Monday, December 31, 2007

44. Gamesmanship by Stephen Potter

gamesmanship picture

My dad recommended this to me. He told me that when he was at UBC in the 50s, Stephen Potter came to do a lecture. He described him as a small, unassuming looking man who spoke very quietly and soberly, but by the end my dad laughed so hard that his ribs hurt.

It's a manual on how to defeat your opponent without actually being skilled at a sport or cheating. The games are british popular sports from the early middle of the 20th century: lawn tennis, croquet, billiards, golf. It's a very slim manual, with a few hilarious diagrams and instructions on how to have the more sympathetic injury, or how to create an inflated reputation. The humour is sometimes very dry and couched in very different cultural mores, but the spirit is the same today and this book will appeal to anyone with a competitive spirit. I laughed out loud many times and I will definitely use some of the techniques here.

He also has a book called Lifemanship that I definitely want to read.

I recommend it highly.

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