"The Gillingham game" has a special place in City fans' hearts because it represents the end of the era of calamities and the beginning of the club's incredible rise to the top of the game. It remains the most emotional and incredible football game I have ever attended. Mooney's book ultimately does the game justice and provides a nostalgic journey through that era, when City were, even in mediocrity, still an incredible club.
The book is well written, although flawed, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, getting through it in a few hours. It is nicely presented, although the photos are one-dimensional and dull: a few shots of the supporters perhaps, or the players today, would break the monotony of old-hat match shots from the game. The book's level of detail is well pitched, with a few nuggets of new information in there, and the interviews are structured well enough to not become too repetitive. Mooney has used each interview to allow each player to focus on memorable goals they scored, or memorable games, giving the book more depth.
The lack of a supporter's perspective is a glaring omission. Whilst it's great to hear the players' emotions and love for the club, the most important part of that day was the feeling of renaissance amongst long suffering fans. The swing from utter despair to euphoria in the kick of a ball. The players involved had mainly only been at the club a year or two, whereas many of us had suffered for decades, and this truly felt like the day we looked down the barrel of a gun, and finally turned the corner in the most remarkable of ways. The book just abruptly ends after Royle's interview and should surely have had a final chapter based around the fan's emotions.
Having said that, it's well worth reading for sentimental City fans and is better than most of the glut of self-published City books coming onto the market these days.