be his inexpressive self, his love for Raju(I suspect,grows), this you can only glean from actions not so much by words.

Some anecdotes that Rama Rao relates in his book that are incidental to the story are very interesting. One such episode is Col Seth sitting up on a Machan in order to shoot a leopard that was causing depredations to neighboring villages. He asks for a cricketing sight screen to be placed by the kill so that he can see the leopard better: I wonder if Rama Rao knows of any such episodes. As a boy, I went on actual Shikar in the self same forests of the then Vizag District and had never heard of something similar.
In conclusion I found Rama Rao's book an excellent read and as India is turning into a cricketing power house in World Cricket The Colonels Last Wicket is a good book to read as background for India and Indian Cricket.
Colonel's Last Wicket By GV Rama Rao  Mar 11, 2008
Review By R-Sharma

The Colonel's Last Wicket by GV Rama Rao is a wonderful tale of a passion, perseverance, and achievement. An avid blogger, the author Mr. Rama Rao Garimella's daily blogs are infused with humor, charm, and exquisite style. Therefore, when I heard about this book being published, I had no doubt that it would be enjoyable to read since I was already familiar with his writings.

My knowledge of cricket can best be described as superficial since I had not watched the game live in many years. Luckily, my recent visit to India was timed perfectly because I was to be able to watch one day cricket series and the test matches between Pakistan and India. Whatever I knew about cricket was enough to take me through the thrills of this game. So when I got hold of The Colonel's Last Wicket from this, I was hoping that it would not take me too deep into cricketing terminology and its technicalities. As with any book, I have a habit of taking a quick glance to familiarize myself with the layout of the book so I know how the author will project his or her story to me. I was satisfied after reading the first few pages that the author had meticulously embedded a wonderful story interweaving analogies drawn from cricket. The story moves with a steady pace and the analogies to cricket were brilliantly laid out. Each chapter starts with just a couple of paragraphs defining and describing a particular rule of the game. These rules then segue to the ongoing phase of the story. The complexities of the game are described in a way that a novice like me could understand. Some of these are words that have baffled me for years. Each of these analogies always seems to anchor to the story without fail.

The story revolves around a Colonel in South India who after years of service to the National Defense Academy has retired only to find that his heart's passion had never been fulfilled. He had joined the defense academy to please his father and in spite of valiant service to his nation he always struggled to gain his father's appreciation. During his younger days, his ambition was to represent his nation as an accomplished cricket player. This desire was never fulfilled due to his job and so he decides to live his dreams after retirement through a young boy that he meets on the outskirts of a village. Upon learning that the boy, Raju, was an orphan, he informally adopts the young boy who had shown an uncanny skill in delivering fast balls to his friends while playing cricket in the village. He finances the boy's education and nurtures the hope of training him to become one of the country's foremost cricket players at the national level. The story is set in modern India with its fast changing cityscape and the ever-present cricket fever in the backdrop. Technology and cricket go hand in hand. The Colonel's passion to the game is not lost upon the young boy who is filled with gratitude and wants to repay for his adopted father's generosity.

The boy's blossoming in the complicated game of cricket is fraught with vicissitudes very similar to the Colonel's own life. A widower, the Colonel struggles to fight his insecurities, which he blames on the tumultuous relationship with his father. He still tries to be a perfect dad to his two daughters and his adopted son. Raju as a young man struggles to succeed in the game and never seems to make it to the next level without some degree of trepidation and failure. Characters that bind the story are the Colonel's two daughters living in America and a young woman who is the epitome of success that has come about through the IT boom in India. The young woman Usha eventually becomes the taskmaster who keeps Raju's sights focused on the job at hand with her amazing abilities in the area of technology.

The story has a poignant ending but not before demonstrating what passion, hard work and perseverance does to the psyche of a cricket player whose only aim is to succeed in the game of cricket and life. The Colonel's undying support plus motivation and Raju's dedication to the game are inseparable.

The book maintains its standards in keeping with the author's reputation as a prolific writer with a penchant to tell a story. I acquired insight into the intricacies of cricket that I never knew existed, all the while flipping through the pages of this novel with its binding tale. Readers are going to enjoy the book as it weaves a story of life through this passionate game called cricket. Hope this review has given a glimpse of what to expect from Mr. G V Rama Rao's The Colonel's Last Wicket.
My heartfelt congratulations to the author for the publication of this book.
Review By R-Sharma
Very interesting read  Mar 10, 2008
I found this book to be a very interesting read. Made me read on & on and kept me engrossed in the story till the end. The author's narrating style of drawing parallels between playing cricket and real life is unique & interesting. I definitely recommend this book especially to all those who have grown up playing cricket just like me.

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