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Red or Dead [Kindle Edition]

David Peace
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

In 1959, Liverpool Football Club were in the Second Division. Liverpool Football Club had never won the FA Cup. Fifteen seasons later, Liverpool Football Club had won three League titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup. Liverpool Football Club had become the most consistently successful team in England. And the most passionately supported club. Their manager was revered as a god.Destined for immortality. Their manager was Bill Shankly. His job was his life. His life was football. His football a form of socialism. Bill Shankly inspired people. Bill Shankly transformed people. The players and the supporters.His legacy would reveberate through the ages.

In 1974, Liverpool Football Club and Bill Shankly stood on the verge of even greater success. In England and in Europe. But in 1974, Bill Shankly shocked Liverpool and football. Bill Shankly resigned. Bill Shankly retired.

Red or Dead is the story of the rise of Liverpool Football Club and Bill Shankly. And the story of the retirement of Bill Shankly. Of one man and his work. And of the man after that work. A man in two halves. Home and away. Red or dead.

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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 David Peace - the bestselling author of The Damned Utd - comes Red or Dead, the story of Bill Shankly, the first truly great football manager of the modern age.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2704 KB
  • Print Length: 738 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:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,069 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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very distinctive book about a legendary figure. 29 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I remember the fuss on this book when it came out a few years ago, but have only just got round to reading it. Glad I did, absolutely brilliant. Shankley is a real hero anyway, and Liverpool were my childhood club growing up about this time (like many Scots, I "picked" Liverpool as "my team" when Dalglish went there in 78). The whole concept of a working class, at times socialist, always a product of his community, ordinary man dragging a football club to greatness seems more and more anachronistic these days. The writing style of the book is poetic, distinctive, rythmic and all contributes to the sense of the character of the man. The last few chapters where Shankley is forgotten by the club he built will bring a tear to any eye, and the book does not shirk from showing weakness in the man as well. Absolutely excellent, superb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pull The Curtains 21 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The Damned Utd was a fascinating and extraordinary book, even though I never did and still don't like Brian Clough. So it perhaps says something that I gave up on Red or Dead before Liverpool have won their first championship, despite the fact that I am a true devotee of the cult of Shankly. It was Bill Shankly who made me interested in football in the first place, it was Liverpool I followed, the Kop I stood on to watch them many, many times. I've long ago fallen out of love with football, but the memory of Shankly still holds a place in my heart. So I was extremely disappointed in this book. The thing about Bill was, the thing that made so many people love him, was his voice, that gruff, staccato, tough but yet kindly voice, always ready with a bit of quick fire wit. And in this book that voice did not come across to me at all. It is lost, drowned in the endless, endless repetition. Shankly was a lively man, full of energy and life, and the rebarbative style kills all the life in the story, rendering it boring and flat. As a writing exercise for a short story, even a short story about Shankly, the style could have been interesting and effective, but over 700 pages it just gets tedious. And just to add insult to injury, Peace omits some of Shanks' best lines ("Come and walk round him") and for a book whelmed in unnecessary statistical detail I spotted a couple of mistakes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious 25 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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. Bill looked at Tom Williams. Tom Williams looked at Bill." And so on! Great story but what point is the author making to write in such a manner?
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24 of 27 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Working class hero 30 Aug. 2014
By Rough Diamond TOP 500 REVIEWER
Be warned - this book is far from being everyone's cup of tea. Peace's writing style is highly stylised and brutally repetitive. If you're a fan of nihilistic experimental literature, like Samuel Beckett or BS Johnson, you'll feel right at home. If you're more a fan of Liverpool Football Club, you may well find this a really boring and frustrating read.

With that health warning off my chest, I have to say I absolutely loved 'Red or Dead'. It takes David Peace's rhythmic, ritualistic, repetitive, stripped-down writing style to a whole new level. As a reading experience I found it completely mesmerising and wholly, grippingly absorbing.

"Repetition, repetition." These are the opening words, believe it or not, to the prologue of Peace's 'The Damned United', and in 'Red or Dead' repetition is not only the hallmark of Peace's style but is also the crux of the narrative and the heart of the book's philosophy. It's a book that turns the spotlight on a truth that's virtually absent from literature: our lives are composed almost entirely of repetition. Our days, our weeks and our years - for most of us, they follow a familiar and highly repetitive pattern. Most of all, our work is repetitive, particularly when that work is skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled manual work: working-class work, in other words. And this is very explicitly a book about working-class work, and how its rhythms, its routines and its repetitions can not only be a source of meaning and satisfaction and pride, but also can form unbreakable bonds of solidarity between workers - in other words, how shared manual work is fundamental to the creation of a socialist class consciousness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Waste Of Money
Couldn't read this book, the writer repeats himself 3 to four times in nearly every sentence and renders the book both annoying and unreadable. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Penor
3.0 out of 5 stars A challenge.....
I made it. All the way. To the end. A quarter of a million words. Most of them the same ones. Repeated. And repeated. And repeated. But I persevered. All the way. To the end. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Mr S J Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What a man.
Published 1 month ago by David Binnington
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Heard it as a Book at Bedtime on Radio 4. WANT IT AS A CD PLEASE?????
Published 1 month ago by Ms. Y. S. Hamilton Bruce
A CHRISTMAS PRESENT , was just what we wanted , and it saved us a trip away , THANK YOU .
Published 1 month ago by anne chamberlain
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
To in love with proving he knows words and style, instead of telling story.
Big Yawn.
Published 1 month ago by bill casey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 3 months ago by Brian
1.0 out of 5 stars Like David peace don't like this
Having read many David peace books and being s Liverpool fan I was looking forward to reading this, it has taken me 5 months of pain to read it and now I've finished and wished I... Read more
Published 3 months ago by JD Croasdell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I used this book as a present, but I know it is an exellent biografy
Published 3 months ago by Inger
5.0 out of 5 stars Well packed
Quick delivery very pleased
Published 4 months ago by M from machester
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