Customer Reviews


71 Reviews
5 star:
 (54)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is not primarily a soccer story
This is a story about a man wrestling with addiction while being blessed with great athleticism. Being autobiographical, Paul is more scathing about his lapses than a biographer would be, while underplaying his iconic football image. At times it's gut-wrenchingly honest as his constant submissions to the booze prevent him fully realising his athletic potential. You don't...
Published on 26 May 2007 by Moz

versus
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay book, doesn't live up to the hype
Paul McGrath tells a searingly honest story, although as you read your way through you realise McGrath himself couldn't possibly have written this alone, without a massive amount of help from his ghostwriter/co-author Vincent Horgan. McGrath describes his corrosive lack of confidence that is still in the process of destroying his life ("Back from the Brink"? Shouldn't...
Published on 17 Nov 2007 by Andrew Walker


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is not primarily a soccer story, 26 May 2007
By 
This review is from: Back from the Brink: The Autobiography (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a story about a man wrestling with addiction while being blessed with great athleticism. Being autobiographical, Paul is more scathing about his lapses than a biographer would be, while underplaying his iconic football image. At times it's gut-wrenchingly honest as his constant submissions to the booze prevent him fully realising his athletic potential. You don't have to be a Man U fan, Villan or Republic of Ireland fan to read this. Paul's roots and upbringing alone are rivetting and scary.

Me, I'm a music fan really, and this life has parralels with Phil Lynott's tragic rise to fame and seduction by drugs. I just hope it doesn't end prematurely in the way Phil's did. A mixed race Irish man growing up in Dublin with no knowledge of his father but driven by a calling to excel. The troubled romances and the shadow of oblivion cast over even the most triumphal moments.

Paul's football carreer was dogged by dodgy knees, alcoholism and an amazing lack of self belief or confidence. A genius awarded countless accolades and many caps who feels unworthy of sharing the stage with his contemporaries. I was shocked by the extent of his problems and the lengths his friends had successfully gone to to prevent the truth being more widely publicised. I look forward to someone making this into a film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oooh Aaah!, 24 Oct 2006
By 
Mr. D. Mullan (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Oooh Aaah Paul McGrath went the chants around Landsdowne Road, Old Trafford and Villa Park in the late '80s and early '90s when one of Ireland's truely outstanding sports personalities was at the peak of his career.

And what a brilliant career it was. Paul McGrath was a rock at the heart of United and Villa's defences and a collosus for Eire particularly in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. And the amazing thing is that McGrath achieved all this whilst battling alcoholism and inner demons that would undoubtedly have destroyed a lesser man.

The book is a very candid account of McGrath's life, from his tough childhood in Dublin where he suffered because of his skin colour, to his rise to the summit of professional football where he often played whilst under the influence. The book gives an indication of what McGrath's mindset and mental state was like during these halcyon years, and includes some really interesting stories and insights into the some of the top personalities in English and Irish football at the time.

Legend is a word that is certainly used too lightly, but this is not the case with McGrath. He is a true legend and what's more he comes across as a very honest and likeable character. A great read.

Declan Mullan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy It Now., 30 Nov 2006
By 
E. Grant - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was only a wee nipper in the time leading upto Italia '90, when Paul McGrath was in his heyday, but of the few footballing memories I have of that age, watching the TV and hearing 'Ohh Ahh Paul McGrath, I say Ooh Aah Paul McGrath' billowing round Landsdowne is one. No one chooses to become an alcoholic or a depressant, its something which overcomes you. Despite these huge weights on him, the man fought on to become one of the finest footballers of his generation. The book is a candid look at the life behind the face, and would move even the most stone hearted of people. The man has sat down and told his story the way he wants it told, not by some third party wanting to put a good spin on it. The man never wants pity for his actions, just a fair hearing. Its a compelling read, worth every penny.

He always has been, and always will be, a legend in my eyes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST ONE MORE IT WILL BE ALRIGHT, 12 Oct 2006
Writen in the same vain as Tony Adams book.

How on earth he was able to stand up let alone play is utterly amazing. Then to win PFA player awards and represent your country defies all logic and reason.

This is not just a football book, but a journey through his life and his constant struggle with the demon drink and drugs.

Great great book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book, a flawed man., 3 Jan 2007
By 
AK 1957-05 (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I give four stars for the book - an amazing story, an unputdownable read, but with the faint shadow of a ghost (writer) about it.

As for McGrath himself, the reviews so far seem to say "What an amazing guy - he played while he was drunk!" Reading his story, I found myself saying "What an idiot - he played while he was drunk!"

I know what a genuinely nice guy he is - I've seen him in social situations and I know how shy and quiet he is. I also know that he is in Ireland's top three best ever players (Giles and Brady being the others, in my opinion). But I can't help thinking how much BETTER he could have been had he NOT frittered his career and his health away as he did. How many MORE caps he could have had, how much BETTER Ireland could have done, if not for the binges, the missed planes and the lost weekends.

I am fully aware that alcoholism is an illness and that Paul wasn't in full control of his faculties a lot of the time. But many people quietly fight it and beat it. Read here about how his children witnessed his degradation, about how his first wife went out of her way to help him when his second marriage foundered, read about the help and love given by Graham Taylor (who, along with Frank Stapleton, comes out of this story with his stock sky-high), then read about how Paul threw it all back in their faces with his helpless addiction. Some of it is heartbreaking - I lived in Dun Laoghaire as a child and my mother used to threaten me daily with the Bird's Nest, where Paul spent several years as a child - and most readers will understand why Paul was eventually afflicted, whilst maybe not forgiving him completely.

I recommend that when reading this, you take off your green-tinted "Ooh-Aah" spectacles.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest to the point of humiliation, 10 May 2007
By 
Paul Power "ppower" (Dublin) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the most gripping book I have read in years. I read it from start to finish in 2 days. I had a lot of emotions reading it, including pride, laughter, respect, lack of respect. McGrath was a first class person and an absolute lowlife in the same lifetime. He led a dual life and was dogged by lack of self confidence. If you think you're an addict, read this and you'll probably decide you're actually alright. This guy lives on the edge and I hope it works out for him

The only downside is that it's a little depressing at times and there is no happy ending.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 5 Feb 2007
We got to a stage in Ireland when masses and novenas were being said for Paul McGrath's knees. I saw him play for Ireland many times at Lansdowne Road and he always played as if he was the fittest and healthiest man in the world. There's no doubt that Jack Charlton's Ireland team of the early 1990's depended hugely on McGrath.

But behind all this was booze, booze, and more booze. McGrath's problems were well known near the end of his career, but not so much early on. There are no holds barred here - McGrath bears his soul and his struggles with the demon of drink. It is a riviting, if harrowing, read. All the time the reader who knew McGrath as a footballer will say "What might have been?".

Though McGrath was a successful footballer, there's no doubt that he could have played with top clubs like Man U longer than he did. He concentrated on where the next drink was coming from rather than football.

This book is a "warts and all" portrayal of a football great with alcohol the dominant factor. Really, it is more a story of alcoholism than football - be ready to be shocked at some of the content.

McGrath is to be commended on this book - it is not the usual run of the mill ex-footballer book that tells a few anecdotes and slags off past team mates and managers. It is an honest self portrayal of a flawed character.

I found this to be one of the best reads I've had in years. As a previous reviewer has said - "don't miss it".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COULDNT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN, 8 Jun 2007
This review is from: Back from the Brink: The Autobiography (Mass Market Paperback)
I waited till this book came out on paperback, took it on holiday and could not put it down till i had finished it.

I wont go into great detail, but what Paul has gone through in his life is really quite incredible, i remember him as a player , but this book lets you see the troubles the man has had throughout his life.Some may well be self induced, others really heart breaking to read.

For me, one of the best books i have ever read, and i have a lot of respect for Paul after reading this, it is as i see it a very honest book that deals with his problems with drink throughout his life and playing career.

Hope someone makes this into a film.

All the best Paul.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Read, 18 Oct 2006
By 
This book is a brilliant read. We all know Paul McGrath the talented footballer. This book really delves into his love of football, his chaotic life and his unfortunate problems. Paul you are a star and don't you forget that!! I have been lucky enough to meet Paul a few years ago and I can honestly say he was a true gent. Excellent read you will enjoy it!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Addicts are still human beings, flawed maybe, but still human, 18 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book makes you feel sorry for the individual concerned, as well as wanting to pick them up and shake them from side to side. Brutally honest, yet so frustrating in the sense that everyone is helpless to prevent the slide in to oblivion, even the central character, and that is what all addiction is about. The eventual lack of control over one's own body and the fact the demon inside the head takes over and all rationalisation flies out of the window just as quick as the bottle gets emptied.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Back from the Brink: The Autobiography
Back from the Brink: The Autobiography by Paul McGrath (Mass Market Paperback - 24 May 2007)
£6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews