on 15 January 2011
what a fantastic book. Read this book if you're a sports fan. Definitely read it if you know nothing about sport. This book has it all: politics, social commentary, sarcasm, sadness, laughs... and a fair bit on sport and italia 90 also.
Particularly enjoyed the commentary throughout the book on how Ireland sees itself and how imperfect we are. This even allows us to wonder if 2 of the inaccuracies in the book are intentional: it is that type of book.
Well done to the writer. He is brave in his descriptions of his own life with alcohol.
A must read.
on 26 August 2011
Oh dear, another alumni from the 'Hot Press' 80s stable reminisces about Ireland before it all went horribly wrong. Jack Charlton is forgiven for being English. ('Go home Union Jack' banners upon his appointment are conveniently forgotten.) U2 are accepted as 'Irish'. (They aren't. Just like Larkin, De Valera, Connolly, St.Patrick, etc.) Haughey is portrayed as the Irish De Gaulle. (No sirrree.) 'Father Ted' is acclaimed as the funniest Irish sitcom ever. (By default, the shortlist must be, well, very short. Leaving aside it was made by an English TV channel. And an English production company. In England.) The author refers to the England football team in Italia 90 as playing 'third world' football against Cameroon, yet strangely omits that England got to the semi finals and lost only on penalties. (J'aime La France!.) And indeed gloats over English football hooliganism, yet strangely ignoring Irish hooliganism of another kind, in England. (Or Germany for that matter.)In short, the work of someone whom would have been best advised to have been assigned an editor at publisher Gill & Macmillan. (Was this actually proof read?) Still, I guess it is what passes for Irish writing these days, so not much can be expected.
As for Ireland's current misfortune? We'll have the £2.5 billion loan given to Ireland back, with interest. And they will pay it.