I’ve reviewed this book for the new issue of Snooker Scene and would heartily recommend it to anyone with an interest in the game.
Indeed, I would recommend any of Gordon Burn’s books because he’s one of those writers who can make you interested in just about any subject.
Pocket Money, which has just been reissued with an afterword by Snooker Scene editor Clive Everton, covers the 1985/86 season and is bookended by Steve Davis’s two world final defeats – on the black to Dennis Taylor and 18-12 to Joe Johnson.
On the way to the Crucible it takes on all points on a circuit that was flourishing at the height of the 1980s snooker boom.
Davis’s manager Barry Hearn becomes the main focus through his expanding Matchroom empire.
The money and prosperity sloshing about in the game then is hard to believe in these days of a disjointed circuit and groans over low prize money.
Pocket Money is not only a celebration of the golden days but also served as a warning that these days would not last forever – a warning that was ignored.