The Meaning of Sport

by Simon Barnes

  • Published: 02 Aug 2009
  • Price: £9.99
  • Format: paperback
  • Extent: 368p
  • ISBN: 9781904077858
  • Buy it now from
  • Buy it now from Waterstones

In The Meaning of Sport, award-winning sportswriter Simon Barnes gives you his grandstand seat for a journey from the Olympic Games in Athens to the World Cup in Germany – via the Ashes series, the Ryder Cup, Wimbledon, and more. He examines why sport holds us all in such thrall, how it uplifts and crushes us – and can seem to matter more than life itself. He challenges us to recognise the intelligence of Wayne Rooney, the making of Freddie Flintoff, the mythic nature of Steve Redgrave; and he ponders the ultimate cruelty of the game.

This is the book which asks the questions no one else has thought of, and finds some surprising answers. Sport has never been written about like this before.

“Free-flowing in its structure, thought-provoking in its content, wonderfully humorous and readable in its style, this is a sports book like no other.” – Leo McKinstry, Sunday Telegraph

“A celebration of sport and life by one of the finest sportswriters of his generation – wise, perceptive and unfailingly joyful” – Mail on Sunday

“His book is a delight: full of wisdom, humour and whimsy and shows that, when done well, sports books can compete on any level.” – Michael Atherton

“Gems on every page… Splendid stuff” – The Financial Times

“His sports writing is so original and insightful that he has redefined the genre.” – Ed Smith, Spectator

About Simon Barnes

Simon Barnes is the multi-award-winning chief sportswriter for The Times. He is also a novelist, nature writer and horseman, and the bestselling author of a dozen books, including How to be a Bad Birdwatcher and The Horsey Life (Short Books). He lives in Suffolk with his family.

Other books by this author

<a href=""><strong>How To Be Wild</strong></a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">In How to be Wild, Barnes takes us on a year-long journey, from one raucous spring to the next, with elephants and mosquitoes, dolphins and flying squirrels, giraffes and butterflies as his companions. </a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>A Book of Heroes</strong><br />Or a Sporting Half-Century</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">In this gripping new book, Simon Barnes brings together his 50 sporting heroes of the last 50 years and looks at what it is that elevates them to a state of grace and greatness. </a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed</strong><br />An Introduction to Birdsong</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">This vital book – with a free podcast – takes you from winter into spring. You start with robin, and end up with nightingales.</a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>My Natural History</strong><br />The Animal Kingdom and How It Shaped Me</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">In <em>My Natural History</em> Simon Barnes, like a modern-day Gerald Durrell, weaves together the story of his life via the animals and the natural encounters that have shaped it. </a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>The Horsey Life</strong><br />A Journey of Discovery with a Rather Remarkable Mare</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link"><em>The Horsey Life</em> is about a friendship pushed to its limits; but it is also filled with larks and joy – a book which takes you right to the heart of the world of horses and those that love them.</a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>How to be a Bad Birdwatcher</strong><br />To the Greater Glory of Life</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link"><em>How to be a Bad Birdwatcher</em> shows why birdwatching is not the preserve of twitchers, but one of the simplest, cheapest and most rewarding pastimes around.</a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a>