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I Dreamt the Snow Was Burning: A Novel of Chile
I Dreamt the Snow Was Burning: A Novel of Chile
by Antonio Skarmeta
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars like watching a subtitled film in the fog, through binoculars, wearing ear muffs, 20 Nov 2014
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When this book was recommended to me I was really looking forward to it. A South American football novel (I’d found one!) set in the last days of Salvador Allende before the fascist coup brought down his democratic socialist government. A book written by a Chilean and published shortly after the coup; a coup with a grim football connection: Pinochet’s thugs rounded people up in their thousands and took them to the national football stadium where they were tortured, killed, taken away and disappeared.
I would like to say that I enjoyed it, but I can’t. It was like watching a subtitled film in the fog, through binoculars, wearing ear muffs.
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


Shoeless Joe
Shoeless Joe
Price: £3.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Seriously flawed as a novel, 14 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Shoeless Joe (Kindle Edition)
Shoeless Joe is not as great as many people claim: it is by far surpassed in literary merit by many association football novels. It perhaps captures the beauty of the sport of baseball to a degree: its romance and its tradition, and it is very evocative in parts – it creates some strong images in your head and the sense of place of the farm in Iowa is undeniable. However, it is also deeply flawed as a novel. Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/book-review-of-shoeless-joe-by-ray.html


Bend It Like Beckham (Bite)
Bend It Like Beckham (Bite)
by Narinder Dhami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars fairly close interpretation of film, 3 Nov 2014
This novel, aimed at teenagers, is based on the Gurinder Chada screenplay of the 2002 film. It is what you’d expect if you’ve seen the film – a fairly close interpretation and containing immortal lines like: “ ‘Lesbian? Her birthday’s in March. I thought she was a Pisces.’ ‘She’s not Lebanese, she’s Punjabi.’ ”
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


Steel Saraband. A novel (Nelson Novels.)
Steel Saraband. A novel (Nelson Novels.)
by Roger Dataller
Edition: Unknown Binding

3.0 out of 5 stars Worth re-discovering, 31 Oct 2014
This novel was used as the basis for the first film set in Sheffield: Hard Steel, released in 1942, starring Wilfred Lawson. It must have been quite a radical book in its day... Takes a little while to get going but improves as it goes on and the plot starts to develop.
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html


How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the F.A.Cup
How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the F.A.Cup
by J. L. Carr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Something endearing about it, 23 Oct 2014
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This book is perhaps best read whilst sat in an old dusty armchair if you can find one, with a glass of Gold Label barley wine, wearing a vintage Harris tweed jacket (preferably with leather elbow patches) and a nice comfy pair of carpet slippers...
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


Match Of Death
Match Of Death
by James Riordan
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb story, simply told. You have no excuse for not reading it., 22 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Match Of Death (Paperback)
This is a superb story, told simply, but well, and being novella length (about 40,000 words) you have no excuse for not reading it. You will get more out of 2 or 3 hours spent with this than scores of wasted hours watching box sets of American series shown on Sky.
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


Give Us This Day
Give Us This Day
by Stan Barstow
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining enough but plot rather weakly drawn, 17 Oct 2014
This review is from: Give Us This Day (Paperback)
It is an entertaining enough read but sadly keeps holding out more promise then it delivers. Main plot rather weakly drawn. An entertaining enough read though. Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html


The Belly of the Atlantic
The Belly of the Atlantic
by Fatou Diome
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars a shame that the character of Salie doesn’t come out stronger, 10 Oct 2014
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It is a shame that the character of Salie doesn’t come out stronger – or only emerges right at the end. Descriptions of football are unlike anything else I’ve read – a refreshing change from the Roy of the Rovers or Sunday papers style. If only more match reports were like this: “Barthez and Toldo grimly faced each other, and, unlike the fishermen, each of the two goalies was determined to bring home an empty net. Mounted on springs and programmed to block anything that was round, they were as alert as starving tigers, ready to pounce on even a soap bubble. No doubt, those two alone, manning the barricades in May ’68, would have repelled the charges of the mounted police.”
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


Zuzu's Petals
Zuzu's Petals
by Sue Hepworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Largely a matter of taste, 1 Oct 2014
This review is from: Zuzu's Petals (Hardcover)
I struggled greatly with <i>Zuzu’s Petals</i> – it portrays a narrow worldly view, but on the whole the writing doesn’t carry it along. I would not have persisted with it but for reviewing it; although if had abandoned it I would have missed the strongest writing in the book: the treatment of the main character’s father’s death. This is well done and convincingly told – it is something people experiencing bereavement will probably relate to and be moved by.
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html


In the Crowd
In the Crowd
by Laurent Mauvignier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Shows the power of fiction, 27 Sep 2014
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This review is from: In the Crowd (Paperback)
"Dans la Foule/In the Crowd shows the power of fiction – it takes the reader inexorably towards the events of the 29th May 1985 in Brussels when 39 people were killed and explores the thoughts and feelings of fans caught up in section Z as well as getting convincingly close to the mentality of a Liverpool fan who was swept up in the crowd, running at those trapped in Section Z. I was struck by the ‘us’ and ‘them’ in the book. ‘Us’ being the French, Italians and Belgians – their common shared perspective and the otherness of the Liverpool fans. This book, written by a Frenchman, holds up a mirror..." See full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/football-fiction.html


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