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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With Clough, By Hamilton
This is the book that Duncan Hamilton was born to write - at least, that's what Cloughie must have told him when he sat him down, offered him a glass, scared the wispy moustache off the young journalist's top lip, and instructed 'You can put this in the book' almost as soon as they first met.

Much has been written about the Great Man and his sidekick, Peter...
Published on 8 Jun 2007 by Mr Hotel

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Big Story...
Excellent, straightforward sports biography, distinguished by Hamilton's closeness to his subject and the resulting intimacy of the portrait. No tricks, no fiction or imagined scenes, just sensitive writing and informed analysis of the Clough career and of a very different time in British football - a big enough story in its own right to require very little...
Published on 16 July 2008 by Robert Machin


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5.0 out of 5 stars Brian Clough, 21 July 2014
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Brilliant book an insight into the great man would have loved to see him manage some of today's big time charlies
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 Sep 2014
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Mr. Anthony J. Hume (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough (Paperback)
this book is fantastic. it is also very moving and beautifully written. I will read it again and again
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Big 'Ead Well Served in this Bio., 28 Jun 2007
By 
AK 1957-05 (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I read this straight after The Damned United and found it quite refreshing in comparison to that slightly pretentious work.

The author is perhaps guilty of being a little TOO close to Clough, although he does give us a fairly warts and all account of their years together. It's also a great reference book on Seventies football and footballers, and is written with great intelligence rather than the gushing football-speak we're used to in a football bio.

It might not tell you everything you want to know about the great man's life, but it gets you inside the dressing room at Forest during their halcyon days.

A good read, definitely worth the cover price.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting portrait of a real legend, 13 Dec 2007
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S. Clark (Alloa, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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A really unique and insightful read from start to finish. I wasn't born when Forest hit the dizzy heights but growing up there was always something intriguing, compelling and a little scary about Clough which made me want to find out more. Some great stories and anecdotes from both a professional (football) side of things and also on a more personal level. Well worth the read no matter what age or where your footballing allegiance lies. Great book fitting of a truly great man.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and detailed read, 18 July 2010
This review is from: Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough (Paperback)
Duncan Hamilton's award winning account of Brian Clough, Peter Taylor, Nottingham Forest and himself is a blunt and honest account of a turbulent 15 years. However, due to the motives of Hamilton's actions, `getting a line' for tomorrows article, it almost seems as if he is a puppeteer manufacturing a novel.

Reading Hamilton's account seemed familiar to watching Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy...hear me out:

Peter Taylor, the steely eyed tight lipped Lee Van Cleef; Brian Clough, the younger better looking quicker on the trigger Man With No Name (Eastwood), Duncan Hamilton himself directing as if he was Sergio Leone and the corridors and field of City Ground the vast desert landscape of Leone's movies.

Barney Ronay, in his excellent book: The Absurd Ascent of the Most Important Man in Football, makes a valid point that Hamilton falls infatuated with Clough's persona, and throughout the books this gives an imbalanced account of Clough and Taylor's tenure. Hamilton makes up for this with a blunt view of Clough and Nottingham Forests downfall - the fall into heavy drinking, Clough and Taylor feeling their judgement is shot - an enlightening tale of Clough selling and then not having the judgement to replace Teddy Sheringham in his final season, and Clough's distaste for the FA. The most interesting in the book is the point at mentioned earlier, with the fall-out between Taylor and Clough.

Intelligent, easy and enjoyable to read, showing much more than just the image of Clough upheld in society, showing a kind and caring man, but also a Machiavellian character in the vein of a Shakespearean protagonist. The more subtle and equally interesting side to the story are the tales of journalism and what a journalist must do to find a story.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kiss and Tell, 3 July 2009
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This review is from: Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough (Paperback)
Having read the book and watched the film of `The Damned United' in recent weeks more Brian Clough was not on my agenda. However, I was lent `Provided you don't Kiss Me' and decided to read it anyway. For this reason comparisons to `Damned' are inevitable and in my opinion valid. `Kiss' is straight non-fiction, but the way in which Duncan Hamilton writes makes it feel like non-fiction anyway. Hamilton assumes a lot about what Clough was thinking at any time and although he was close to the man I doubt he would have had as good an insight into Clough as written here.

There are a number of issues with `Kiss'. I felt that Hamilton's personality was too prevalent in the book and that he appeared in it as much as Clough did. Not wanting to be mean, but I have little interest in the exploits of a Northern reporter. The entire book feels skewed through Hamilton's point of view and therefore a little too personal at times. Only the chapter on Clough's decline into alcoholism really shone for me. That is not to say that the book is not good. It was nice to read more about Clough's successes than his failure at Leeds. It was also interesting to get a feel of how different the game was 30 years ago when compared to the ultra rich professional game of today.

`Provided you don't Kiss Me' paints a rich picture of Clough's days at Nottingham and in many areas feels like fan fiction. The personality of Clough means that it breaks through Hamilton's overly personal writing style. Not a classic, but an interesting read for someone drawn towards 80s football nostalgia.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 18 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough (Paperback)
Great story , well written . Very funny in parts and sad in others . Would be interesting to see how Cloughie would manage todays overpaid prima donnas
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is great, 10 July 2012
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I think that this book is great because it gives you a super outlook on how Brian Clough was with journalists. It also gives an insight on how Brian Clough did in his managerial career. The story also builds up to a sad ending of a superb man manager. I would definately reccommend others to read this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clough, 21 Mar 2012
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M. Allsop - See all my reviews
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Bought this book for my wife who read about it in a local paper. Could not put it down as Clough and Taylor managed our local and near neighbour's teams. It tells you as it was and explains a lot about their relationship.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Brian Clough - well written insight into the enigmatic football genius, 8 Oct 2011
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough (Paperback)
Duncan Hamilton's portrait of the great Brian Clough is another one of the newer football books that have taken the level and quality of sports journalism up a peg or two. This book recounts the author's tenure as a football correspondent with the local Nottingham newspaper during Clough's reign as manager at Forest. In some respects, this book reflects a long-lost era in the British game rather in the fashion of the similarly excellent "My father and other football heroes" by Gary Imlach. Amazingly, this book goes up to as recent as the early nineties by which point Sky had transformed the game with the evolution of the Premiership and the football world depicted is staggeringly different from the one that exists today. Shocking to see how much the game has changed in this period.

Regarding the book, there must be countless others on the shelves about the most charismatic football manager in the history of the English game but Hamilton is sufficiently a good enough writer to make this the ultimate book to choose. The book starts with Clough's prolific goal-scoring record as a player before discussing his managerial career at Hartlepool and the infamous sojourn at despised Leeds United. Fascinating to see how the pay-out Clough received from Leeds totally transformed his fortunes. However, this book is not a biography and considers within each chapter such topics as the management of players, the realtionship with Peter Taylor, why Clough would have been a disaster as England manager and his European success despite being an original "Euro -sceptic." There are also chapters on Clough's managerial style and an insight into why the team that won promotion to the old Divison One and swiftly nabbed the Championship before following it up with two successive European Cup wins was so quickly dismantled. I found it interesting to read of the ultimate demise of Nottingham Forest but the sad decline of Brian Clough is one of the saddest stories I have read about the game. His final season not only saw his health wrecked by drink (Hamilton is very candid about this), his Forest team utlimately relegated and his relevance irradicated in the game as the nature of football management changed with the emergence of more "scientific" coaches such as Arsene Wenger. Fascinating to read this book too at a time when Wenger's own abilities are now being put into question after 15+ years at the helm of Arsenal.

Having shared 20 years as a journalist alongside Brian Clough, we are fortunate to have a book that is both intimate in it's understanding of the subject and very well written too. A football manager as great as Clough deserves to be served by a writer as good as this. "20 years..." could have been a book filled with amusing stories and Clough's celebrated soundbites and whilst the humour is there, Hamilton is not afraid to discuss the darker aspects of his career such as his treatment of the tragic Justin Fashanu, the excessive drinking and an account about a mysterious sports bag full of money. Throughout the book, it is clear that Hamilton had a huge amount of respect and affection for Brian Clough and he explains where his genius lay and the amusing eccentricities as well as why Nottingham Forest and Clough were made for each other. (Tempted to say "Taylor-made!) There are some fascinating comments where Clough outlines his regrets and an appraisal of why Clough was able to bring unprecedented success to a provincial football club such as Forest.

As a Southampton fan who grew up supporting my team when they were under the stewardship of another great manager of that era who worked similar wonders with a small-time, provincial club, I hope that Lawrie MacMenemy's story could be told as well as this effort by Duncan Hamilton. All in all, this is THE Brian Clough book to buy and nicely sums up the career of a football manager who might not have enjoyed the success of Sir Alex Ferguson but who will certainly be loved by more non-partisan football fans for many years to come. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough
Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough by Duncan Hamilton (Paperback - 5 May 2008)
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