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Up Pompey: A Clueless American Sportswriter Bumbles Through English Football [Hardcover]

Chuck Culpepper
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2007
Last year, after fifteen years in his job, prize-winning American sports journalist Chuck Culpepper called a halt. He had been afflicted by Acute Sportswriter Malaise - a consequence not only of a growing awareness of a continent of sleaze (dotted with episodic honour) but also a deadening sense of triviality arising from 24-hour sports saturation. With access to the very stars he had once yearned to meet, he found himself wishing access unavailable. He needed a change. Chuck found himself moving to another country for the oldest reason in the book (love), winding up an ocean away in the UK. Here he found the world's most popular sports league (Premiership 'soccer'), one that reigns in Bulgaria and Burkina Faso, stokes the curiosity of half of China and half of Colombia, and prompts young men and women as far away as Mauritius to think up Manchester United songs that denigrate Liverpool. He began to visit stadiums and sat among big crowds, learning about a league choc-a-bloc with facts he didn't know, legacies that hadn't grown tired, and astounding fan noise he couldn't wait to comprehend. 'I actually went to Wigan. No one I ever knew had done that.' Most important, he discovered the Fear of Relegation, the race for 17th place in the Premiership. Relegation wreaks fear, envy, anxiety, desperation and humiliation - in other words, so many of the things still great about sport. Chuck decided to start his second sports childhood by following one club through the 10-month 2006-07 season: Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth. 'Up Pompey' - a journey from snide, abject cynicism to the freshest of goosebumps - describes Chuck's dramatic year spent burrowed in England's Premiership.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition edition (1 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297852833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297852834
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 13.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 834,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This one is for all lovers of the Beautiful, eye-opening and emotional. (Jon Wise DAILY SPORT)

'In an account dense with jokes...anyone who has knots in their stomach as full-time approaches...will know exactly what he is going on about.' (Chris Maume THE INDEPENDENT)

'An affectionate, Brysonesque look at football...offers insights that only a foreigner can divine.' (Simon Hills TIMES MAGAZINE)

'A fresh and eloquent insight into the insanity of fandom.' (GUARDIAN UNLIMITED SPORT)

'A right rollicking read.' (Andrew Baker DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Book Description

A Premiership season, through the eyes of a disillusioned American sports journalist who adopts Portsmouth FC as his club. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up Pompey 10 Oct 2009
Excellent read and that's coming from a Southampton fan. It is now stored on my bookcase with the spine facing the wall still containing the Saints ticket stub that I was using as a bookmark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an outsiders view of a well loved sport 19 Jan 2012
By Ter
An outsiders view of a well loved sport. Picks up a lot of idiosyncrasies which we just take for grant. I loved the philosophical thoughts on the songs, and the attempts to understand what motivates the supporters. Success is most certainly not all that matters. I was not so interested in some of the comparisons to baseball etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Read poor cover 23 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Don't know where they got the photo for the cover from but the cover on my book was covered in blank labels, this was not in the product description and meant the book was given as a gift without the cover.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's something every football fan will wonder at one point: "What would Americans think of the beautiful game?" Chuck Culpepper answers that riddle with this delightfully well written tale of demise and surprise.

The basic idea is that Chuck, an American sports journalist, has fallen out of love with American sports, and looks for revived passion. He decides to sample the wierd and wonderful world of English football. I won't spoil the rest.

It really is worth a read. The book brings your interest in football back to it's very foundations, and gives a different outlook on the sport us British are so used to.

Despite the title, "Up Pompey" is not exclusively for Portsmouth fans (Although that is an extra treat for those who are). So I'd recommend it to anyone.
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