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Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs Paperback – 5 Apr 2012

27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tindal Street (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906994382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906994389
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 709,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rodge Glass is the author of three novels, No Fireworks (Faber, 2005), Hope for Newborns (Faber, 2008) and Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs (Tindal Street, 2012), a literary biography Alasdair Gray: A Secretary s Biography (Bloomsbury, 2008) which won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2009, and the graphic novel (with Dave Turbitt) Dougie's War. Rodge is currently Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. He edited the anthology A Year of Open Doors (Cargo, 2010) and Second Lives (Cargo, 2012).

Rodge Glass's debut short story collection, LoveSexTravelMusik, was published by Freight in 2013.

Product Description


A complex and moving portrayal of obsession, football and heroes with boots of clay --Will Self

For every dream career there are thousands of boys whose dreams are painfully broken. This less-often considered reality is dissected here without losing sight of the love of the game --Pat Nevin

Book Description

'You've heard of me, right? I'm Mikey Wilson, aka 'Little Giggs', the Manchester boy born to play at the Theatre of Dreams, and this is my story.'

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alan Gillespie on 30 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the thing with novels that are ostensibly about football: the less of it they actually contain, the better. The active elements of the beautiful game do not translate particularly well to the page, and in this book the author strikes a balance that Giggs himself would be proud of. There is just enough action to perfume the reader's nostrils with the smell of grass, and no more. The real drama in this novel takes place in the head of the main character, Mikey Wilson.

Wilson is a one-time Manchester United trainee whose life has not panned out in the same way as his former team-mates, however much he tries to deny it. Maintaining that he is 'one of the lads' and constructing fantasies about being recognised outside Old Trafford or being asked to do media work, Wilson's existence is actually one of depression and unhappiness. The dichotomy between these two states create the main tension and thrust of the novel.

There are many layers of complexity to appreciate here: issues about class, family, sexuality, addiction and delusions all play a part as the reader is led through a myriad of flashbacks, match reports, newspaper articles and increasingly incoherent monologues.

A simple book about football this is not; rather it is a story of human drama, and unfulfilled dreams. Glass has created a compelling and engaging novel which will appeal to all readers, regardless of their footballing loyalties.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lyn on 4 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is set in the period of MU's history that I most identify with- early 90s- the arrival of Becks and Giggs- the first few years of Alex Ferguson. Mike Wilson (Wilson is Gigg's real surname by the way) is a player who lives in Giggs' shadow and has a disastrous footballing career. There is a love-hate relationship with football, but it is also about families, addiction, making your way in the world when the only thing you have ever wanted to do appears to have been taken away from you. I would say it's not for people that aren't interested in football, and specifically Man U- if it had been about Arsenal, for example, I personally wouldn't have bothered. I sometimes found the different narrative voices a bit confusing but it does add layers of complexity to the character. One review here says there is too much 'foul' language but I actually think the language is very typical of passionate supporters and it would be bizarre if they all said 'oh dear' when goals are missed. This is no Trainspotting. An intelligent and original book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dicksonshire on 16 May 2012
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this novel, especially the way Rodge shifts from the 1st to the 2nd to the 3rd person throughout. I had read No Fireworks and hadn't been impressed - I could tell it was well crafted but couldn't relate to the characters; whereas in this novel, I could relate to pretty much every character - and as a fan of character-driven literature, this def floated my fitba boat. Many of us would love to have been(or would love to be) involved in the beautiful game at such a high level. In fact, I still catch myself thinking things like 'I wonder if I could be a fitba player when I'm a big boy'...and then I realise I'm in my 30s and there's no chance! I bought this novel on the back of reading an excerpt in Gutter magazine and then attending the reading of two halves at Mono in Glasgow in early April. Such things no doubt help in getting an insight into the author's intentions. Rodge is a strange one though in terms of his back catalogue, which includes a biography of Alistair Gray and a graphic novel called Dougie's War (which although a bit short is also very good). It's almost like he's trying to find what suits him by doing something different every time. Well, I think he's found his strength here. Read this book - it's the Man City of contemporary literature...
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By B.B. on 13 April 2012
Format: Paperback
What a fab, timely, funny, knowing and insightful book. Glass understands male psychology and male culture, picking at the weeping scab of 21st century masculinity-in-crisis. Football is the focus; not Hornbyesque, loveable, blokish inadequacy, rather a much darker, blackly comic examination of the casualties of our modern, 24 hour, rolling sports news, prawn sandwich-eating, not-so-beautiful game...
As a young Ryan Giggs's professional career takes off, the career of fellow 'Fergie's Fledgling' Mikey Wilson - aka Little Giggs - takes an early bath after a rare duff pass from the great Welshman himself, resulting in a sending off, career-threatening injury, the ignominy of lower league loan-spells and ultimately being cast onto the dung heap of football has-beens, could-have-beens and broken dreams. After a 120 second debut, Wilson goes down as the worst-ever Man Utd player in history.
Grotesquely comic, Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs is a hugely enjoyable and rewarding read. But it's more than satire, it's a serious examination of contemporary obsession, false idols and that great lie of celebrity culture: 'follow your dreams'.
This is not just a book for football fans, the ambivalent and downright hostile will love it too. While Glass writes with great affection for the sport he clearly loves, he reveals, with wit and wisdom, the rottenness at the heart of not just this multimillion pound industry but also our beloved contemporary culture itself.
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