Straight 8 is the name of Kieran Read's book, the recently retired All Black captain spending the day today doing the ritual round of obligatory interviews.
First page I turned to was the last where he talks about the aftermath of that painful semi final loss to England. I won't spoil the surprise but suffice to say he still feels it as raw as you'd expect he would. The problem I have with NZ Rugby books in general is that they never really say anything.
A few old anecdotes, a post-match recount of some of his most memorable, the odd shady story not to ribald for the prime time family audience, you know how these things are "written". Make that ghost-written.
None of the players actually write a word, not that it really matters I suppose. What I'm saying is that there hasn't been a book written or published in this country on any player that's a page on e.g. Andre Agassi's "Open".
But I guess the next question is what do you want, what do you expect from a read like this? Do you really want the warts'n'all expose? Do you want the innermost secrets revealed, the most sinful stories told?
Not to say Kieran has any or many of those, I ask that more in reference to the books/movies/biblical version of events as portrayed in say the Richie and Dan movie scripts.
Apart from their saintly personalities, commitment to anointing the world's sick and saving the world from climate change what else did we in fact learn about either man - apart from nothing at all.
So don't expect this book to be anything different from the many hundreds that have gone before. My big question isn't anything to do with what's been written, it's simply about where he ultimately sits in terms of the greatest we've had who've ever played that position.
Of course comparing era with era is as inexact as any irrelevant sports argument. Our greatest to ever play that position include the late Sir Brian Lochore, Murray Mexted, the incomparable Wayne Shelford and Zinzan Brooke. Kieran Read's name sits right alongside those, 127 tests, 2 World Cup wins and a captaincy success record that'll be nigh impossible to emulate.
Whichever way you rank 'em, Kieran Read retires from NZ rugby as a legend at #8.