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Dribble!: The Unbelievable Encyclopaedia of Football [Paperback]

Harry Pearson
2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Nov 2009
Ten years in the making, Dribble! is an A-Z of credulity-twanging facts and stories about what Pele once memorably dubbed 'my bloody job'. It includes definitive explanations of everyday phrases such as 'the magic of the cup' and 'low centre of gravity'; a complete guide to becoming a terrace character and an in-depth account of how Roy Keane's pyjamas got him a smack on the nose . . . It also addresses hitherto ignored aspects of the beautiful game, including its longstanding relationship with Country and Western. Johnny Cash dubbed himself 'The Man in Black' in homage to his idol, referee Arthur Ellis and wrote what is arguably the greatest song ever written about the life of an assistant referee - 'I Walk the Line'.

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Dribble!: The Unbelievable Encyclopaedia of Football + The Far Corner: A Mazy Dribble Through North-East Football + Slipless In Settle: A Slow Turn Around Northern Cricket
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; Reprint edition (5 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034912244X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349122441
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Bitingly satirical and madly surreal, this must be the funniest book of the year . . . Monty Python meets John Motson' -- Leo McKinstry, Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

* A hilarious encyclopaedia of football myths, legends and cliches

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More great comedy from Pearson 19 Jan 2010
By Mitch
I feel this book should have a less biased review than those already listed. Firstly, a few things about the product that need to clarified, and that seem to have been forgotten by others (though they've possibly been genuinely misled). This is not a book to buy if you're looking for a book of Football statistics, records or even unusual but true stories. The clue is in the the title- the UNBELIEVABLE encyclopedia of football. A quick glance through its pages and entries for 'Noun Deficiency Syndrome' and 'Rodd Rugg' amongst hundreds of others should tell you that much. This is a book, written by Guardian journalist and highly respected author Pearson, of football satire and (somewhat bizarre) humour. The great thing about satire though is that when well executed, as here, it rings as true as any other observational humour, and when done in a fond way by a man who loves the beautiful game, can be hilarious and still respectful. Pearson clearly does love football. It seems that 'The Far Corner', an earlier book by Pearson charting many matches played by smaller North Eastern teams from one season in the 90s ia a far more popular book - I have read it and indeed it is a true gem of a book, and clarifies that Pearson loves the sport. However, perhaps Pearson is a victim of his own success here- those who loved The Far Corner see a new football by Pearson and are expecting a sequel, or expect the same book again, but rightly he has not just repeated himself.

The other thing it seems those who are critical of it have done wrong, is to read it cover to cover. This is not like The Far Corner or others, but is perfect for dipping in and out of.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardcore Pearson 12 Sep 2009
This is hardcore, distilled down, Pearson on football. I sometimes wonder if Harry, noticing that Charlie Connelly had systematically nicked all of his other ideas, went all out to demonstrate in full the one thing that Connelly can't do, this stream of absurdist, improvised humour which makes him the original, and Connelly the middlebrow Sunday Supplement imitation. Those of us who love it, lap it up. As to others, well, you can see the other reviews.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Harry's forte 9 Nov 2010
By Sir Bob
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Harry's forte is really when he's writing about his travels, things he's really done and seen. He can write about that in a fun and engaging way, it's not Theroux but it's amusing.
This kind of stuff, where he's deliberately trying to write comedy is all so hit and miss and there are just not great gags here or anything close.

This is a collection of newspaper and magazine bits and pieces going under the pretense of being a jokey encyclopedia of football. And it's all in good fun but just not very funny and where he goes off in to fantasy descriptions of what happened to old time managers or the origins of the pie it's just too far from real to be really funny. It's silly but without the grounding in sensible that silly needs.

Pompous review? Maybe but all in all this is not great. If you like Harry's sillier columns then there is a lot here, this is value for money if you value the content. In that case order away, you'll love it. But there are funnier football books, Harry Pearson books and probably even encyclopedias too.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Drivel, not Dribble 8 Jan 2009
By G. Page
Another desperately disappointing book, as was 'Around the World by Mouse'
It is hard to believe that this is the same author who wrote the excellent 'Far Corner'. Dribble is an 'A to Z' style commentary on British football, which is already is badly dated. The mix of laboured humour, obtuse references to in-jokes, silly analogies all presented in a plodding style had me wanting to give up before I'd even finished the letter 'B'. I persevered to the end,but was punishing myself. Can't Harry write more books like 'Racing Pigs' and 'A Tall Man in ...'?PLEASE!
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