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The Story of the World Cup: 2014: The Essential Companion to Brazil 2014 Paperback – 16 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (16 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571274501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571274505
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The most authoritative account of the history of football's most glorious tournament, fully updated.

About the Author

Brian Glanville, novelist and journalist, is one of the best writers on football. He spent nearly thirty years as a football correspondent for the Sunday Times to which he is still a contributor. He has also written for The People as well as contributing obituaries of prominent players to The Guardian. Faber Finds have reissued three of his novels - his two on football, The Rise of Gerry Logan and The Dying of the Light as well as The Olympian.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Juan Schiaffino on 21 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At times it is difficult here to provide a fair and accurate review. I have owned numerous editions of this over the years and it is important to separate out this updated text from those that went before.

Brian Glanville is arguably the greatest writer on football in the English language. For over 60 years he has been covering the game at the highest level and his credentials as an observer of the World Cup are unrivalled.

In a paradoxical way that is part of the problem with this book. Glanville, it seems, is too highly regarded by those he works with. They automatically assume that he is without fault and so do not subject him to the type of review that any other author would receive. The man is now 82 and in recent years his World Soccer columns have been increasingly strewn with minor factual errors, the sort that any decent sub-editor should easily pick up. In a short piece these can be brushed over but here they undermine the book as a whole.

A case in point is his coverage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. In the opening pages of the chapter he makes a series of errors (claiming that France played Spain the quarter-finals rather than the second round, referring to Romario as Mario, claiming that Miroslav Klose had scored four goals against Saudi Arabia in 2002 when in fact it was three, referring to Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Zlatko) that make this appear amateurish. Surely someone at Faber & Faber read this book before allowing it to go to print and then reissued it for 2014? These are such basic mistakes that anyone who had any knowledge of the tournaments (or had read the previous chapters) would have picked up on.

Later on in the chapter he devotes a large portion of his coverage to the debacle around the replacement of Sven-Goran Eriksson.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Laver on 1 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brian Glanville is a legend among football journalists, having started soon after WW2 and spent several years in Italy, developing an expert knowledge of the game in that country, before resuming his career in the UK. Glanville's style is eloquent and often entertaining, even gripping, though he has an irritating habit of sounding condescending and critical about almost everyone in the world game. The best chapters in the book relate to the earlier competitions, where Glanville's knowledge is arguably second to none, given the length of his career. Unfortunately in the world cups of the 1980s to the present day Glanville loses his touch and spends most of his time attacking FIFA for changing the format of the competition and lamenting the days when the game was simpler and less political. There is a certain degree of nostalgic naivety in this view, which, though initially endearing, is ultimately irritating because its ingrained negativity. And indeed, it is this feeling of pessimism that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, irrespective of the merits of Glanville's arguments, because the reader isn't left feeling very satisfied after reading the book. Notwithstanding this, the book is well researched, with the odd error here and there, but good to read and with plenty of detail to satisfy most enthusiasts. It will be interesting to compare this book with the new Mammoth Book of the World Cup.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A superb history of the world cup,Brian Glanville is without doubt one of our best football writers
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By amazonreviews on 17 Nov. 2014
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Great item
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The best single, macro view of the World Cup 22 May 2014
By Nimish Dubey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
They call Brian Glanville the Grand Maester of football writing, and well, this is him turning his attention to the sport's greatest tournament. And he is magnificent at it - each tournament is covered in reasonable detail with a prelude and special attention being given to key matches. His hostility to FIFA and the way the tournament has been organised tends to shine right through but then he is not known for pulling punches. No, this is not as detailed as Chris Freddi's epic book on the World Cup or Nick Holt's Mammoth Book of the World Cup, but scores in terms of sheer readability.
My main complaint about the book is the relative paucity of statistics and also that the entire book needs some revision at some stage - right now, Glanville just seems to be adding a report per tournament. But still, if you are not into statistics and want to read just one book to get a flavour of the tournament and the issues and controversies affecting it, this one is your best bet.

Pros:
Fluent writing style
Objective narration - he takes no sides

Cons:
A bit bare on the statistical side
Pictures, pictures, we want more pictures. This is THE Beautiful Game, right?
Brian Glanville is THE best writer on soccer in the English Language 10 Nov. 2014
By Charlie Bartel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brian Glanville is THE best writer on soccer in the English Language, He has been at it for a long time and these volumes on the World Cup are his signature work. About every 8 years or so he updates it by adding 2 more tournaments. I've been following this series since 1966 and it never fails to please. What is amazing is how often he is quoted by younger writers like Jonathon Wilson or David Goldblatt.
A well-researched update on an old book. You get ... 28 July 2014
By Vakil I. Smallen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well-researched update on an old book. You get the story of every world cup through 2010 both in recaps of the games and the broader stories of the involved teams, countries and individuals in the background.
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