Snooker: Background information when reading The Post-Birthday World

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The Post-Birthday World

by Lionel Shriver

The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver X
The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2007, 528 pages

    Mar 2008, 528 pages


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This article relates to The Post-Birthday World

Print Review

Snooker is a very British sport, primarily played in the UK and various parts of the former colonies. The game bears some similarity to American Pool in that they both involve cues and balls, but Snooker is played on a table four times larger than the Pool table, the pockets are smaller and snooker players would say that the game is more subtle.

The essence of Snooker is to pot the balls to gain the highest score. There are fifteen red balls each worth one point and six colored balls worth from two points (yellow) to seven (black). A player's turn lasts until he fails to pot a ball, but he must alternate the potting of balls so that a red is followed by a higher-point ball, then another red, and so on.  The reds stay in the pocket, the colors are put back on the table until all the reds are potted, then the colors are potted in sequence.

The highest possible score is 147, only possible if a player manages to clear the entire table potting black (7-points) between each red. A player is snookered when there is no direct line between the cue ball (white) and any ball that is eligible to be played; forcing the player to make a more difficult shot off the side of the table to reach his intended target.

In reading The Post-Birthday World you will learn more than enough about the game of Snooker, but on the basis that a picture is worth a thousand words, you may wish to spend a few minutes watching champion playerRonnie O'Sullivan make 147 in record time!

Filed under Cultural Curiosities

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Post-Birthday World. It originally ran in April 2007 and has been updated for the March 2008 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

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