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Vertigo: One Football Fan's Fear of Success Paperback – 1 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849016534
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849016537
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A funny and moving memoir which truly describes the horror of being a Tottenham fan.' (David Baddiel)

Entertaining. (Sunday Times)

A gem of a read, even if your allegiances lie elsewhere. (FourFourTwo)

Vertigo exposes the self-delusion, moral gymnastics and nervous tics that are the lot of any football fan following a team in the modern game. It also vividly, and stoically, describes the plight of those blighted by the black dog. (Guardian)

Although Crace strives hard to convince us of the agonies of fandom, he instead, which is perhaps his real intention, succeeds best in conveying its pleasures. (irishtimes.com)

Crace is a complex character and writes candidly, skilfully and humourously about his battle against depression. (Irish Examiner)

Book Description

From the creator of the Digested Read an hilarious take on the life of the obsessive football fan of a team that almost always disappoints.

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Hotspur on 10 Sep 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
John Crace is a Spurs fan, and so am I, so I bought and read this book as soon as it came out. I expected and got a well-written, funny and evocative account of what it is to support a football team which never quite achieves what its (famously pessimistic) fans hope for so much. It is the classic Spurs account of our best season for decades, with many highs and some lows too

But slightly to my surprise the story told also opens up John's personal history, his problem with depression and anxiety and his feelings for his family in a genuinely affecting way. I found myself identifying with the author and "feeling his pain" at times. I respect very much hs willingness to be open and honest with his readers, to explore his own personality and to tell his story warts and all. I felt emotionally exhausted when, after our team had lost to Real Madrid, the narrative ended. I would buy a sequel without hesitation!

This is an excellent and well-written football book but MUCH more too
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Corridor of Uncertainty on 3 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
I am a football fan (season ticket holder at another London club) and looked forward to reading this. I've always enjoyed Crace's writing and having read Vertigo, I am still looking forward to more.

The title and blurb are very accurate but, as the first review says, there is a lot more than just that. Although this is a book about a committed Spurs fan's view of the 2010/11 season, including the Champions League run which threw out some startling results, it's not simply a book for Spurs fans, any more than Fever Pitch was only for Arsenal supporters. The writer's affiliation in both books is just the lens through which the experience of the fan is described. The whole season is used as a frame on which the waxing and waning feelings of excitement, hope, fear and frustration - recognisable by any fan of any team of any sport - are played out in a highly personal, personable and wry style. Crace exposes a great deal of his personal life in the context of slightly obsessive fandom and readers used to his style of blunt honesty, wit and cleverness as a journalist will recognise the voice of the book. There are very evocative passages about what it means to be a tribe member that crosses football jealousies and rivalries, and equally engaging frankness about families, fatherhood and Crace's difficulty in looking on the bright side.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bedford Spur on 19 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
Although the book is touted as one for football fans, I think its detailed leaning towards Spurs' 2010/11 season makes it one for the Lillywhites. As a fellow Spur, I could so relate to each page, description of events, superstitions and nervous moments of last season's campaign. I thought I was a bit of an oddball with my match day superstitions, so it's good to read that I'm not alone. Thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bantam Dave TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Jan 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have always had a soft spot for Tottenham Hotspur. They have a fine history, they have had some superb players like Greaves, Gilzean and Gascoigne (and that's only those whose surnames begin with letter G), and they play good, attractive football. Being a supporter of a football club whose very existence has been a constant struggle I had assumed that those who choose to follow Spurs must count themselves as being a fortunate lot, particularly now that Harry Redknapp has restored them back into one of England's top sides. After reading this book I learned that for one Tottenham supporter at least this is clearly not the case. Despite finishing fifth in the league and getting to the knock-out rounds of the Champions League, author John Crace doesn't seem to have enjoyed season 2010-2011 that much. Maybe that's why Vertigo reflects the true feelings of a football supporter more accurately than any other book that I've read before; although we'll never admit it, the average supporter is only really happy when we have got something to be unhappy about.

Vertigo is an extremely well written book which gets to the heart of what it is like to be the type of supporter whose football team is as much a part of them as their family is. Although not the vociferous type of fan who travels around the country on supporter's coaches and is not a member of a "crew" or a kop choir (if they still exist) John Crace reveals himself as a true Spurs die-hard, spending thousands travelling to matches home and abroad. Despite opposition from his wife he is also not averse to spending inflated sums to purchase obscure Spurs memorabilia like seating plans from old after-match banquets.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. Camp on 15 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
I now realise after reading this excellent book, that there are other people out there like me who always think the worst will happen at every game. I now know that it is not just me who believes that even though we could be four nil up with less than a minute to play, we could still let in five goals (or more) and lose the game.
John Crace is an excellent writer for the Guardian. His Digested Read and Westminster Digested columns are extremely funny. You should buy the Guardian for these alone!
The book is a vivid description of his travels all over this country and parts of Europe following Tottenham Hotspur during the 2010-2011 season, when Spurs had qualified to be in the Champions League.
I was there, like him, when Spurs beat Arsenal at the Emirates. The first time we had beeten Arsenal on their own territory for 17 years. The way he describes his joy at the final whistle fully encapsulated my feelings on the day. However, like him I know it will not happen again for at least another 17 years!
Unlike him however I chose to watch live (with a restricted view) Spurs abject defeat at Blackpool. (In fact I went twice, the first time the game was called off because of the snow, how many pathetic people did that?)
His desription of his feelings during and after the Chelsea game when gormless Gomes nearly threw the ball into his own net, but the linesman gave the goal anyway, summed up my feelings on the day totally.
You don't have to be a Tottenham fan to appreciate this book. It is well written, very funny but also has a serious side, especially when he describes, in a sort of jovial way, his bouts of depression. Also the wonderful relationship he has with his wife is described so well. I think she must be a very remarkable person.
Please read this book. You may then be able to some understanding of what it is like to follow an often semi-mediocre Premiership team!
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