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Back from the Brink: The Autobiography Hardcover – 5 Oct 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Century; First Edition edition (5 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846050766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846050763
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"As survivor's tales go, this is brutalist epic...McGrath's narrative has a stark honesty." (Sean O'Hagan The Observer Sport Monthly)

"Continuing the trend of brutal honesty which was popularised by Paul Gascoigne's autobiography, McGrath's book is difficult to read for anyone with an ounce of human kindness, especially those who marvelled at his ability from the Old Trafford terraces... Beautifully written." (Manchester Evening News)

"Laceratingly honest...remarkably unflinching" (Mail on Sunday)

"A startling, harrowing read... far removed from the churn-em-out footballing autobiographies...This is an uncompromising tale, wonderfully told, about one of our most talented and disturbed sporting heroes." (Hugh Farrelly Irish Independent)

"Heartbreaking...poingnant" (Robert Philip Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Book Description

The autobiography of the greatest defender of the 1980s and 90s --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Moz on 26 May 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a story about a man wrestling with addiction while being blessed with great athleticism. Being autobiographical, Paul is more scathing about his lapses than a biographer would be, while underplaying his iconic football image. At times it's gut-wrenchingly honest as his constant submissions to the booze prevent him fully realising his athletic potential. You don't have to be a Man U fan, Villan or Republic of Ireland fan to read this. Paul's roots and upbringing alone are rivetting and scary.

Me, I'm a music fan really, and this life has parralels with Phil Lynott's tragic rise to fame and seduction by drugs. I just hope it doesn't end prematurely in the way Phil's did. A mixed race Irish man growing up in Dublin with no knowledge of his father but driven by a calling to excel. The troubled romances and the shadow of oblivion cast over even the most triumphal moments.

Paul's football carreer was dogged by dodgy knees, alcoholism and an amazing lack of self belief or confidence. A genius awarded countless accolades and many caps who feels unworthy of sharing the stage with his contemporaries. I was shocked by the extent of his problems and the lengths his friends had successfully gone to to prevent the truth being more widely publicised. I look forward to someone making this into a film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BUBS. on 16 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is a very good autobiography to read , paul had it rough from a very early age and how he became such a brilliant football player is amazing considering his troubles and addictions . the only drawback i had with the book was you would be reading the book through pauls words then suddenly the next paragrath would be an ex manager , player or partner speaking about him , this threw me on a few occasions because it happens so frequently . but when you get used to seeing the commers that's indicating it was being said about paul then it was very enjoyable.he could have easily been britains finest ever defender without doubt if he had the right attitude .fergie got rid of him because he could not get thru to him at all while mcgrath just got drunk and ignored him ,mcgrath now realise's he was wrong and fergie was right but if anything mcgrath got better once he left utd but was constantly plagued with his demons and still to this day i suppose.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Mullan on 24 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Oooh Aaah Paul McGrath went the chants around Landsdowne Road, Old Trafford and Villa Park in the late '80s and early '90s when one of Ireland's truely outstanding sports personalities was at the peak of his career.

And what a brilliant career it was. Paul McGrath was a rock at the heart of United and Villa's defences and a collosus for Eire particularly in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. And the amazing thing is that McGrath achieved all this whilst battling alcoholism and inner demons that would undoubtedly have destroyed a lesser man.

The book is a very candid account of McGrath's life, from his tough childhood in Dublin where he suffered because of his skin colour, to his rise to the summit of professional football where he often played whilst under the influence. The book gives an indication of what McGrath's mindset and mental state was like during these halcyon years, and includes some really interesting stories and insights into the some of the top personalities in English and Irish football at the time.

Legend is a word that is certainly used too lightly, but this is not the case with McGrath. He is a true legend and what's more he comes across as a very honest and likeable character. A great read.

Declan Mullan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darcy on 4 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
They say that a child's personality is formed in its first five years... whether you end up rich, poor, shy, or confident. These are traits that are firmly engraved into our subconscious from an early age and that is the reason a wise man once said that your parents are your real lottery in life.

A beautifully written autobiography of a player who would easily put on the red jersey of Manchester United's all time greatest players, including the likes of Charlton, Robson, Best, Ronaldo, Giggs, and Cantona. Yet, he was dealt a cruel hand so early in life by his mother who placed him in an orphanage, after falling pregnant by his Nigerian father and soon the pretence of behaving like someone you're not in order to keep out of trouble, was soon took it's tool on McGrath who sought solace from Alcohol, which in a strange way became his best friend.

A sad story of a troubled genius who drank like a fish, yet played like a gladiator when on the field. A great read for any real football supporter who is bored of reading the autobiographies of the pampered, second-rate and arrogant average player of today.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Grant on 30 Nov. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was only a wee nipper in the time leading upto Italia '90, when Paul McGrath was in his heyday, but of the few footballing memories I have of that age, watching the TV and hearing 'Ohh Ahh Paul McGrath, I say Ooh Aah Paul McGrath' billowing round Landsdowne is one. No one chooses to become an alcoholic or a depressant, its something which overcomes you. Despite these huge weights on him, the man fought on to become one of the finest footballers of his generation. The book is a candid look at the life behind the face, and would move even the most stone hearted of people. The man has sat down and told his story the way he wants it told, not by some third party wanting to put a good spin on it. The man never wants pity for his actions, just a fair hearing. Its a compelling read, worth every penny.

He always has been, and always will be, a legend in my eyes.
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