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Bernie Friend (Leigh on Sea)

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Adventures with the Wife in Space: Living With Doctor Who
Adventures with the Wife in Space: Living With Doctor Who
by Neil Perryman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.63

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packs more punch than Venusian Aikido!, 1 Dec 2013
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Genuinely one of the funniest books I have ever read - think Fever Pitch, but replace football with another predominantly male obsession, Doctor Who. I laughed out loud so many times my second heart almost exploded, prompting curious enquiries from my own wife (who is 100 per cent Dawson's Creek and Anne of Green Gables by the way), who took an instant delight in Sue's musings, especially their shared love of sarnies and the C-word. There are so many parallels in this book to my own failed attempts at growing up over the last 40 years. And I was so relieved to find out that I'm not the only one who has tried to wean my partner on to the classic series via Genesis of the Daleks! (Nah... didn't work)


Who Goes There
Who Goes There
by Nick Griffiths
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.47

2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, but all went a bit Bonnie Langford, 27 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Who Goes There (Paperback)
Nick, you're supposed to be a feverish, dribbling, Doctor Who nerd, so saying that you can't remember why Pertwee's Doctor was stuck on earth during one of your location visits is blasphemy (and would have taken five seconds to look up on Wikipedia).
And the fact you didn't even bother to look at the direction-pointing Dungeness DVD extras before visiting the Axon site, then admitting to it at the end of the chapter, too (when you weren't even sure of being in any of the right places). Well, you just deserve to be EXTERMINATED!!!!!!!
I was looking forward to reading this book, which really was a massive opportunity for the writer, but he was obviously never that serious about the book materialising into our space and time, which is blatantly clear from the large time gap between chapters.
There are some smile-raising incidents, but there are unforgivable acts of laziness on the writer's part, which are a complete turn-off for a reader trying to engage with the author.
And the continued reference to pictures in the book, which can only been seen on a website was more annoying than Adric. The publishers should have shaken the giant Menoptra-sized moths from their wallets and put pictures in the book. Great idea, poor effort!
P.S. Did you write a book called 'Dalek I Loved You'? You never mentioned it.


Stereo Earphones/Headphones For All Apple iPods, iPhones, iPads
Stereo Earphones/Headphones For All Apple iPods, iPhones, iPads
Offered by Grosikonline
Price: 1.99

1.0 out of 5 stars AWFUL!!!, 23 Oct 2013
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Should have known better than to buy such cheap earphones. As soon as I plugged them in, only one earpiece worked. RUBBISH!!!


Stereo Earphones/Headphones For All Apple iPods, iPhones, iPads
Stereo Earphones/Headphones For All Apple iPods, iPhones, iPads
Offered by LTZmart-ships from HK
Price: 1.19

1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap rubbish, 20 Oct 2013
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Within five minutes of use in my iPod one of the earphones packed up. Won't ever buy cheap rubbish again!!!


Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino
Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino
by Paul Kimmage
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retrospective revelations, 9 Oct 2012
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Having enjoyed the brutal honesty of Only a Game? and Red Card Roy I was told to give Cascarino's tale a go.
And I'm delighted to say that this book completed a glorious hat-trick of refreshing changes from the normal brand of bland footballer's biographies filling our shelves and dominating the best-sellers' charts.
It is an insightful retrospective into Cascarino's career, a player who I can remember watching in the fearsome surroundings of the old Den, with other great players from that top-flight Lions side, such as Teddy Sheringham and Terry Hurlock.
Nothing is left out here, as Cas goes back through his troubled relationships, gambling problems, the mental torture projecting voices in his head on the football pitch and the weighty depression which follows - all the things which the man on the terrace can never see.
He is also honest enough to admit his faults, like an addiction to Wimpy burgers and chips increasing his waistline, and delivers some real revelations about his time with the Ireland national team, which are not for me to tell you, but for the reader to find out.
Kimmage's writing style is the icing on the cake, as the story flows through the pages in a pleasing tiki-taka pattern which is an enormous goal kick from Cascarino's own direct playing style.
Yet again, Walcott, Bale, Rooney... etc Your tell-absolutely-nothing tales have taken one hell of a beating!!!


Only a Game?: The Diary of a Professional Footballer
Only a Game?: The Diary of a Professional Footballer
by Eamon Dunphy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Motson's choice!, 2 Oct 2012
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I recently attended a football book launch at Southend for Roy McDonough's autobiography Red Card Roy, introduced by BBC commentating legend John Motson.
Motty held up a first edition of Dunphy's book, proclaiming Red Card Roy to be the best football book he had read in more than 30 years, after the Irishman's own honest appraisal of his life in the Second Division with Millwall.
After finishing McDonough's amazing tale, I had to give Dunphy a go too, and I can see just why Motson was a big fan of both stories.
The comparisons are many; the mundane manual-driven coaches over complicating the training programme, the fear of first-team exile and the negativity towards your own team-mates and club when it eventually arrives, the loathing of semi-pro players who don't have to make real tackles to earn a crust and the clueless 'suits' in the boardroom.
Oh, and then there's Harry Cripps and Theo Foley. The similarities are quite surreal.
This gritty, truthful diary of life at 70s Millwall must have provided a massive culture shock in its day, the same that Red Card Roy is doing right now. Although, McDonough's tale takes brutal honesty to a whole new level in football writing.
Thanks Mr Dunphy, you were certainly a great pioneer of football writing. Thanks to Motty for the pointer, too!


In Forkbeard's Wake: Coasting Around Scandinavia
In Forkbeard's Wake: Coasting Around Scandinavia
by Ben Nimmo
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Reading at cruise control, 12 Aug 2012
What a great little find this was, fully deserving of a five-star rating.
I've always been fascinated by Vikings since I was a little boy plunging at the air with a wooden sword, and this delightful volume helps you follow their long ship invasion path in reverse from our shores to Scandinavia.
Nimmo has a gentle writing style which almost puts you aboard his boat, bobbing along contently across calm waters and turning page after page to the soothing sound of the waves, almost to the point that the odd seagull shriek invades your tranquility.
And some of the places he finds on this trip are real shining gems themselves, like the tiny Norwegian island community of Utsira, which is a place I have longed to visit since reading the excellent Attention all Shipping.
But Mr Connelly, take note - Mr Nimmo beat you there in his boat by a good few years, you were only second in bringing this enchanting rock to the world's attention.
So become a member of Nimmo's crew and let him sail, cycle and kayak you around the realms of Forkbeards, Blue Tooths and all other manners of Hagar the Horrible wannabes, plus a legion of big-nosed trolls.
Nimmo definitely Dane good - Swede dreams!


Ajax, The Dutch, The War: Football in Europe During the Second World War
Ajax, The Dutch, The War: Football in Europe During the Second World War
by Simon Kuper
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dutch Master, 8 Jan 2012
Quite simply the BEST book I have ever read about football.
It makes me feel tired even trying to fathom the mammoth amount of hours Kuper must have put in painfully researching this masterpiece of literary excellence.
As well as a football story and important history lesson, it is an amazing insight into the psyche of our clog-wearing cousins across the North Sea as they faced up to their unwelcome Nazi lodgers.
Right from the start it is a brutally honest assessment of the Netherlanders' struggles, never once trying to pretend that they were a nation unified in complete resistance to their unwanted guests, especially when it came to protecting the precarious existence of the native Jewish population.
I can't recommend this book enough and, as previously stated, I am still in awe at the intensity of research which must have gone into bringing this to press. Utter genius.


32 Programmes
32 Programmes
by Dave Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.74

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 mirrors, 8 Jan 2012
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This review is from: 32 Programmes (Paperback)
A wonderful book and one of the best football-related stories I have read in years.
And the main reason being that Dave's story is a mirror image of all football fans who have fuelled their obsession by working in unhappy crap jobs so they could stand on terraces up and down the country and support their favourite team through thin and thinner.
It's also a generational thing, as although I am a good 10 years younger than Dave, teenagers picking up the way-of-life curse of following their local team, will never experience standing alongside their fellow Bovril and cigarette smelling fans on crumbling concrete steps with weeds growing inbetween their toes.
They are more likely to be herded into the Lego-like cloned theatres of anti-atmopshere that are becoming the sterile homes of our football clubs in the present. At least now, they will have a good account of what they missed.
I too used to feverishly keep a big collection of programmes in protective plastic wallets as fanatically as any guarded trainspotter or stamp collector.
But I sold my soul a few years ago and flogged them to a local sports memorobilia shop to make more room for other stuff in my house. And, yes, just like Dave it was a sale linked to her who must be obeyed. I also thought it was a sign I was finally growing up as I reached my late thirties, but I was so wrong. I don't want to grow up and Dave, you have made me regret ever trying to foolishly pull off the pretence.
What have I done? I'll never get that collection back again, or at least have the consolation prize of just 32 Programmes.


Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads
Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads
by Chris Hargreaves
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Happy caravanning, 8 Jan 2012
I remember watching Chris as an opposition player, during his stints at Plymouth and Northampton. He was always a solid lower division footballer, and one of the better players in his teams.
His book was just as solid, with many funny moments, especially surrounding good hearted gags played on team-mates, which help Chris come over as a decent fella.
This is also a refreshingly honest tale, a million miles away from the boring non-event books about turn-off Premiership footballers, with the italic flirts between his then and now a decent attempt at offering something new in this genre.
If you're looking for booze and shagging stories galore, then you will find this story very tame, but that is one of the other attractions, Chris learnt his lessons early and claims to be a dedicated dad and husband, which is a pleasure to digest.
He could have shown a little more bottle in naming some of the players he tells stories about, but apart from that very minor criticism, this is an enjoyable season-by-season romp and brings home the anxieties of a footballer facing retirement without a 200,000 a month nest egg to fall back on.
All aspiring young professional footballers should adopt this book as an educational manual to learn from and safeguard their own fragile futures!


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