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The Second Half Hardcover – 9 Oct 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (9 Oct. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297608886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297608882
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (412 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Roy Keane's book is a masterpiece: The Second Half gives a startling account of his colourful career and reveals the hard-man midfielder's long-hidden good points... Keane's book, ghost-written by Roddy Doyle, is an endlessly absorbing piece of work. It may well be the finest, most incisive deconstruction of football management that the game has ever produced (Patrick Collins THE MAIL ON SUNDAY)

There is much in Roy Keane's new book that is thoughtful and self-mocking, insightful and funny (George Caulkin THE TIMES)

Keane's book - ghosted by Roddy Doyle - is brutal, amusing and self-deprecating, often at the same time (Des Kelly EVENING STANDARD)

Roddy Doyle's works, mostly set in a fictional Dublin suburb, often star quietly frustrated everymen, and it's this book's achievement to make you see its mighty subject in that light (Anthony Cummins THE TELEGRAPH)

It is the dearth of integrity that makes Pietersen such a peevish, trifling character, and the surfeit that makes Keane so entrancingly epic... the personification of honest to a fault... he is as close as sport can offer to an Old Testament prophet. Heroically unconcerned with being loved, almost insanely devoted to telling what he regards as the plain truth, he may not always be engaging. But... he stands out as utterly and irreducibly true to himself (Matthew Norman THE INDEPENDENT)

The best things are the small things: regretting joining Ipswich when he discovered the training kit was blue; refusing to sign Robbie Savage because his answerphone message was rubbish; being appalled that his side had listened to an Abba song before playing football. The irrational, blistering intolerance is delicious. Keane famously detested yes-men; he created himself as the ultimate no-man. And he's still here (Dan Jones EVENING STANDARD)

I've just got my copy of The Second Half and although I'm only a couple of chapters into it, it has not disappointed. People have their own opinions of Roy and some would be fearful of him, given how outspoken he can be. I have always judged people how I find them and I can honestly say I have never found a fault in him... He had a fabulous career and I know I'm going to enjoy reading about it (Jamie Carragher DAILY MAIL)

When Keane says anything, listening is usually the best option. He's scarily extreme, dangerously provocative, oxy-acetylene forthright... and hugely entertaining... Self-desctruction, self-pity, self-laceration - his latest unburdening has all this and more. His book reveals more flaws and admits to more mistakes than Sir Alex Ferguson did in his last literary effort - and Keane's is much funnier (Aidan Smith SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)

I'm surprised how much Roy Keane's second autobiography made me laugh... More importantly the book told me that Keane should be the next Manchester United manager. The more I read what he had to say, and his reflections on his two jobs as boss, the more I realised how perfect he would be at Old Trafford (Adrian Durham MAIL ONLINE)

A book that offers great insight into the modern manager's job... The book does not attempt to deflect the mistakes Keane made but it adds a dimension to the man. Especially in his reflections on small details of behaviour, and there are scores of them... Keane must hope that the decision-makers in football take the trouble to read the book itself (Sam Wallace i NEWSPAPER)

The rhythm of it compels attention - it's like someone talking directly to you in a pub... It's a thoughtful book, for a footballer. But while it's taken a novelist to write his life, it may take a psychoanalyst to understand it (Anthony Quinn THE MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Very funny... fantastically entertaining (SHORTLIST)

A genuine pleasure; it is a masterpiece of the genre and one that paints, in an entirely unintentional way, an extremely flattering portrait of the man... Keane is not afraid to laugh at himself by telling stories against himself... His thoughts on his players are humane, interesting, candid and never less than believable... Keane's story is of a man, too, one who has had to look at football and life anew as a manager, and it is this added perspective that gives richness and humanity to the tale (Mike Atherton THE TIMES)

Keane's eminent co-writer, Booker Prize-winning Irish author Roddy Doyle, does a brilliant job. His gift for comedy and swearing, together with his wonderfully transparent style, not only captures his country man's voice but also adds some much-needed light and shade to the unforgiving business of being Roy Keane. It's not a sentence I expected to write but the account of Keane's triumphant first season at Sunderland is particularly uplifting (Neil O'Sullivan FINANCIAL TIMES)

Reflective and funny... Doyle helps to capture Keane's humour and polish his jokes (the punchline is invariably an expletive). Despite the involvement of such an esteemed novelist and author of The Commitments, there is no doubt that the voice is Keane's... an enjoyable read... Keane is full of such sharp observations (Matt Dickinson THE TIMES)

The belligerence, dry humour and short fuse still exist but it has now been accompanied by introspection, harsh self-criticism and no little humility (James Olley EVENING STANDARD)

Searingly honest (THE SUN)

The book is brilliantly constructed, rattling along at breakneck speed. And it makes a change from the standard sporting autobiography in being so hard on its principal subject. This is a book full of self-deprecation... No self-aggrandisement, rather a ruthless self-examination (Jim White THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)

A candid and at times moving account of Keane coming to terms with the end of his playing career. It is at its most engaging when Keane steps out of character: describing shedding tears upon leaving Old Trafford and his twilight season at Celtic when his broken body failed him. Star ghost writer Roddy Doyle captures Keane's short, sharp and abrupt rhythm, like the cracks of a snare drum (Paul Rees SUNDAY EXPRESS)

People miss the fact that Keane is funny. Caustic, yes, clenched, he'd admit. Angry (though no longer prone to rage, his book claims) more than most. But funny. The light touch in The Second Half is not exclusively Doyle's. Yet the heavy stuff compels... The account of Keane's Sunderland reign is riveting. The everyday trials of a first-time manager are uncovered as in no other book... The Second Half is brutally honest (Jonathan Northcroft THE SUNDAY TIMES)

Defiant and enjoyable (THE OBSERVER)

If you write a book, you have got to be true to yourself. It's no good just making something up. You have got to show what is in your heart, and what is in your head, and that is what Roy has done (Terry Venables THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

The thing I love about this man is there is nothing he writes down that he would not say to someone's face (Stan Collymore THE PEOPLE)

There is no denying the man is a compelling figure... Keane is a welcome maverick. Football is entertainment and the Irishman is infinitely entertaining. His aura makes his every word worth listening to... Roy Kane is a treasure of the game; love him or hate him, football would the all the poorer without his loveably, uniquely scathing presence (FOOTBALLFANCAST.COM)

True star quality... a brilliant insight into Keane's mindset (IRISH EXAMINER)

There are plenty of insightful and entertaining anecdotes, wry asides and sarcastic barbs. It's not unexpected. Keane is a more rounded individual than the cartoon image that's been created around him might suggest... Surprisingly, you might find yourself chuckling as you work your way across a panoramic footballing landscape (THE HERALD (Ireland))

Keane's wry wit enjoys the turbo-boost of Doyle's comic timing, absurd observations and his mastery of the dark arts of expletives (David McKechnie IRISH TIMES)

Two books in one - the tales of a truly great Premier League footballer, flawed by raging moments of visceral destructiveness... then the tortuous account of an aspiring, complex 21st-century manager... addictive road-crash reading... But the book's true revelatory value is seen during Keane's time as manager of Sunderland, which he relates with a remarkable candour and honesty. An incomparable achievement - written with Booker prize-winner Roddy Doyle - illustrating the contemporary demands on a player and boss whose life has always been conducted with its own stark, peculiar, and sometimes violent, logic (Neil Masuda SUNDAY MIRROR)

I won't name names, but most sporting biographies couldn't set an ashtray on fire, let alone a crowd. The best one I've read of late is Roy Keane's The Second Half, which is actually written by Roddy Doyle, of course; and this is why it's good. It's not just Keano himself that makes the book interesting; it's Doyle's writing (Philip Kerr, author of IF THE DEAD RISE NOT and JANUARY WIDOW)

Keano rarely fails to entertain and with a ghost outrider such as Roddy Doyle, we get a snappy, snapping tale,, with Keane putting the boot into those he considers deserving but also not sparing the rod on himself... Like the midfield dynamo in his prime, this story could run and run (RTE GUIDE)

Engrossing... a book that is both an exercise in truth-telling and a piece of literary football writing (Leo Robson NEW STATESMAN)

Brutally honest, self-deprecating and critical of everyone. Whether you're a fan of Roy or not, you will see a whole new side of him and his views (THE SUN)

One of the most compelling sports autobiographies in recent times (Olivia Cole GQ Magazine)

The former Manchester United and Ireland hard man comes across as funny, scathing, regretful and, as with so many forcefully clear-minded people, touchingly contradictory (Giles Smith THE TIMES)

A thoroughly entertaining rampage (Matt Dickinson THE TIMES 'Books of the Year')

Keane pulls no punches in what he says. I admire him. He's incredibly passionate and doesn't suffer fools. He deserves credit for that. I was never on the end of one of his tackles but I always enjoyed watching him and I like how he speaks his mind. We've lost a little bit of that personality in the game - the likes of Keane and his bust-ups (Peter Crouch LOADED)

Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle nails Keane's attitude and cadences... Compelling, eye-opening, and - whisper it - great fun (Ben East METRO)

To use a sporting cliché, this blisteringly honest book - written in collaboration with Roddy Doyle - is a tale of two halves. An account of the driven Premier League star's career, then an insight into life as a manager. Roy Keane's self-deprecating wit, combined with a take-no-prisoners approach, make for an entertaining read (i newspaper 'The 10 Best Sporting memoirs')

Book Description

Memoir by one of the greatest of modern footballers, and former captain of Manchester United and Ireland, Roy Keane - co-written in a unique collaboration with Man Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Frederick St John Smythe on 18 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The title of this book is strangely appropriate because the second half of it is a lot better than the first! The first half is Roy the Player, detailing the tail end of his career at United and Celtic, and it's very much the Angry, Driven Roy we all know. It's quite hard to warm to Roy the Player and we don't learn much that's new.

But the second half of the book - Roy the Manager - is absolutely brilliant. It's brutally honest and self-critical. He really gets across just how hard managing actually is - the constant demands on your time, the difficult players, the insecure staff. It's all in there, and it's rare to read a book that gets across just what the nitty gritty of managing is all about.

If you know Roy's playing career well, I'd recommend skipping to the second half of the book and reading about his stints as a manager. It's fascinating stuff.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Alan Merryweather on 11 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never been a Roy Keane fan. Didn't like his first book, don't like him on the tv, and really didn't like him at Man United. But this book is first rate. It comes over as a honest self deprecating book on how he has made friends enemies, mistakes and even one or two of his achievements. Most certainly worth a read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By joe plush on 13 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Keane's book is a great read. You'd expect it to be honest and it is. The chapters on Sunderland are insightful into what it's like to be a premiership manager. Best football bio I have read. I have a new understanding of the man who until I read the book loved to dislike. Love to see him go to Newcastle. Of course, there'd be no chance he'd work for Mike Ashley. Roy is his own man. True to himself as much as he can be.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lee costello on 18 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant read for any football fan but not necessarily for the right reasons. Even after reading it and hearing his side of the story I'm still undecided about wether I like him or not. One things for certain I do respect him and maybe because I'm an Irishman I'll go as far as saying that don't think he's that bad a guy. Regardless the book is still a fantastic read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read from start to finish with Roy Keane telling great stories as always a must read for football fans
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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 9 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Let me quote you a passage from the book about when he nearly signed Robbie Savage, before you make your mind up to buy it:

"I rang Mark Hughes, Robbie [Savage] wasn’t in the Blackburn team and I asked Mark if we could try to arrange a deal,"

Sparky said: 'Yeah, yeah, he’s lost his way here but he could still do a job for you.' Robbie’s legs were going a bit but I thought he might come up to us [at Sunderland], with his long hair, and give us a lift – the way Yorkie [Dwight Yorke] had, a big personality in the dressing room.

Sparky gave me permission to give him a call. So I got Robbie’s mobile number and rang him. It went to his voicemail: 'Hi, it’s Robbie – whazzup!' like the Budweiser ad. I never called him back. I thought: 'I can’t be f****** signing that.'"

Possibly one of the greatest footballing incidents ever. If you don't want to buy it after reading that, probably best you steer away. Sheer brilliance from a refreshingly critical yet honest personality.

Pity his magnificent wonder-beard isn't the picture on the cover.
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Having really enjoyed Keane's first frank autobiography, I was really looking forward to getting stuck into this. Unfortunately, it didnt have the first book's compelling, cutting and humorous qualities. Being new to Roddy Doyle, I wasnt sure what to expect, but given the literary status of the man, I assumed this to be a cut above Eamon Dunphy's version of Roy's earlier career.

While it is certainly one of the better, more honest, sports autobiographies, it is a pretty dull, straight forward read. As a previous reviewer mentioned, it is a bit like a mish mash of Roy's thoughts, pieced together into something coherent by Doyle and then put down on paper in a very workmanlike manner. Sports people are normally practical, to the point types. No bullshít. And Roy Keane himself is probably the high priest of that school of thought. While this makes the book probably a more accurate account as to Roy's own thoughts, it doesnt make for a very entertaining read. Apart from a handful of interesting anecdotes which do show the intensity, desire and combative nature of the man, it lacks the stylish turn of phrase and the odd insightful, reflective comment on his career and the game itself. Irish readers will be very familiar with Dunphy, and his trademark wit and dark humor is very prominent is Keane's first book. It seemed to fit like hand in glove as both men are anti-establishment, rebellious, and confrontational. Roddy Doyle doesnt seem to have the same chip on his shoulder and so the book is a more laboured affair.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sean M on 24 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Didn't know what to expect form this. First sports related book I've read. Nicely surprised, quite funny. That's probably the amazing Roddy Doyle coming through though. As much as this reveals I do know if it really gives you an insight into who Roy Keane is. This is more of a clarification and insight into media reports of certain events.

Thoroughly recommend this.
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