“Kevin Painter likes you but his face doesn’t”            “Andy Hamilton is like Liza Minnelli”

“Playing Phil Taylor isn’t a test; it’s a MENSA entrance exam”     “Simon Whitlock – the Rapunzel of darts”

“Hamilton sweats grit through Polo Mint pores”         “8ft Heydon has the reach of the Cloverfield monster”   

Lenny Boyle's Darts Almanac darts book reviewWelcome to the whimsical world of Lenny Boyle, Scotland’s Premier Terry Jenkins fan and all round darts blogger.

Darts fans with a Twitter account might already know all about Lenny Boyle. He can be relied upon to provide tangential insights during all major TV tournaments (and beyond) and has been writing regularly on his own blog for a couple of years.

Here at DartsMad we like to claim Lenny as one of our own having given him a shot at journalistic stardom before he cracked the big time with a call up by Mirror Sport to provide their online darts coverage.

Lenny Boyle’s Darts Almanac is an assortment of ramblings knitted together by Lenny’s unique perspective. He looks for, and finds, angles that Pythagoras would be proud of. Lifting up the creaky floorboards and peaking underneath; going under the oche, behind the darts. He gazes longingly at the smooth area above Terry Jenkins’ top lip where a tash used to be; he even ventures inside the mind of Kevin Painter.

We are taken on a journey through darts in 2012 with Lenny Boyle behind the wheel. We board at the Ally Pally for the 2012 PDC World Championship and alight at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens for July’s World Matchplay. The blurb says “and everything in between” but in reality the main focus of the book is the 2012 Premier League of Darts.

Around 80% of the book is dedicated to the Premier League and its octet of combatants and although this provides a neat record of the ups and downs of that particular tournament there is little else to feast on. The inclusion of weekly previews is also questionable and feels like album fillers.

I’ll also get the pedantic stuff out of the way here. Unfortunately for Mr Boyle he has asked a rabid pedant to review his book and I’d be doing a disservice to the world of pedantry if I didn’t point out the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors of which there are a number. Commas are often conspicuous by their absence.

That said this is a collection of his musings from the past year thrown together to form a kind of timeline of the 2012 darting calendar so I guess the error rate can be accepted if the pieces were not put through an editorial review prior to print.

And who can be picky when the book costs about the same as a deep fried Mars bar*?

Where the book shines is in Lenny’s eccentric observations and crazy notions. There’s no sign of clichés or contrived content. Any coaching manual for budding writers will say you must find your own voice and Lenny Boyle has certainly found his.

His style is his own and is engaging to read and he is well informed. Some of his topics verge on the bizarre but they are always underpinned by a valid point. His eye for the unique slant is his main strength, maintaining an irreverence-with-context that enables him to report on the arrers week after week.

Draftgate, the Dart Heard Around the World, Floorboardgate, 50 Shades of Beaton, the Dana Curse, a Pipe love-in, an even bigger Bully love-in. All here, present and correct. Make sense of it if you can but enjoy the read regardless.

Lenny Boyle’s Darts Almanac can be read in a few sittings or you can dip in and out at will. I would call it an ideal toilet book but I’m not sure you should keep your Kindle next to the toilet. So let’s just call it a book for any occasion.

I found Lenny Boyle’s Darts Almanac a quirky, rollicking read and although it sagged a little under the weight of Premier League focus it was largely counterbalanced by interesting fact and insightful reflection – Lenny’s bravura ultimately winning the day.

And I love the cover art – the depiction of a Dali-esque Phil Taylor surrounded by melting dartboards. ‘The Persistence of Darts’ – brilliant.

There is not nearly enough darts coverage in the media so writers like Lenny Boyle are invaluable and do a great job of keeping the public profile of darts in the mainstream consciousness. Buy his book and keep him writing.

* probably

Buy Darts Almanac

Lenny Boyle’s Darts Almanac is available to buy in electronic format only on Amazon for a measly £1.95.

Lenny Boyle used to write for DartsMad and now writes for Mirror Sport and his own blog, Tectonic Tungsten. He can be found twittering away about darts most hours of the day, especially when tungsten is on telly.

Win a copy of Darts Almanac

We have two copies of Lenny Boyle’s Darts Almanac to giveaway to a pair of lucky readers who can answer the question below.

To win the book you also have to have a Twitter account and be following both DartsMad and Lenny Boyle himself.

Email your answer to the question along with your Twitter name and we’ll draw two winners at random. Good luck!

Question: Lenny’s darts blog is called ‘Tectonic Tungsten’. Which recently departed darts legend did he crib the phrase from?

Hint – the answer can be found on Lenny’s blog.