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Once upon a time in Naples

Once upon a time in Naples [Kindle Edition]

John Ludden
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

On 5th July 1984, Diego Armando Maradona arrived in Naples by helicopter, and for seven years all hell let loose in the Italian South. For so long the ailing giant that was SSC Napoli had criminally underachieved.

Their fanatical support unequalled in both passion and size across Italy. None was more feared or hated. And how they ached for success. A history dramatic, explosive and tragic. Like the finest Italian operas.
Then came Maradona

Blessed with a ball at his feet on the field, cursed off it, the charismatic Argentine led Napoli to their first ever Title. It was the stuff of dreams. He was unplayable,
then came the dark side.

Maradona mixed openly with the city gangsters, Lo Camorra. He could do as he pleased whilst performing miracles on the pitch,
but when the magic faded?

Once upon a time in Naples attempts to chronicle those unforgettable times under Mount Vesuvius’ shadow. When Diego left his inestimable mark on this Babylon by the sea. An alluring tale of wonderful football, of glory, despair and betrayal. Of corruption, gangsters and ultimately,

In a city where the devil would have needed bodyguards, Maradona became bigger than God himself.
A perfect storm:

Welcome to Naples!

The story so far:
Since its original 2005 release Once upon a time in Naples has taken on a remarkable life of its own. Re-published in Spanish and Italian (and so nearly Arabic.) And the subject of much heated debate both online and off. Like Diego Maradona himself, it has divided opinions. No middle ground, it has always been loved or loathed and never ignored. But it is still standing and has finally arrived on kindle in an updated and revised edition.

I have received so many emails off people reading this book in far off places. When you live in Chadderton, everywhere seems far off. The departure lounge of LA Airport. From a beach in Thailand. An African doctor engrossed whilst saving lives and working for the United Nations in the Congo. Also a Palestinian police officer who read the book in snatches whilst in the midst of Israeli Gunship attacks.

And so many more.

Then in 2011, when I finally thought it had died a slow, lingering, literary death, an email one Saturday night ignited an entirely new scenario. Paul Martin of EP productions contacted me with the idea of a documentary based on the book.

Paul had me at ‘Scarface in football boots!’ So began the crazy and at times eerily world of all things Maradona. We have met and talked to characters not far removed from a Godfather movie.

Recently the stakes have upped dramatically with the brilliant award winning SENNA director Asif Kapadia and Playmaker Films expressing an interest to be involved. Now as 2014 draws in all bets are off, and Once upon a time in Naples looks set to surprise even more. Just like Maradona,
it refuses to go away.

And long may it do so.

About the Author

JOHN LUDDEN was born in the late 1960s in Moston, Manchester and inherited a love of football from his father. Resigned to the fact that as he reached his early 30s Manchester United were not going to call, he decided on the next best thing: to write about the game he loves. In the summer of 2001, his first book, Fields Of Fire: The Greatest Football Matches Ever, was published by Mainstream Publishing of Edinburgh to excellent reviews.
John then became fascinated by Diego Maradona’s career in Naples and Once Upon A Time In Naples was born. What began as an enjoyable hobby turned into an obsession as his research, which included several trips to Naples, led to the discovery of the true extent of what really occurred during the legendary Argentinian’s spell in Italy.
John lives and works in Manchester and is married to Christine, with whom he has a two-year-old boy, Matthew, who already owns a Napoli shirt with Maradona’s name on the back.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 544 KB
  • Print Length: 187 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: John Ludden 2013 (4 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HEE4T2U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #377,462 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diego meets the Godfather ! 30 Nov 2005
By Sean
This is a very well written book and one which i enjoyed hugely. Although i feel its appeal may well be limited to us the Diego fanatics, the author manages to produce a real page turner. Once upon a time in Naples reads like a cross between a footballing classic and the Godfather. The best book i have read this year.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb read ! 4 Aug 2005
By A Customer
The subject of Diego Maradona's time with Napoli has been touched on many times in books that i have read, but none have impressed me like Once Upon a time in Naples. The author's enthusiasm and love for the subject shines though in every line. A writing style which at times threatened to explode carries the reader along breathlessly. A hugely enjoyable book. An amazing story well told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By haunted
It is hard to believe that a book about Diego Maradona's time playing Napoli in Serie A could be anything other than riveting. Unfortunately John Ludden's book isn't the classic that the story deserves.

To give him credit he doesn't leave anything out. We read about both Napoli's history of underachievement up to the 1980's, of Maradona's emergence as a superstar in Argentina and his disappointing time at Barcelona, his first European club. We hear of the fervour of the Napoli tifosi and how they viewed Maradona's arrival, as the clubs chance to finally emerge from the dominance of the hated giant clubs from Turin and Milan. The north-south divide in Italy was and is played out through football, with the southerners hoping that, for once, Maradona, would give them the upper hand in a contest with the North.

Each season is described in detail, particularly the crucial matches. Maradona's notorious socialising is sketched as well as his connections to the Neapolitan mafia - The Comorra.

However I thought Ludden's style of writing takes away somewhat from the reader's enjoyment. I found it overly descriptive and slightly repetitive. For every match between one of the big Northern clubs and Napoli he feels the need to describe in great detail the hatred between them.
His use of imagery was also too flowery for me. An example -"Bianchi readied himself for yet another helter-skelter ride aboard the Neapolitan roller coaster, aka SS Napoli. As ever there would be no seatbelt or parachute. Instead he would ride in the lap of the Gods"

The story itself is fascinating, however. Maradona's off pitch behaviour seems to have been incredible, making his on-field feats even more remarkable, as he leads Napoli to two Scudettos and a UEFA Cup.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastico ! 16 Aug 2005
By Antonio
I have waited fifteen years for a book like this. Diego Maradona gave me the best years of my life and once upon a time in Naples brings so many memories flooding back. Salut and viva Diego!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A FITTING TRIBUTE TO A WONDERFUL PLAYER 1 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Diego Maradona's turbulent seven years in Naples is perhaps the last, greatest, football story yet to be told in print. That Ludden delivers, albeit, only just is credit to him and his writing style. Maradona's time in Naples needs to be told from an insider's point of view. This the author is clearly not, yet still he manages to capture the magic, and tragedy of those amazing days under the volcano. I recommend Once upon a time in Naples most highly. This is a story that deserves to be read by all football fans.
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