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32 Programmes Paperback – 4 Aug 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition, First Printing edition (4 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593067371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593067376
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dave Roberts has been one of those annoying bike couriers, a security guard, a Civil Servant, a KFC chef who was fired for trying to steal a sample of the secret recipe and a train driver - all before reaching 20. After that, he settled for a career in advertising, which never really hit any heights.
His first book, e-luv: an internet romance came out in 2006 and was followed by The Bromley Boys, which is now being made into a film, two years later. Next up was 32 Programmes in 2011, which was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. His fourth book, Sad Men came out in 2014.
His loves (aside from his family) include Bromley Football Club, the music of Saint Etienne, Eastenders and golden retrievers.
His favourite books are Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene, The Adventures of Goodnight & Loving by Leslie Thomas, Rain Men by Marcus Berkmann and anything by Guy Burgess. More recently, The Drowning of Arthur Braxton by Caroline Smailes and One Day by David Nicholls.
He currently lives in Connecticut, USA but hopes to come home to England someday.

Product Description

Review

"A little gem... a brilliant way to reflect on his love affair with football" (Henry Winter Daily Telegraph)

"Very funny in wry, Nick Hornby-esque fashion... This memoir will gain a lot of fans" (Simon Redfern Independent on Sunday)

"Remarkable... A book that every woman should study, for the unique insight it offers into the impenetrable enigma of the male mind" (Jane Shilling Daily Mail)

"A brilliant idea nicely executed, it's certainly the funniest sport-related read this Christmas" (Christopher Maume Independent)

"An entertaining read, rich in nostalgia and reminiscent of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, this offers an insight into the power of obsession and how the beautiful game has changed. Moving and amusing" (Sport magazine)

Book Description

The hilarious and moving story of a man called Dave (a football fan) and his most precious possessions...

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bernie Friend on 8 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful book and one of the best football-related stories I have read in years.
And the main reason being that Dave's story is a mirror image of all football fans who have fuelled their obsession by working in unhappy crap jobs so they could stand on terraces up and down the country and support their favourite team through thin and thinner.
It's also a generational thing, as although I am a good 10 years younger than Dave, teenagers picking up the way-of-life curse of following their local team, will never experience standing alongside their fellow Bovril and cigarette smelling fans on crumbling concrete steps with weeds growing inbetween their toes.
They are more likely to be herded into the Lego-like cloned theatres of anti-atmopshere that are becoming the sterile homes of our football clubs in the present. At least now, they will have a good account of what they missed.
I too used to feverishly keep a big collection of programmes in protective plastic wallets as fanatically as any guarded trainspotter or stamp collector.
But I sold my soul a few years ago and flogged them to a local sports memorobilia shop to make more room for other stuff in my house. And, yes, just like Dave it was a sale linked to her who must be obeyed. I also thought it was a sign I was finally growing up as I reached my late thirties, but I was so wrong. I don't want to grow up and Dave, you have made me regret ever trying to foolishly pull off the pretence.
What have I done? I'll never get that collection back again, or at least have the consolation prize of just 32 Programmes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Officer Dibble VINE VOICE on 2 July 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you think 'normal life is sitting on your bed reading football programmes until three a.m.', then welcome to heaven. Using a programme collection to chart life's milestones is a brilliant idea to the footy mad amongst us.

Particularly in the early part of this book, the author splendidly weaves in anecdotes and the minutiae of a fan's life from 1964 to 2008. Even if you were a non-fan growing up in this period, you will have many laughs and cringe-making reminiscences; who else owned the fashion nightmare 'Budgie' jacket?

The premise began to fade as the story moved into the 1980's. The balance seemed to switch and there were more 'shots tipped over the bar by Crudgington' than autobiographical detail. I got the impression that I was reading match reports fom Mr Robert's 'Filofax'. This will still appeal to fans of Manchester United and Plymouth Argyle as the two most featured teams.

This was doubly frustrating as major events were taking place in the author's life which are condensed into mere passing paragraphs. However, Mr Roberts is not re-writing 'Fever Pitch'; he is an obsessive fan and this is about his obsession. A very enjoyable 'dip-in' read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. J. Cooper VINE VOICE on 28 July 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Being a collector of various things myself, including football programmes (though to a lesser extent than Mr. Roberts). I knew I would enjoy this book.
Starting with his first football match between Fulham and Man Utd in 1965, it documents key events in his life and you can't fail to be won over with his passion for the subject! It is interesting to see how football changes during the documented time. The final 2 chapters are a lovely end to the book.
Recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Clare on 29 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
I was given this book as a Christmas present and it took me two days to read. It owes a lot to the Nick Hornby-era style of 'Fever Pitch', and whilst it is a shorter book than its famous predecessor it has the same depth and nostalgia.
The pitch (excuse the pun) is that Dave had to select 32 programmes to take with him when he emigrated to the States, leaving the rest of his collection of 1134 football programmes behind. He then describes each of matches in depth from which he has chosen his 32 programmes. The games stretch from 1964 until the present day; and his remarkable memory, allied to his meticulous notes, mean that you get a real sense of what it was like to be at each of the games. Some games are chosen for life-changing reasons (his first ever game, the first game that he attended with his wife), and others simply for quirks and oddities. The richness of football folklore in the Sixties and Seventies is addressed, and some insights that you will not find in the history books become apparent.
The nice thing about this book is that it enjoyable for fans of all teams. As Dave was a fan of Bromley, he did not follow one big team, and as a result a wide range of teams get a mention; including Leeds, Plymouth and Bury. There is something here for everybody. Despite a fanatical devotion to Bromley he appears to have been a genuine fan of all football.
There is a twist, and surprisingly football does not dominate all of his life, but you need to read up to programme 32 to find out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 22 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dave Roberts is moving to the US. His long-suffering wife tells him he can only take a tupperware box full of the many, many programmes he has collected throughout his life.

Influenced by Nick Hornby (a cross between '31 Songs' and 'Fever Pitch', with a dash of Desert Island Discs thrown in), this s Roberts' second book. His previous work, 'The Bromley Boys' focussed on his local team and the love of his footballing life. In '32 Programmes' he selects the matches that define him, tying programmes together with key events in his life.

He does this well, with a thick vein of humour evident throughout the book, conveying the desperation and brotherhood that men (and women) find stood on a freezing winter Saturday, watching a team that you know will break your heart with only a cup of bovril to keep you going.

Suited more specifically to such die-hard, OCD football fans than either of Hornby's books (both of which have a wider audience), Roberts is an engaging author whose passion for football of all levels comes across easily in his works. He makes it enjoyable and entertaining.

Simply, if you have a real football fan in your family...buy it.
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