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Fever Pitch (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 30 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Re-issue edition (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141391812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141391816
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 257,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Hornby was born in 1957, and is the author of six novels, High Fidelity, About a Boy, How To Be Good, A Long Way Down (shortlisted for the Whitbread Award)Slam and Juliet, Naked. He is also the author of Fever Pitch, a book on his life as a devoted supporter of Arsenal Football Club, and has edited the collection of short stories Speaking with the Angel. He has written a book about his favourite songs, 31 Songs, and his reading habits,The Complete Polysyllabic Spree. In 2009 he wrote the screenplay for the film An Education. Nick Hornby lives and works in Highbury, north London.


Product Description

Amazon Review

Fever Pitch is both an autobiography and a footballing bible rolled into one. Nick Hornby pinpoints 1968 as his formative year--the year he turned 11, the year his parents separated, and the year his father first took him to watch Arsenal play. The author quickly moved "way beyond fandom" into an extreme obsession that has dominated his life, loves, and relationships. His father had initially hoped that Saturday afternoon matches would draw the two closer together, but instead Hornby became completely besotted with the game at the expense of any conversation: "Football may have provided us with a new medium through which we could communicate, but that was not to say that we used it, or what we chose to say was necessarily positive." Girlfriends also played second fiddle to one ball and 11 men. He fantasises that even if a girlfriend "went into labour at an impossible moment" he would not be able to help out until after the final whistle. Fever Pitch is not a typical memoir--there are no chapters, just a series of match reports falling into three time frames (childhood, young adulthood, manhood). While watching the May 2, 1972, Reading v Arsenal match, it became embarrassingly obvious to the then 15-year-old that his white, suburban, middle-class roots made him a wimp with no sense of identity: "Yorkshire men, Lancastrians, Scots, the Irish, blacks, the rich, the poor, even Americans and Australians have something they can sit in pubs and bars and weep about." But a boy from Maidenhead could only dream of coming from a place with "its own tube station and West Indian community and terrible, insoluble social problems." Fever Pitch reveals the very special intricacies of British football, which readers new to the game will find astonishing, and which Hornby presents with remarkable humour and honesty--the "unique" chants sung at matches, the cold rain- soaked terraces, giant cans of warm beer, the trains known as football specials carrying fans to and from matches in prison-like conditions, bottles smashing on the tracks, thousands of police officers waiting in anticipation for the cargo of hooligans. The sport and one team in particular have crept into every aspect of Hornby's life--making him see the world through Arsenal-tinted spectacles. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Funny, wise and true (Roddy Doyle)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Faith on 21 Aug. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Fever Pitch is indeed different Hornby. Kinda his autobiography, but excluding a lot of things. Hornby is definitely obcessed with footbal. "Get a life", I would like to say at some points of the book.
Footbal-fans like Hornby are definitely crazy. Still Hornby manages to write in an entertraining way about the theme. I don't care a thing for footbal and still i was rather entertrained by the book. I don't really know anything about footbal. The only games I sometimes watch are world/European cup games where my fave teams (Sweden and England (Finland is worthless on footbal) play. Ok, I do of cource wish that "my team" winns, but it can sertaninly not make or destroy my day.
But all in all it was nice to get the fans point of view footbal. The Swedich subtitle "En i laget" is indeed quite correct. Wonder why Hornby himself didn't think of it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 May 2001
Format: Paperback
An extremely intelligent, well-written and humorous description of the psyche of a football fan, the author. "Fever Pitch is an attempt to gain some kind of angle on my obsession." The obsession being Arsenal, or perhaps just the Arsenal ground, Highbury, as Hornby rarely attends away games. It is also an autobiographical romp from 1957-1991. Those who did not grow up in Britain during the 60s and 70s, or who are not familiar with football, or who are not interested in British society or football will probably (but not certainly) find this book hard to read and in many places boring. However, I think the book stands on its own feet as an investigation into a fan's obsession. The flashes of forthright honesty are as funny as Roseanne. Hornby is fascinated and frankly appalled by the selfishness and immaturity of his obsession, yet also mystified by it to the point of awe. "The truth is: for alarmingly large chunks of an average day, I am a moron" (page 2!) And towards the end: "Pete and I left around twelve, I guess, for a three p.m., Sunday afternoon kick-off, and got there just in time. It was an awful game, unspeakable, a nil-nil draw in freezing conditions�c and it was live on television, so we could have stayed at home. My powers of self-analysis fail me completely here; I don't know why we went. We just did." With such endearing writing, Hornby won me over. I also found his comments on the past, present and future of British (well OK, English) football illuminating - especially on hooliganism and disasters like Hillsborough. This was the first Nick Hornby book I read, and I definitely want to read more.
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By Luke Thrower on 26 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Fever pitch is a football novel by long time Arsenal fan , Nick hornby. Maybe just to show off but my copy is slightly different to the one above , as I have the Arsenal membership copy, including a foreword by Nick saying goodbye to highbury, but anyway on with the story.

===Story===
Fever pitch is essentialy a diary , telling about the Nicks childhood and his parents divorce , his life as a teacher and his relationships. So the book isn't all about his beloved arsenal but it does have the love stroyline and his refferences to his family. Mainly because football is the only thing he has as a common ground with his father.
Set between 1968 and 1992 , we see how Nicks life can be rememberd by certain events occuring alongside football , not only Arsenal , but his time as a student following Cambridge and a spell managing a school team , it all comes into place and means it's a nice story for men and women.
Reminding me of a moment in black books , the perfect book for men and women, A man trying to stop a nuclear holocaust whilst trying to marry his wife.

===Writing===
By putting it in the style of a diary , the memories are much more real and allow you to feel more connected the writer. All in all its a much more emotional story because you only see things from one point of view and have to imagine how the other characters are really reacting outside of the story.
For a football fan , its also intresting to read about the authors memories of moments like watching pele, or what he was doing when he heard about the hillsbrough disaster.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
Hornsby's Fever Pitch is a rarity: a bio-documentary, written by an insider, which manages to find universal themes within a specialized topic. It's a book which both an Oxford Humanist and a terrace-rat can savor totally. As a first-generation American, I gained a deep insight into my father's experiences as a footballer in Scotland and England during the 30's; although he became a US citizen in '50, he never lost the identity created on the pitch during his youth and young adulthood. Great book!
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By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE on 29 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a well-known and brilliant book about being a football supporter, in which Nick Hornby recalls his experiences of growing up watching Arsenal. He experiences joy, frustration, embarrasment, optimism, pessimism and a whole lot more. There are genuiunely funny moments as he recounts the degree of his obsession, and touching moments too, as he talks about his family and friends and the effect football has had on them. For me, reading this book nearly 20 years after it was written, it was fascinating to consider Hornby's worries, hopes and concerns for the future of football with the benefit of hindsight. Even in the early 1990s he is expressing concern about the rising ticket prices for top-division football, and the resulting change in the constitution of crowds, and attempts to deal with football-related violence and crowd trouble. This is all extremely interesting in the light of more recent financial problems in football, the persistence of hooliganism and such issues. It's also fascinating to look at how the game has changed; even in the time Hornby covers, he notes how the clubs that win the league have changed - a small number of dominant clubs are emerging, and this trend has of course continued since the dawn of the Premier League. Highly recommended.
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