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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If "Trainspotting" was about hooligans...
My first thoughts upon reading this was how similar the style seemed to be to that of Irvine Welsh, right down to using hyphens to indicate the speech of his characters instead of speech marks. The similarity was made all the more surprising by the fact that on the version I have there is a recommendation of the book by Welsh on the front cover. However, this only serves...
Published on 11 Sept. 2012 by Culture Vulture

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
The condition was quite old possible from a second hand shop (by the smell) but was intact and good value for the amount paid.
Published 11 months ago by Kate Chapman


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If "Trainspotting" was about hooligans..., 11 Sept. 2012
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
My first thoughts upon reading this was how similar the style seemed to be to that of Irvine Welsh, right down to using hyphens to indicate the speech of his characters instead of speech marks. The similarity was made all the more surprising by the fact that on the version I have there is a recommendation of the book by Welsh on the front cover. However, this only serves to indicate the considerable influence Welsh had on 90's British fiction, with this novel being first published two years after trainspotting. As with Welsh, King's writing is vivid and has plenty of the language necessary to authentically portray the particular white, working class section of society which both authors concern themselves with. The chapter concerning Millwall Away is particularly well written, conjuring up all the excitement and intensity of the Chelsea firm roaming through the Bermondsy estate looking for their Millwall counterparts, yet also describing the sickening harsh reality of main character Tom's personal injuries. This direct, colourful writing style makes the novel a quick, engaging read, although a couple of times I got confused as which thoughts and speech went with which character.

The main difference between this book and the film is that the book has vignettes of characters such as Mr. Farrel the old pensioner war veteran and Will Dobson, the middle-aged journalist slotted in between the accounts of violence, male comeradery, drinking and sex. These provide interesting counter-balancing points of views on the topics with which the book is concerning itself - the state of modern football, the media, differences between generations, law and order, class, racism and gender. Whilst these alternative points of view add depth to the novel and are worthwhile additions as a whole, I found that they could occasionally slow down the main story.

Overall this is an exciting novel about football hooliganism and gives voices to characters who we may or may not agree with but whose voice is not often heard in an authentic way in literature. Well worth a read if you have some interest in understanding this kind of ritualised violence, I read this after Awaydays by Kevin Sampson, and preferred The Football Factory to that book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MODERN CLASSIC, 19 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
The Football Factory is a brilliantly written piece of work, which easily surpasses anything else written on the subject (one slightly inferior exception to this is 'Away Days'). King's main character, Tom, is totally believable. I thought King's handling of the ambiguity of racial attitudes in modern Britain, via Tom and Mr Farrell, was superbly done, as was his handling of issues surrounding old age. The quality of some of the prose is astonishing. Consider the following. Mr Farrell is at the funeral of his best friend who has died suddenly and breaks down in tears, as he thinks of, not only his friend, but his deceased wife who passed away three years earlier, and who he's kept alive in his head, having conversations with her over cups of tea. 'Finally Mr Farrell stood up and broke through the weakness because that's all that tears could ever be. Conditioned by his background and sex not to show emotion, that was for the privileged with time on their hands and a need for excessive psychology.' Prose of this quality occurs throughout the book. You don't need to have any interest in football or football violence to appreciate this modern classic. I pushed it on to a female colleague, a young teacher of French, who hated football. She read it and, on giving it back to me, simply said, 'It's brilliant.' She then bought 'Headhunters.'

Another reviewer, who only gave this book two stars, criticizes the book by saying it's Arthur Seaton meets Clockwork Orange. But what's wrong with that? I have a feeling that King has been influenced by both Alan Sillitoe and Anthony Burgess.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD BOOK ON FOOTBALL VIOLENCE, 13 Mar. 2013
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book.It gave a view on football violence from a hooligan's point of view,but also viewed what they thought about life,and about the class that they come from,and the class that governs them,and makes decisions for them.John King writes in a flowing way, and the disparite characters that appear-Mr Farell,Vince and Albert all fit into the story,and have a role to play.
I have not read anythong by John Hall before,but I enjoyed his style, and will certainly be reading some of his other books.
Good Read
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crucial Reading, 11 Jan. 2001
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
Interesting and disturbing depiction of a contemporary working-class Londoner. The novel portrays a bleak England which has little to offer its poor, white natives. The central character--who one imagines must be loosely based on the author--is a nasty man, whose one outlet is football hooliganism. A Chelsea fan, he defines his existence not around actual matches and scores, so much as he does around the pre and post-match violence (if any). The book seems to suggest that for him, and his ilk, society has nothing to offer and he must retreat to the camaraderie of his fighting friends to find any release and meaning in his existence. The chapters alternate between focusing on the main character on match days, and peripheral characters (some only barely related to the novel at all) and slices of London life. Despite the very raw descriptions of violence and sex, the writing is too deft, and the message too sharp for the book to be considered a mere cult novel. King's subsequent novels, Headhunters, England Away, and Human Punk are all equally vital--if not as raw--reading. Great non-fiction companions to this book are Colin Ward's classic, Steaming In, and Nick Danziger's Danziger's Britain.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book that makes compelling reading., 2 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
The Football Factory is an excellent book that makes you think about many different issues, such as class, race, politics but above all, how the mind of the football hooligan works. Tom Johnson is an ordinary, working class man who enjoys normal everyday things, like having a few pints with his mates, pulling birds and watching his football team, Chelsea. He also likes violence a lot, which is where things get interesting. The buzz gained from committing a violent act is what he craves and all the tension is released at the match on a Saturday when his firm look for the opposition's firm of hooligans. The book makes compelling reading and says so much about the English male and football culture. All matters of issues are raised in this book, such as the North-South divide, inter-club rivalries, class boundaries, whilst a few stereotypes are also inevitably reinforced...But it makes compelling reading, and John King has proved himself to be a very accomplished writer with this excellently researched book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of David Mellor's Mindless thugs? i don't think so., 9 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
John King, Mellor would have you believe, is a mindless thug. With nothing better to do than smash up boozers, not interested in football, he'd be as happy at the cricket if he could have a 'ruck'. But is he?, Kings frank and sometimes ruthless portrayal of life in the football hooligan fastlane is often breath taking. You can even began to understand the attraction, even though the book is littered with racism and violence, i found it compelling. King writes well and will keep you tucked up away from trouble for a couple of days before you go rampaging down millwall with a 4 by 2.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REFRESHING, FRANK, REAL.....SUPERB!!!, 15 Oct. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
At last, somebody has captured the ethics of the ''football fan'' and the reality of a culture that is flourishing in your town!! Forget all the 'we've stamped out hooliganism..' and 'it's a football problem..'. This book explodes the myth and looks into the mindseye of an attitude and belief that will never go away,that is,human nature. Superbly intertwined with a deeper look into the lives and history of the central characters this book demands to be read by the suits who sit on the benches. The first of a trilogy,i couldn't wait to explore further.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, 7 July 2014
By 
Jan Patrik Sahlstrøm (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
Outstanding book about football, violence, alcohol and White Trash from a first person view. King doesn't defend it, just presents it brilliantly and beliavably and lets us make our own judgements.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on modern day football culture., 14 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
This is by far the best book I have read. Showing a side to football very really displayed in public. This book describes the passion people surrounding football feel on a number of levels (not just the violence). I have read Headhunters and England Away, both are very good books but I have yet to read a book as exciting as this. Prehaps if a few members of the FA, Sky TV, and Premiership club chairman were to read this book, they might consider giving football back to the people who want it most, the real fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best choice, 9 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
Extremely good quality, new book, you can still smell the new in the pages, mint condition, good price, as it says on the cover ¨buy one, borrow one or steal one now!¨
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The Football Factory by John King (Paperback - 6 May 2004)
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