Christy O'Connor's "The Club" will feature in a lot of Christmas stockings this year, and depending on the recipient, it will be a quirky insight into a world that some GAA supporters never knew existed, or else one of the most engaging and relevant books that they've ever read.
The distinction is quite simple. If the reader is a GAA supporter, but has never actually been involved with a club beyond playing underage, then this book will open a door into the political and parochial minefield that is the workings of your local club. If, like most readers of this column, you've been a player, administrator or trainer at any level before, then this book encapsulates everything that you loved and hated about the workings of your club.
O'Connor has an insight that simply couldn't be replicated by many of the other writers out there, in the main because he himself has lived through everything. This is the player and clubman laying bare everything that makes a club tick, and indeed everything that makes it explode. Issues such as the fight for power between hurling and football, personality clashes, problems with the club WAGS, all of these aspects are touched upon along with every other minute little detail that makes up the rich tapestry of a club trying to get by.
It's compelling and engaging reading for anyone who has been on that side of the trenches, and probably should be prescribed reading for anyone who hasn't, and whose knowledge of the GAA begins and ends with the county sides.