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Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino [Paperback]

Paul Kimmage
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Aug 2001
Cascarino's own inside look at the life of a football star, which at times reads like a novel. He tells of his unhappy boyhood, his sexual indiscretions, how a lavish lifestyle can outstrip earnings, and takes readers through his 19-year career as a top footballer in England, France and Ireland.


Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (6 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903650135
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903650134
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 945,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Full Time: the Secret Life of Tony Cascarino is the most praised football autobiography in a very long time. Reviewers' jaws dropped at "the searing honesty ... and the breathless style" (The Saturday Times); The Observer Sport Monthly gasped "It's Angela's Ashes with half-time oranges ... a footballer's autobiography like no other. The most astonishing sports book of the year." "Autobiography" of course means ghost-written: though told in the first person it was put together by award-winning Irish journalist Paul Kimmage, whose Rough Ride won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 1990. Making the book compulsively readable Kimmage structured it brilliantly, guarding the series of secrets that Cascarino reveals so that the reader is tantalised by cryptic glimpses then made to wait until each revelation in turn is suddenly unveiled. What are these secrets? Suffice to say that some are personal, some professional, some minor and quirky, one major enough to generate heated debate in the press. At times the book reads like the confession of a man who's lived with too much guilt for too long.

Throughout, the book maintains a very high standard. It veers towards the blandness for which footballers' autobiographies are famous only when the author is discussing his friends, to whom he is commendably loyal. As for his managers, there are several memorable portraits. In the case of Jack Charlton it's open hero-worship, even when he felt hard done by. Relations with Glenn Hoddle were a very different story. "He was probably the unfunniest man I have ever known. He was also completely besotted with himself ... When you stepped offside with Glenn, there was nothing to do but accept your fate and hope that you returned in the next life as talented and as perfect as him."

The Guardian said, "Compared with the standard-issue footballer's autobiography, this is Tolstoy." Perhaps not quite, but it's brilliant storytelling, and gives a shockingly honest portrait of one footballer and his world. --David Pickering --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

An extraordinary book...Cascarino has something to say and having started talking has been brave and/or reckless enough not to stop -- Observer

Compared with the standard-issue footballer's autobiography, this is Tolstoy. What it says is astonishing -- Guardian

If it were fiction this book could win the Booker Prize -- Eamon Dunphy, The Times

It's Angela's Ashes with half-time oranges...Full Time is a footballer's autobiography like no other. The most astonishing sports book of the year -- Observer Sport Monthly

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flip side lifestyle of of a footballing hero 7 Oct 2001
Format:Paperback
I first remember Tony Cascarino as goalscoring hero for surprise package Millwall in the 1988-89 footballing season. Forming a lethal partnership with Teddy Sheringham, myself and other schoolboys could only wonder at the life and times to be had as each saturday these players would get to live out the dream in the footballing arena.
Full time however offers a unique and fascinating insight into the less glamorous flip side to being a professional footballer.
The average run of the mill football book is painted with the usual hyperbole of the love for the game and exileration of pulling on your boots each afternoon.
Cascarino's canvas is more severe. what happens when your body can't take it anymore? what happens when all the abuse, the bad press and the pressure of being a million pound player convinces you you just aren't good enough? what happens when, like anyone else each morning, sometimes you just can't be bothered?
Since the dawn of the million pound footballer, there are many out there who won't remember Tony Cascarino, but it doesn't matter. There is enough here that convinces me this is an essential read for anyone who fears the future.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest to the point of masochism 3 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As an Englishman living in France who has followed Tony Cascarino's career during his time here, even interviewing him once, I know first hand of the esteem the clubs and their supporters hold him in. Even during my short interview with him, his honesty and openess was very apparent, and as such, his book did not come as a surprise to me. What is more surprising is his openess about his 'private' life.
Footballers have previously told the 'truth' behind the glamour (see 'Left foot forward' by Garry Nelson), but this is possibly the first book by a footballer who looks out beyond the game. Football is really secondary in this book, and whole chunks of his career are dismissed in a few sentences. This book really would make a wonderful film.
Good luck Tony in whatever you are doing now, and come back to France soon!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch 30 Jun 2005
By Dec
Format:Paperback
This book bucks the trend in which all other Sports Books/'Autobiographies' are written. This in my opinion is largely down to both the author Paul Kimmage and its subject.
Cascarino gives Kimmage the perfect template for a story. Whilst not being a superstar, Cascarino has some truly honest stories to tell from his times at a multitude of clubs. Due to Cascarino's popularity (or lack of) Kimmage does not have to be fearful of writing something that needs snappy soundbites for some tabloid serialisation and is instead allowed to write a thrilling account of one players account of life during football.
I cant recommend this story highly enough as it seems to be the perfect sports 'autobiography'. Firstly, its brutally honest. Its also written just as he has finished his career, therein Cascarino does not have to feign nice-ities with anyone and is not afraid of saying something which may jeopardise his career. Finally, Cascarino's story does what a book like this should do - give you a true insight into the man.
Comparing Roy Keane to Tony Cascarino is like comparing chalk and cheese. On the football pitch there would be no contest, but on the bookshelves the difference in how football books should be written is plain to see.
If you enjoy this book and like the sytle of writing, pick up Rough Ride by Paul Kimmage on his life in the Tour de France.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My book of the year (and its only January!) 21 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I enjoy reading sporting biographies and in a way I regret buying this book. This is because Full Time is simply the best I have ever read and nothing else is likely to come close.
Of course, I don't regret buying this book at all! It fantastic, brilliant, inspired. So different to any sporting bio I've ever read, and I've read quite a few. His relationship with his father explains many things (I know - I had a similar one).
Do yourself a favour, but this book because you will not regret it for one moment. Honest!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Football Autobiography ? 10 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
If that's what you want, you know the type where they drone on about how many goals they scored and that then DON'T buy this book. If you want a frightenly honest book, more about a man who is as falliable as you or I, but gets to act it out on a world stage then this is the book for you. I must have about 20-30 sports biographies and autobiographies and this is head and shoulders above the rest. A deeply honest book about a troubled childhood, an amazing footballing career and relationships which would test anyone. It is the sort of book which you cannot put down and will read again and again. I never supported any of the clubs Tony Cascarino played for, but he is someone I now deeply respect and would love to meet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Football Book Ever Written 9 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Eventhough I've never really rated Cascarino as a player I'd put this book in my all time top 10. It's a far cry from the "Tuesday, Oct 1, I woke up, had toast for breakfast, went training, then spent the afternoon playing golf" type of book other players have written. Full Time provides a wonderful insight into some of the games most well known characters (the portrayal of Jack Charlton is class!). Fair play to Mr Cascarino for providing us a brutally honest and often hilarious account of what it's like being a professional footballer. Even if you don't like football, you will enjoy this. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read was well worth the price i paid.
Book was a good few years old it showed in the colour of the pages.! But cover was fine and pages were nice and clean was a good read aswell.!
Published 3 months ago by Paz
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best sports biographies I've read
Not putting much pass on this on its release, I picked it up in a second hand bookstore recently. Remembering him from the heydays of Irish soccer I said i'd give it a read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by The Thin White Buk
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book but sometimes uncomfortable reading
If you are looking for a typical footballers autobiography, namely "I played in this game and scored that goal", this is not the book to read. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Nick CC
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest and well-written
A little different to your average sporting biography, big Cass deserves credit for his honesty throughout this well-written, compelling insight into professional football.
Published 10 months ago by Sean C.
5.0 out of 5 stars a true bloke
very good read loved it he is so like a normal bloke enjoyed many good nights reading all about what really went on funny about the ireland connection
Published 11 months ago by michael arrowsmith
5.0 out of 5 stars Casca-Reno
Poker-playing striker Cascarino's honest account of his career and private life is a cut-above the usual footballer drivel. Highly recommended.
Published 14 months ago by GazCoyne
5.0 out of 5 stars So honest!
I found this book a stomach-turning read - in a good way - at times. Cascarino has been really candid throughout and I thought he opened up incredibly. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jamie T
5.0 out of 5 stars Good humorous warts n all read.
A very readable book under 300 pages. Contains alot of honest humour around the rather less glamorous parts of football. Read more
Published 15 months ago by wildoakdicky
4.0 out of 5 stars Footsie Book
A very interesting journey with Mr Cascarino obviously an intelligent man as well as a gifted footballer, up the Villa.
Published 18 months ago by martin smith
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Great read.... Brilliant insight. Cascarino had an interesting career and personal life. One of the best football books ever written, up there alongside Fever Pitch.
Published 18 months ago by R. Lindley
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