'We're all losers in life in some way, ' Aubrey Malone contends in this memoir, 'but that's what makes us interesting.' It documents his college years in Ballina, County Mayo, where he suffered under an oppressive regime and eventually found closure on it. The book also features a court action taken by his father after he retired from being a solicitor and his own life as a teacher and subsequently a writer. As a background to these themes, his life-long flirtation with snooker is chronicled, both at league level where he played on the 'chicken and chips' circuit and in the top flight where he became 'a fan with a typewriter, ' chronicling the careers of legends like Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan. Another sub-theme is Gaelic football, the Mayo team mirroring his own one in Muredach's College. Success proved to be equally elusive here, the Nearly Men of Mayo failing to capture the holy grail of an All-Ireland for seventy years despite giving their all. 'I coulda been a contender, ' Marlon Brando said famously in On the Waterfront. Paul Newman could have been one too in The Hustler. In sport as in life the three cherries of success seem to constantly run away from those who crave them most. As a result they become beautiful...lose.