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Red or Dead

Red or Dead [Kindle Edition]

David Peace
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Red Or Dead is a masterpiece. David Peace already has a considerable reputation but this massive, painstaking account of the career of Bill Shankly towers above his previous work. (Frank Cottrell Boyce Observer)

The writing is honed, sculpted, poetic ... Peace has built what is a worthy monument to a figure light years removed from the megabucks and hype of today's football. It doesn't matter if you don't follow the game, this is also a profound investigation of the tension between aspiration and the constraints of time, the very essence of the human condition (Ben Felsenberg Metro)

I want to go out and knock on doors like a Jehovah's Witness and read this book to people. (Peter Hooton Observer)

An epic that has more in common with Beowulf or The Iliad than with the conventional sports novel. (Richard Lloyd Parry The Times)

Both epic in scale and meticulous in its attention to detail. (Dan Davies Esquire)

Peace ... again proves himself to be magnificently single-minded and unbiddable, and has recognised in Shankly another brilliant and pioneering obsessive of his profession. (Mark Lawson The Guardian)

Book Description

From the bestselling author of The Damned Utd comes the story of Bill Shankly, perhaps the first truly great football manager of the modern age.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2069 KB
  • Print Length: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction; Signed ed edition (30 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,936 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

David Peace - named in 2003 as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists - was born and brought up in Yorkshire. He is the author of the Red Riding Quartet (Nineteen Seventy Four, Nineteen Seventy Seven, Nineteen Eighty and Nineteen Eighty Three) which was adapted into an acclaimed three part Channel 4 series, GB84, which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Award, and The Damned Utd, the film version of which (adapted by Peter Morgan and starring Michael Sheen) was released in Spring 2009. Tokyo Year Zero and Occupied City are the first two books in his Tokyo Trilogy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Way Of Life 21 Oct 2013
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Red Or Dead is a long, complex and powerful novel.

In his previous works, David Peace has addressed themes of the British class system, office management, corruption and politics. His novels have tended to focus on Yorkshire, albeit with two set in post-war Japan. In Red Or Dead, David Peace departs from his usual hunting ground to narrate the career of a Scotsman managing Liverpool Football Club.

Peace has a distinctive style. He focuses on repetition and lists. Indeed, the first three words of Red Or Dead are: "repetition, repetition, repetition". This is used to build narrative up into a kind of chant, a kind of mantra. In this novel, following 15 seasons of football matches (that's 630 matches in the league, plus cup games, every single one mentioned), the repetition illustrates the sheer monotony of football. Match after match after match, season after season after season. Every game the same as the one before, every season the same as the one before. Yet, still the game fascinates Bill Shankly, still it fascinates the fans. And despite knowing the outcomes in advance, it fascinates the reader. This hypnotic repetition of venues, attendances, team line ups, goal scorers, position in the league table. It draws the reader in whilst, at the same time, conveying the grinding chore of it all. And sometimes there will be a happy ending at the end of the season. But, as often as not, there is disappointment and the need to start all over again next year.

David Peace does not use "he" and "she". Characters are named, every time. Whether at Anfield Stadium or at his home on West Derby Road, we find Bill doing this and Bill doing that, obsessively, over and over again. The language is simple to the point of being monosyllabic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love? 13 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A no-brainer, really. Peace wrote The Damned United which is IMO excellent AND a tribute to both Clough and that great Leeds team. Defamation cases notwithstanding . . . and fact that both Clough and United had begun their respective declines. Red or Dead is an inside-the-head job on that other great 'manager' Bill Shankly. It stars Shankly, the Spion Kop and t people of Liverpool. Whats not to love?
btw, Peace's two Tokyo books are also excellent.
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182 of 221 people found the following review helpful
This is not a book about Bill Shankly, the football manager, at home, at Anfield. At home or at Anfield. Bill the manager, the football manager. Of Liverpool. Of Liverpool at Anfield. Managed at Anfield, by Bill. Bill Shankly, the football manager. The football manager of Liverpool,at Anfield. This is a book about a man who writes. A writer who is a man. A man who writes books. A man who writes books with words. A man who writes books with words and sentences. A man who is a writer who writes books with words. A man who is a writer who is a man who is a writer who writes books with words and sentences. A man who is a writer who is a man who is a writer who writes books with words and sentences and then writes the same words and the same sentences. The same words and sentences in the same book by a man who is a writer who writes books. With the same words. With the same words and the same sentences. Over and over again. Over and over and over again. Over and over and over and over again. The man writes the book with the same words and sentences. The man who is a writer. And then he washes the dishes. The dishes, in his house. In his house, at home.
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60 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red or Dead 1 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Friend of the Facebook page 'The Unofficial Liverpool Football Club Museum',
Albert Mooney has written a review for the page which I am sharing on here...

Shankly's Dreaming ...

Three years into an unhappy retirement, Bill Shankly watched the football club he had taught to beat to the relentless pulse of his own ferocious heart win the one major trophy that eluded him. "This is the result," he said of Liverpool's 1977 European Cup triumph, "of simplicity." "Simplicity" is one of the words the Shankly so richly imagined in David Peace's new novel, Red or Dead, employs to describe his philosophy of football and life (for the Shankly in these pages, as was the case in reality, acknowledges no distinction between the two). Others are "honesty" and "socialism." For David Peace's Shankly, football, no matter at what level it was played, was true to itself only when it understood that it was always about the very biggest things - integrity, commitment, solidarity. In every game, be it a European final or a FA Cup 4th round replay, the matter that was at stake was the matter of the truth.

In over 700 pages of prose that is as intense and driven as the man it describes, Peace sets out to reanimate in fiction the most charismatic and transformative figure in English football history. The result is arguably the most ambitious attempt to write a football literary epic yet made, one that exceeds the already high standard set by the same author in his previous foray into the same world with The Damned United. Readers whose expectations of football fiction were defined by Nick Hornby are in for a shock. There is no gentle irony here, no clever pop culture references or humorous ruminations on male identity. This is football literature on a Homeric scale.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant subject - turgid rendition
If I was to write this review in David Peace style it would take an awful long time to read it and prompt the reader to lose the will to live.
Published 1 day ago by carroll2804
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good insight.
Published 7 days ago by MR O.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 14 days ago by FELIPE CARRILLO DE LA HAZA
5.0 out of 5 stars Also love it because I'm a red
Strange, but very effective style of writing. Also love it because I'm a red.
Published 17 days ago by David Alan Whitehill
5.0 out of 5 stars genius
I didn't think the damned united, could be beaten it just has been, a superb read for any football fan.
Published 17 days ago by The Parrot
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
this book kept me reading and reading. its a great story. I would recommend this book to any soccer person.
Published 26 days ago by Danny
5.0 out of 5 stars For a LFC fan....
....this is a must read. Great fun and awesome insight, eventhough some things in the book is questionable. YNWA !
Published 1 month ago by Arni Thor Jonsson
5.0 out of 5 stars What a good read
Couldn't put it down.
Haven't read for ages and found it good to get into
Really easy reading even for me!
Published 1 month ago by j a burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars A+++++
Amazing book. Could not put it down. Should be compulsory reading for anyone who suffers from sky era football (it's an antidote).
Published 1 month ago by M.D. Ponting
3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
Obviously a good subject about a truly great man but, why was it written in such a tedious manner? "Bill walked into the boardroom. Bill sat down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David J. Lewis
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