Feet of the Chameleon: The Story of African Football and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £16.99
  • You Save: £2.08 (12%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Feet of the Chameleon Hardcover – 7 Sep 2009


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£14.91
£1.20 £0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Feet of the Chameleon + Africa United: How Football Explains Africa
Price For Both: £24.90

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Portico (7 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906032718
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906032715
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 907,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'***** Written with warmth and understanding, the book for which African football has been crying out for.' --FourFourTwo<br /><br />'The stand-out football book of 2009. Ian Hawkey chose a big continent, and a big subject but rose triumphantly to the task.' --The Independent<br /><br />'Vivid anecdotes and emotive stories trace the journey of African football from something distant and ramshackle to a producer of some of the game's most valuable players. Excellent.' --The Observer

'The stand-out football book of 2009. Ian Hawkey chose a big continent, and a big subject but rose triumphantly to the task.' --The Independent

'Vivid anecdotes and emotive stories trace the journey of African football from something distant and ramshackle to a producer of some of the game's most valuable players. Excellent.' --The Observer

About the Author

Ian Hawkey is an authority on African football - he grew up in Nigeria, and spent his teenage years in Zimbabwe and Egypt. He has been the International Football Correspondent for the Sunday Times since 2001.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tallpete33 TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Sep 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book opens with a gem of an anecdote concerning a vice-president of FIFA entering a lift in the Zurich hotel where the 2010 World cup location was to be decided. Legend has it that on entering the lift, he was undecided. On leaving the lift in which he had come across a certain Mr Mandela, his vote was for South Africa. Egypt had sent Omar Sharif, Libya Colonel Gaddafi....

Hawkey certainly knows his African football and this is a big and interesting, if slightly dry read. African football is a colourful, chaotic and often wonderful thing and all is well captured by the author in here. So often caught up in the politics of each country, used by dictators for egotistical purposes there are heart warming and heart breaking stories in here. Hawkey delves deep into the subject, telling us amongst other things, why the clubs employ white European "witch-doctor" coaches. "For us, it's important the boss drives a big car" (Celestine Babayaro, once of Chelsea). A lot of names such as Drogba, Milla and Weah will be familiar, the latter still a possible president of his country, Liberia.

Hawkey uses team nick-names and animal analogies to name his chapters in keeping with the African way, but to be honest this can make navigating the book a little tricky and there is no index which reduces it's effectiveness as a definitive reference. There is a list of the African Cup of Nation winners, World Cup appearances by African teams and Footballer of the Year etc but not enough to make wannabee "Statto's" too excited. The book also switches from topic to topic and team to team quite quickly so you have to concentrate fully to keep a handle on it and this can reduce it's enjoyment

Overall, a good in-depth read for the student of African football, not the casual fan as it is very detailed, but slightly flawed IMO for the reasons above.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Fillery VINE VOICE on 27 Aug 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a great book. "Feet of the Chameleon" is a study of the growth of football on the African continent, from it's earliest post-colonial boom to the present day when the best players rapidly migrate to the Premiership, La Liga and the French First Division. Packed with interviews with people at all levels of the sport and written by a journalist who obviously has a real passion for the continent as well as the sport, the book explores several themes - such as why there are so many ex-pat coaches working in Africa, why the best players (Essien, Drogba, Adebayor, etc) are quickly snatched by Europena leagues (you will be surprised at how extensive the scouting system is on the continent), and how the sport has attempted to overcome corruption and fight for a fairer share of the FIFA pie - culminating in the forthcoming South African world cup next year. Fascinating, funny, and beautifully written, and packed with dozens of little sketches and vignettes of famous players, clubs and games - a highly recommanded read for anyone with an interest in football that extends beyond the Premiership.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. E. Merritt VINE VOICE on 18 Oct 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Okay, I like football. I wouldn't ever say I was the most knowledgeable fan though, I've never been able to reel off stats and can seldom even remember who scored the goals that sunk my team last saturday(I'm a Portsmouth fan, it's a good thing the submarine base is nearby as we're drifting further down with each week). What I do love though is the watching the game evolve and I'm fascinated by the way different cultures approach the game.

So, enough about me, what about the book? Well, it's bursting with information, from chapters about people and events you may not have heard of (being born in 1980 I was never aware of the breakaway Algerian 11 that fled France by night and were funded by a liberation group) to revisiting genuine modern legends like George Weah. The book flows well enough and Hawkey is an engaging guide, clearly passionate about his subject. Unfortunately though, there is so much information to cram into these pages that it often feels like you'll never reach the end of the chapter, let alone the book. The lack of an index (at least in this review copy, though I gather that will change for the on sale edition) is annoying too, requiring you to pore over whole chapters to look back when the book casually mentions a player you might have read about earlier.

All that said though, it's nice to have a football book that is reverential about history and covers a continent whose past is all too often brushed under the carpet, especially in an age where almost every major club has one or two players of African descent.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. P. Sedgwick VINE VOICE on 11 Oct 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Feet of the Chameleon is a book celebrating African Football. This is obviously a massive subject area, so what the book attempts to do is present a series of articles looking at particular events or countries over the last few decades.

I suppose the idea is that by looking at several areas in detail it hopefully gives you a brighter picture in mosaics than the duller image portrayed by a more generic, chronological history of football on the continent would.

The reality is that the book is actually a series of long articles with very little connection between them. Most of the articles are interesting in themselves, but in reality there is little to connect them and you would not lose much by reading them in the wrong "order" I suspect, or missing some out even.

With the next World Cup due to take place in Africa the spotlight will turn on African football like never before, so I suppose this book may have been timed to fulfil a possible need amongst football fans curious about sport on the continent.

It's no surprise then that one of the stories looks at South African football before and after apartheid, surely one of the maddest political systems ever devised. The South Africans were forbidden to enter international sporting events so had to invent their own "international" competitions between their own races. Although blacks, whites and indians were not allowed to play in the same teams they were allowed to compete against one another, so you'd usually end up with a Blacks v Whites final!

Another chapter in the book looks at the arrival of African footballers in the Premiership.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback