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steve

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The Worst of Friends: The Betrayal of Joe Mercer
The Worst of Friends: The Betrayal of Joe Mercer
Price: £3.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched but not brilliant writing, 3 Mar. 2015
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Clearly a labour of love and incredibly well researched using a network of superb contacts to get first hand accounts. It will be of particular interest to Manchester City fans – especially those who don’t subscribe to the views of Shindler’s Allison who says: “Football wasn’t a game played in the past except by middle-aged supporters nostalgic for faded glories. It was about the next match, the next half-hour, the next goal.”
Despite its merits, however, this book suffers from being torn between being a novel and being reportage. Shindler does not have Peace’s skill as a story-teller nor his craft as a novelist. As a result this cannot compare to The Damned United. Over-long and inexpert in places.
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


Gladys Protheroe: Football Genius
Gladys Protheroe: Football Genius
by Simon Cheetham
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers, 2 Mar. 2015
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This book is bonkers. It start off mildly bonkers and by the time of the 1990s arrives (i.e. the modern era – given the book was published in 1994) it becomes completely, stark-raving bonkers.
It’s main merit is in its idiosyncrasy – there’s nothing quite else like it. It was probably a complete aberration on the part of the publishers to publish it, but I am glad they did. It is rather like a bizarre Victorian medical instrument in a museum of curiosities: it is nice that it is there, but only worth a look because of its eccentricity rather than its intrinsic worth.
Full review at:http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html
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Secrets and Shadows
Secrets and Shadows
Price: £3.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Not just romantic fluff, 26 Feb. 2015
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This book is surprisingly good – I say surprisingly because, judging it by its cover, I expected it to be romantic fluff (going by the picture, and what I assumed to be a pen name). You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – though we all do. The cover of <i>Secrets and Shadows</i> would lead to many people rejecting it, I suspect – though it may appeal to its core readership.
Although this book may be pigeon-holed as romantic fiction, it is more than that – it is well written with only one or two relatively minor flaws. Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html


SAFE
SAFE
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read the correct past tense for the verb to treat: tret, 19 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: SAFE (Kindle Edition)
Danny Watson is probably the sort of kid you’d try to avoid making eye contact with at a bus stop. Probably not a very nice person at all. But the way the book is written from his point of view, you get to see how has become the person he is, how limited his choices in life are. Like any good character portrayal, you see things from his point of view, sympathise with him, and will him on to come good in the end. I won’t spoil it by telling you how it turns out. Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html


A Wizard of Dreams (Myrddin's Heir Book 1)
A Wizard of Dreams (Myrddin's Heir Book 1)
Price: £1.15

4.0 out of 5 stars What a project this is!, 16 Feb. 2015
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What a project this is! Robin Chambers has embarked on an epic tale - take at look at his excellent website for details. This saga is not for the faint-hearted - even this first book in the saga is quite lengthy, so requires stamina of younger readers - I read it to a ten-year-old. I suspect though that once you're hooked you'll want to follow Robin to the end of this story - and he seems such a nice bloke to make such a journey with. (He says the whole thing will be longer than the Potter series.)There is certainly a good story in here and some nice pictures and characters have been created with words. I particularly liked the strong ecological theme. It is clearly a labour of love and a huge achievement - and for just 99p for each book what have you got to lose.


The Executioner's Art
The Executioner's Art
by David Fine
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars I read this so that you don’t have to., 14 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Executioner's Art (Paperback)
The quotes on the back call it “rich, gothic prose” or “edgy and dark.” I’d prefer words like “nasty” and “sordid.” I like fiction to tell me something about what it is to be human, sometimes to be uplifting, but at least to make me think I have spent my time well – that I have gained from the experience, or at least been entertained. This novel won’t do any of that, unless you find snuff movies/ horror porn entertaining. Instead it will leave you feeling diminished. Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html


Wood, Talc and Mr. J
Wood, Talc and Mr. J
Price: £2.93

2 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much 'stream of consciousness' to be really enjoyable, 8 Feb. 2015
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I really wanted to like this book. It is set in the late seventies early eighties in my home-town, with cultural references I understood. I was not into Northern Soul, but I knew people who were. I at least “got it.” It even has references to football and Sheffield United. So what’s not to like?
I was, though, left feeling that a little more concession to the reader, a little more focus on the story - a little less 'authorial integrity,' would have been a very good thing. Was there just too much cleverness or was it in need of a good dose of reality, and a good edit? A little bit of both perhaps. Full review at:
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Fugue
Fugue
Price: £2.35

2.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in areas, 1 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Fugue (Kindle Edition)
This is only a short novel. I came to it through Rave Reviews Book Club. It has some merit; Sitler can obviously write, but it lacks coherence. The novel is essentially about a relationship between Nathan and Naunie and, had Sitler concentrated on that, and stuck rigidly to their points of view, it could have been a much more satisfying read. As it is, point of view shifts frequently – and even to trivial characters. The themes of the novel are strong: particularly loss and trauma (though I was not entirely convinced by Sitler’s expert knowledge of the psychology). The strong themes needed developing in more depth – lengthening the novel, perhaps, but enriching it. As it is, it flits about and doesn’t satisfy – characters don’t really convince as a result and characters, through lack of proper grounding, risk tending towards cliché.


For Whom The Ball Rolls: Football Stories and More
For Whom The Ball Rolls: Football Stories and More
by Ian Plenderleith
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The literary equivalent of a whisky shot, 1 Feb. 2015
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Quirky, funny little observations on the lives of ordinary fans, lower-league players, or washed up ex-pros – often with a certain nostalgia to them which will appeal to many fans. You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy them though: just like you don’t need to have witnessed a murder to enjoy crime fiction or to have lived in the Tudor period to indulge your obsessions for jousting and men in hose...
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


Heartland by Cartwright, Anthony ( AUTHOR ) May-01-2010 Paperback
Heartland by Cartwright, Anthony ( AUTHOR ) May-01-2010 Paperback
by Anthony Cartwright
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Good novel spoiled by pretentiousness, 18 Jan. 2015
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Heartland comes close to being a very good book. It has strong themes: race, extremism (both religious and nationalist), politics, relationships, and football. It is refreshing to hear under-represented Black Country voices. However, the jettisoning of conventions of punctuation: worst of all being the total absence of speech marks is a massive mistake. It does not make the novel flow better, make it pacy, experimental, or literary – it just makes it pretentious and unnecessarily harder to read. A great shame. Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


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