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The Greatest

The Quest for Sporting Perfection
Narrated by: Simon Slater
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)
Regular price: £19.99
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Summary

What can Roger Federer teach us about the secret of longevity? What do the All Blacks have in common with improvised jazz musicians? What can cognitive neuroscientists tell us about what happens to the brains of sportspeople when they perform? And why did Johan Cruyff believe that beauty was more important than winning?

Matthew Syed, the Sports Journalist of the Year 2016, answers these questions and more in a fascinating, wide-ranging and provocative book about the mental game of sport. How do we become the best that we can be as individuals, teams and organisations? Sport, with its innate sense of drama, its competitive edge, its psychological pressures, its sense of morality and its elusive quest for perfection, provides the answers.

©2017 Matthew Syed (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton

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Disappointed,the book doesn't really go anywhere.

For me, this book disappointed. I was very excited by the title and the opening part was engaging. However, it never then kicked off. It was just a series of anecdotal stories from various sports at a top level which never really hung together. I was expecting each story to link into an overall story of how the greatest become the greatest. Maybe it did, but this didn't come across to me in an engaging or clear way.
There were a few interesting nuggets from the stories, but nothing that wowed me.
The reader of this book also kept putting on a weird American accent to quote various sportsman which I actually found very irritating. The summery of my comments above meant I ended up listening to the final third of this book in 1.6x speed just to get through it. I very nearly just gave in which I never do...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A collection of previously-written articles

Any additional comments?

Having not read any previous of Matthew Syed's work, I was disappointed to discover that rather than a book, it was a collection of articles that Syed had previously written all on the same theme.

He leaned heavily on his experience as a world-class table tennis youth, perhaps a bit too much, as it seemed like he was desperate for people to know that as a youngster, he was one of the best in the world.

The articles were very time-specific to World Cups, Six Nations, Wimbledon tournaments and didn't really stand up like other sporting books that I've read.

Overall I was very disappointed by this book and only listened to a couple of hours of the audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great book

very good story telling. covers the greatest sports personalities of our time with impressive detail.

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Very Enjoyable

Overall a very enjoyable book. I would recommend to any sports enthusiasts. A great look at sporting triumphs, the characters of those heros and political impacts of sport.

The narrator was good, the accents however were not, sort of distracted from the point of what these figures were saying.

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A great collection of Matthew's journalism

inspiring, entertaining and thought provoking. Why did some riders in the peluton not cheat to win when so many were cheating in world cycling? What are the real lessons of great lived such as that of Mohammed Ali or terrible lives such as that of Jake Le Motta?

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Another brilliant book by Matthew syed

Carrys on from his previous work very well, somewhat sentimental at times but that does not detract from the overall quality.

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Fantastic look and reflection on sporting personalities and events what makes them great

I don't follow football or could be considered a sports person, but I wholeheartedly agree sport and competition is important to us all. It's visceral we can't help ourself's and this book explores that aspect of human nature and how we strive for perfection of something arguably so trivial.

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Really good book. excellent narration.

i have become a fan of MS by now. he has provided an insight into greatness of some of the most successful sports people of recent past. love his way of thinking, clear and non judgmental. excellent book in every way...

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Not very informative

Would you try another book written by Matthew Syed or narrated by Simon Slater?

I gave up this rather tiresome, slightly boring (not much new in it) book, at chapter 17 after the absurd bit about Saint Beckham. Syed suggests that David Beckham has done more for the population of the UK than anyone in his generation! Yes, he's certainly played some extremely good football (and got very well paid) and he's done great favours to the tattoo artists as thousands of young people have now covered themselves in tattoos (a questionable merit). What it leaves out is the huge contribution he has made to people's desire to be famous - just famous and live a rather greedy, self promoting lifestyle which he shares with his family and which is not environmentally helpful. We don't need people to promote greed and excess and self, self, self; we need people to be happycontent with what they /we have and do things in the service of others rather than striving to attain huge wealth and fame.

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disappointing

very disappointed. No insight. unnecessary drama. just annoying, actually gave up with 5 hours left.

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  • Adnan Maddix
  • 05-11-17

Repetitive, and very long winded.

I have read his other book, black box thinking and i felt this book was just repeating many of the facts.

If you haven't listened to his other books you might like this. But it just goes over the same topics and doesn't really offer anything new.

Ive returned the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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