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Luck: A Fresh Look At Fortune (Paperback)
  • Luck: A Fresh Look At Fortune (Paperback)
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Luck: A Fresh Look At Fortune (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 11/04/2013
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For aspiring cricketer Ed Smith, luck was for other people. Ed believed that the successful cricketer made his own luck by an application of will power, elimination of error, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. But when a freak accident at the crease at Lords prematurely ended Ed Smith's international cricketing career, it changed everything - and prompted him to look anew at his own life through the prism of luck. Tracing the history of the concepts of luck and fortune, destiny and fate, from the ancient Greeks to the present day - in religion, in banking, in politics - Ed Smith argues that the question of luck versus skill is as pertinent today as it ever has been. He challenges us to think again about privilege and opportunity, to re-examine the question of innate ability and of gifts and talents accidentally conferred at birth. Weaving in his personal stories - notably the chance meeting of a beautiful stranger who would become his wife on a train he seemed fated to miss - he puts to us the idea that in life, luck cannot be underestimated: without any means of explaining our differing lots in life, the world without luck is one in which you deserve every ill that befalls you, where envy dominates and averageness is the stifling ideal. Embracing luck leads us to a fresh reappraisal of the nature of success, opportunity and fairness.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408830604
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 213 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Book of the week ... Elegant and absorbing ... Smith is excellent at exploring nuances ... The writing on sport is superb ... Smith moves beyond sport with great effect * The Times *
Thoughtful and thought-provoking * Independent on Sunday *
He certainly sets out a compelling case ... Smith is a powerful advocate for genetic, innate skills and argues that we massively underestimate the impact of chance events * Observer *
**** An entertaining and intriguing new take on the old idea of counting your blessings * Daily Express *
Only those with scars on their body should be taken seriously when they talk about randomness. Ed is one of them; he is for real * Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author The Black Swan, on Luck *
Very, very well written, excellent story-telling, great ideas. Brilliant * William Leith *
There's hardly a sentence here that isn't clear, thought-provoking and beautifully expressed. Sport bores me rigid. Inspirational books repel me. But Smith on sport, life and luck brings fresh ways of looking at things on every page and, despite myself, I read on * Matthew Parris *
Smith takes a taboo subject and knocks the cover off it. You start off reassessing sport and end up reassessing your own life * Simon Barnes *
I love this book. It combines experience and erudition to show that luck shapes life in sport, politics, business, and love. In a way rare since ancient Athens, Ed Smith embodies a classical ideal: excellence in sport and thought * Felipe Fernandez-Armesto *
Smith is a beguiling and skilful writer: good-humoured, anecdotal, discursive and often fascinating. You'll probably read his book in an evening but think about it for weeks, even years, afterwards * New Statesman *
Funny and honest ... like one of Smith's well-crafted innings in his playing career, it leaves you wanting more * Sunday Times *
Blends personal experience, sporting insight and a broad knowledge of history with the journalist's talent for storytelling to fashion an original and thought-provoking book ... not only refreshing but uplifting * Spectator *
Smith's elegant arguments will make you think [about luck] even if you're one of those who don't believe in it... * GQ Magazine *
Smith's entertaining exploration of creativity and inspiration would be every bit as useful to a poet or a songwriter as to an opening batsman * Nick Hornby on What Sport Tells Us About Life *
Recommended to anyone interested in sport, history or simply human nature * Mark Lawson, Front Row *
An exceptional book: lucid, thought-provoking, informative and fair. Outstanding * The Times *
A terrific book * Mike Atherton *
Ed Smith's elegantly written fourth book challenges the Victorian belief that bad luck is invariably the outcome of indolence -- Rebecca Wallersteiner * The Lady *

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