This book will be enjoyed by teenagers and adults alike, but will be enjoyed most by goalkeepers. It is written brilliantly, and the plot interweaves human emotion with technical goalkeeping points against a background of the dying rain forest. It is certainly original.
The story is of a directionless teenager that discovers a supernatural mentor who teaches him the art of goalkeeping. The story unfolds brilliantly and there is much to enjoy here whether you are a fan of football or otherwise. I found the book to be very similar in its base theme to the seminal goalkeeping novel 'Goalkeepers Are Different' by Brian Glanville. I read that book as a teenager and it taught me an awful lot about the plight of the goalkeeper. Having now played in the position for many years, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself learning things from this novel too. I am not exaggerating when I say there are technical insights in this book as good as in any goalkeeping manual.
The more outlandish elements of the story are underpinned by great detail in the footballing element - Mal Peet creates a parallel dimension which, while fictional, is instantly recognisable to the football fan. I would recommend this book - and what I see as its natural partner, Goalkeepers are Different
- to all young goalkeepers, as both have a lot to impart not only on the technical aspect, but on the profoundly human experience of being a keeper.