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Throughout its chequered history, snooker has had more than its fair share of heroes and villains, champions and chumps, rascals and rip-off artists. In the last 20 years, every sleazy scandal imaginable has attached itself to this raffish sport: corruption, match fixing, bribery, sex, recreational drugs, performance-enhancing drugs, ballot rigging, fraud, theft, domestic violence, common-or-garden violence, paranoid politicking, dirty tricks - all against a background of inept petty tsars fixated on the pursuit, retention and abuse of power.

In Black Farce and Cue Ball Wizards, Clive Everton recounts the glory and despair, the dreams and disillusion, and the treachery and greed that have characterised the game since it was invented as an innocent diversion by British Army officers in India in the nineteenth century. He tells the true and unexpurgated tale of snooker's transformation into a television success story second only to football and exposes how its potential has been shamefully squandered.

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