24 for 3
|Publisher||CB Editions/Bloomsbury (UK)
Soho Press (US)
|2007 (UK), 2010 (US)|
|Media type||Print & eBook|
|LC Class||PR6052.O9196 A12 2008|
24 for 3 is a 2007 novella by Jennie Walker (a pen name of English poet Charles Boyle); it won the 2008 McKitterick Prize. (awarded to authors over 40 for their first novel) and was selected by Karl Miller of the Times Literary Supplement as one of his books of the year in 2008.
Title and setting
The title comes from England's second innings score at the start of the final day of a Test cricket match against India, which forms the backdrop to the story; each of the chapters is set on one day of the five-day match; from Friday through to Tuesday.
It was only at the Society of Authors awards ceremony in June 2008 that most people realised that the author was in fact a man: 'Many initially assumed Boyle must be Walker's agent when he walked up to accept the £4,000 McMitterick Prize'.
A woman whose life is split between her lover (a loss adjuster) and husband worries about the whereabouts of her teenage son and wonders about the rules of cricket. Her husband draws elaborate diagrams of fielding positions, in contrast her lover prefers mystery. As the woman becomes more intrigued by the game she draws parallels between the characters in her life and the strategies of the game...
- Nicholas Lezard writing in The Guardian closed with "This is a little marvel of a novella. It's funny, clever, illuminating, deeply kind-hearted, and doesn't outstay its welcome". The author regarded this early review as 'a breakthrough'.
- Lionel Shriver in The Daily Telegraph also praises it saying "24 for 3 is written with a beguiling simplicity, and the small wisdoms it offers up are readily accessible to readers who have never been able to make head or tail of cricket. Its clarity and musing tone perfectly suit a rainy afternoon".
The author, frustrated at his inability to find a publisher, set up his own publishing house CB Editions to get it in to print, using the proceeds of an uncle's will to fund it. After receiving positive reviews the book then gained the backing of Bloomsbury Publishing who published it with a quote on the cover from Mick Jagger saying that he 'loved it'. It was published under the title The Rules of Play in the US by Soho Press in 2010.
- 2007, UK, CB Editions, ISBN 0-9557285-0-9, Pub date Nov 2007, Paperback
- 2008, UK, Bloomsbury, ISBN 0-7475-9792-8, Pub date 4 Aug 2008, Hardback
- 2009, UK, Bloomsbury, ISBN 0-7475-9875-4, Pub date 6 Jul 2009, Paperback
- 2010, US, Soho Press, ISBN 1-56947-625-X, Pub date Jan 2010, Hardback (as The Rules of Play)
- 2011, US, Soho Press, ISBN 1-56947-884-8, Pub date 4 Jan 2011, Paperback (as The Rules of Play)
- CB editions – publisher of new writing – About & News
- www.cbeditions.com Sonofabook: Good things. Monday, 1 December 2008
- Sting in the tale for book publisher as Jennie turns out to be Charles – News – London Evening Standard, 20 June 2008
- Cricket and Beckett – a perfect match, The Guardian, Saturday 22 December 2007
- www.cbeditions.com Sonofabook: A breakthrough? Sunday, 23 December 2007
- Review: 24 for 3 by Jennie Walker – Telegraph : Somebody here is playing games 12:01AM BST 24 Aug 2008
- The Fiction Desk blog, Saturday 6 September 2008, by Rob
- Bowled over by a cricket game and a sex change: 24 FOR 3 by Jennie Walker | Mail Online, By Amber Pearson UPDATED: 16:46, 22 August 2008
- 24 for 3 by Jennie Walker | Book review | Books | The Guardian, by James Smart, Saturday 1 August 2009
- www.fantasticfiction.co.uk Retrieved 4 April 2010.