Murder On The Darts Board, by Justin Irwin
Sunday 13 January 2008
Writer competes against professional sportsmen and discovers that while it's not as easy as it looks, it can yield a good yarn. The genre, invented by George Plimpton in 1960 with his baseball book 'Out Of My League', has a welcome new addition from Justin Irwin, who quit his job as the director of a national charity to spend a year discovering whether hard work alone can make him a great darts player. Practising for hours every day, he builds up to entering the PDC World Championship, where he is unlucky to draw a former quarter-finalist in the first round. Despite throwing a maximum 180 in one leg he is predictably whitewashed 5-0, but that, one suspects, is what his readers want; after all, if it was easy, they might regret not having had a go themselves. Irwin chronicles his "journey to the heart of dartness" – and darkness, in the form of oceans of Guinness – with humour and perception. He may have been found wanting on the oche but he's hit the bull's-eye here.
Published by Portico Books in paperback, £9.99
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