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


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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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 565,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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

3.9 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 Elena on 6 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did not give it the 5 stars it maybe deserves because it is relentlessly depressing. The descent into hell of the protagonist is so vividly portrayed that you know there is no salvation for him. The story is simple: aspiring footballer joins the Man United academy in his teens. He is very good, but not good enough to break into the big time. Hence a slow erosion of his relationships with family and (very few) friends, alcoholism, despair, failure. Very well written, realistic and uncompromising. But it will depress the hell out of you.
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Best on 2 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Ever wondered what happens to the players who don't go on to have glittering football careers? Mikey Wilson is one such footballer. Unfairly thrown back into the real world after an awful début performance for his dream club, Mikey spirals out of control in a big way. There's gambling and glamour, football and fights. A simple tale of boyhood dreams this isn't.

Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs charts Mikey's decline from the boy who had it all to the boy who bitterly wants revenge on his old team mates - Giggs in particular. With the perfect amount of football references (enough to set the scene but not too much to put off those with no interest in the game), Glass' book is brilliantly funny, sad, exciting and dangerous. We all know someone who "could've gone pro", but what about those who actually did?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this novel. It's about obsession and masculinity as much as it's about football. I read it because I'd enjoyed an earlier novel by the author, 'Hope for Newborns.' As in that novel, the protagonist is catapulted into a situation where his obsession grows to pathological, self-consuming levels. It's beautifully written with great dialogue. An intriguing insight into the strange world of masculinity. Oh, and football.
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