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Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs [Paperback]

Rodge Glass
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

4 April 2013

Mark Wilson's whole life has been about the moment when he steps on to Old Trafford to make his first appearance for Man Utd. But when a wayward pass from Ryan Giggs leads to THE WORST DEBUT EVER, Mark's schoolboy obsession with him develops into something more dangerous.

Fifteen years later, after a career interrupted by drinking, injury, gambling, RESTRAINING ORDERS and burglary, Mark is now sober, gainfully-employed and looking forward to watching United at their CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-WINNING BEST. Most importantly for Mark, he is reconciled with the mother of his son, little Ryan. But as the old urges continue to struggle for voice in his head, can he keep his eye on the goal?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tindal Street (4 April 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1906994455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906994457
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A gripping rollercoaster ride through the nature of obsession and the unregarded lives of football failures (Daily Mail)

A unique idea: an unhinged obsessive failure from Manchester United's Class of 92 blames Giggs for his demise and plots vengeance (Four Four Two)

A complex and moving portrayal of obsession, football and heroes with feet of clay (Will Self)

Drawing on an impressive fund of United trivia, Glass views a great team from the perspective of the (fictional) runt of the litter (Guardian)

Book Description

A critical sensation released in mass market paperback to coincide with the retirement of Ryan Giggs at the end of this football season

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, funny and original 4 Aug 2012
By Lyn
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Nae luck Mikey 16 May 2012
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Back of the Net 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Opinion 8 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would recommend it if you love football. It is a light book, I read it with pleasure. You can have an insight about British football passion. No happy ending, that's probably why I liked it
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother 31 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unless you are a red who loves everything about the club this is not worth reading.l only finished it because l thought it was going to turn out to be a true story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars suprising 15 Sep 2013
By ads
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a little bit dubious at first but it turns out there was need to be..cracking read,it's good to here the other side of a footballers story...I'm glad I took a punt!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars do not buy this book 21 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love football. This made me hate a lot of things about it. Firstly, its like life doesn't exist outside of the top leagues. The character moans about going on loan to a lesser team, which really bugged me. HE GETS TO PLAY FOOTBALL FOR A LIVING. & The Man Utd loyalty in this book is childish.

Not only that, it's written terribly. Avoid this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been told it was great.
This was bought as a present last year. I was told, yet again, how good it was, and how much it had been enjoyed. I haven't read it, so this review is someone else's opinion.
Published 6 months ago by ednaheap
2.0 out of 5 stars IRH
I didn't like it at all and have not yet finished reading it - indeed I don't think I will.
Published 11 months ago by Isobel R
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...
but ultimately a little short of good. Real life bound into the plot keeps you reading but right at the end it is all thrown away.
Published 11 months ago by Mike Mood
4.0 out of 5 stars Saddest ever
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... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Elena
4.0 out of 5 stars A different, deep take on a football fan's obsession
An unusual viewpoint of a Man U fan/player and how it takes over his life - both funny and poignant
Published 13 months ago by Anne Fidelo
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and not just for football fans
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... Read more
Published on 15 Jun 2012 by Ellie D
1.0 out of 5 stars Footballing failure
I love football, and football books, I've been to enough matches not to worry about bad language, and that language is faithfully reproduced here, but this book does not work. Read more
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by monkey23
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