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on 22 March 2010
Although a thorough professional who will seek to utilise the majority of legal and illegal tactics to effect an advantage to his beloved liverpool team, Jamie Carragher is generally considered a "honest" footballer, in comparison certainly to the glaring and disgusting divers and cheats ruining the game, such as Drogba and Ronaldo (the portugese one). Similarly so this is a seeming very honest account of one man`s rise to the peak of his profession.
Surprisingly articulate and erudite in his revelations, the book is mainly very interesting throughout. This stems largely from the fact that as well as divulging the glory days (only the premiership has eluded his personal horde of winner`s medals) he pulls few punches in his obvious disdain for certain team mates, other playing pros, and managers past and present. Whilst not outrightly condemning the managers he has played under at Anfield, he has little reservation in revealing what he considers to be flaws in their make up. Fewer punches are pulled when discussing those managers he served under whilst being available for national duty, as Jamie divulges the frustration and hurt he felt when being largely overlooked or played out of (his preferred) position for the England team.
Also of major interest is how he came to very much dislike both the Everton club and its supporters, after supporting and loving the blue noses right through until his late teens. A bit jarring was his too frequent references to the importance of close friends and family. Also a bit confusing is his self description as a player, - sometimes lauding how good a central defender he considers himself before retreating modestly to how inferior he compares himself to the likes of Ferdinand and Terry.
Generally an entertaining read, I could not give this more than 4 stars, mainly because 5 stars can only be awarded to those books one finds rivetting from page one to the end. For the non partisan fan this book may be of interest to you, but ultimately only die hard reds` fans will find most satisfaction in this effort. I read a local library copy and unless you too can find one in your library`s shelves, I would suggest you avoid those sellers who seek more than a quid or three of your hard earned to purchase one.
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on 8 February 2010
There has been something of a rash of books from English footballers of late and as such, seeing one from Jamie Carragher did not excite as much attention as those from his more celebrated colleagues of club and country. But with 'Carra' we get a good insight into the man who could be defined as Mr Consistency who was for so long, an unsung hero. It is honest, well written and above all else a thoroughly good read.

Firstly I must start by saying that (unlike so many band wagon jumpers) that I have always been a big fan of Carragher as a player. Long before Istanbul elevated him to hero status I had his name on the back of my shirt and would argue with anyone who cared to debate how he should be in England's starting line-up whether at right back or centre back. However, once you leave the 0151 area, his fans seem to be thin on the ground, especially at international level and as such, his story is very interesting in that it has never been properly told like this.

The first thing that Carragher gets right with this book is he avoids the trap of a moaning 'rags to riches' tale. Yes, he grew up in Bootle, a deprived area to the North of Liverpool but he freely admits that while being firmly working class, he was never wanting as a child and had two parents who looked after him well. It would have been so easy to go on at length about the poverty around him but he sidesteps this to his credit and exemplifies the spirit of Bootle; salt of the earth good people, rich in character and spirit if not in the wallet.

The next thing he gets right is the layout of the book which avoids the mundane chronological path of telling his story through the years and focuses on specific topics of interest. This works perfectly because just about any reader of this book will know that it tells the tale of someone who came through the academy, broke into the first team, played his way into fans and managers' favour, had one helluva night in Turkey in 2005 and never really found himself at home with the England team. We know all that anyway, and so he takes the smart decision to go into detail about the finer points of all of these events.

The effect is that we finally learn about his history as a diehard Evertonian and how he made that transition, we learn about what really happened with Gerard Houllier, and how he went from being such a success to a shadow of a man at the end. We learn about the difficult early days of Benitez and Carragher's strained relationship with the England team. All of these events give a wonderful insight into the life and times of one of Sefton and Liverpool FC's favourite sons.

Carra truly gives you the picture of a man who has never been allowed to get above himself. Whether it was the strict discipline of managers like Houllier and Rafa, his father throwing boots at him for ducking out of a schoolboy game to avoid the rain or his wife who seems like the anti-WAG, he always seems like what every school boy dreams of being: Just a fan being paid to play football, chasing the glory at every turn and not that interested in the gold, just the silverware. This book captures that story brilliantly.

The highlights are literally strewn throughout the book but always centre around him either pulling no punches on subjects like his real feelings on England, deliberately injuring players who mocked him or on the escapades of someone who you know is a bit of a reformed Scally. Some tales of misdemeanours are hysterically funny precisely because they have that classic air of Scouse mischief rather than villainy.

Forthright and honest, well-written and hilariously funny in places, Carra is a superb book which Liverpool fans will love and plenty of others should really enjoy simply for the great story it tells, and the wonderful way it tells it.
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VINE VOICEon 6 November 2009
It's interesting that I have chosen to read the autobiography of Jamie ( James is the name his family know him by ) just as his worth to Liverpool is being questioned by some Liverpool fans after their slightly shaky start to the season. Now if I didn't know it already from watching him play so consistently (well ...up to this point anyway ) I would have said that if anyone represented consummate professionalism and commitment to the cause of L.F.C. it was Jamie Carragher and that if anyone deserved the patience and support of the fans through a rare out of form spell it was JC again. Reading this book has further cemented that believe for not only is a genuinely fascinating, entertaining , honest and revealing autobiography it is also one of the more erudite .
Carragher , initially an Everton fan discusses his changing relationship with his boyhood club , a relationship that has deteriorated to such a degree ( he blames bitter Everton fans as much as anything ) he now values a win over them more than one over Manchester United. He discusses the impact ex-managers like Gerard Houllier ( who many will be surprised to hear he is invariably very complimentary about and includes a brilliant anecdote with reference to Paul Ince ) and Rafa Benitez have made on his career and the fact that playing for Liverpool meant more to him than playing for England which may be sacrilege to some .
Mostly though its the tone and structure of the book that mark it out as different from the standard footballers autobiography . There is none of the rote: then we went to such and such and won 2-1 with goals from Bing & Bong before beating so and so at home with Jay Jay scoring a brace. Carragher tackles ( no pun intended ) managers and pivotal events -Istanbul , the Gerrard cup final - chapter by chapter, though the narrative still sticks to chronology . He is scathing of numerous ex- colleagues who he feels were not up to the standard required for Premiership football. Salif Diao , El Hadj Dioff , Bruno Cheyrou to name a few lambastes others -Stan Collymore ,Sander Westerveld - for their attitude while at the club. Others, like Didi Hamann , Danny Murphy ( who never wanted to leave Liverpool in the first place) he has nothing but praise for.
With reference to leaving Liverpool Carragher is also extremely understanding and supportive of former teams mates Michael Owen ( or MO as he calls him ) and Steve McMannaman for heading out in search in pastures new. That is not for him though .Carragher is Liverpool through and through and in this book he comes across as decent , honourable and likable and how many top flight footballers can you say that about ?
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on 6 June 2010
I bought this book after seeing Adrien Chiles sarcastically quoting from it in the build up to Englands friendly against Mexico. I have to admit to being a massive Man Utd fan and wasn't expecting much from this wrong i was! From the first turn of the page i could not put it down, I always thought of Jamie as a scouse lad with not much about him who hated any team other than Liverpool..again i couldn't have been more reading this book you realise just how clued up he really is, on life, and football. He is not all about LFC and has masses of respect for other football teams and people who care about football as much as he does. He delivers a truthful and unbiased insight into life at LFC and premier league football in general. Parts of this book had me laughing to myself, in work, in bed or wherever i ended up reading it.
I would recommend this book to absolutely everybody no matter who they support or what they think of the man himself. It has changed my perception of him and LFC, and i wish him, and them all the best with his book, and in his ambition to win the League title before he finishes his playing career. Even if he doesn't win it as a player, i have no doubt he will, as a top class manager!
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on 28 August 2009
This is a great read. It paints a picture of the man off the field just as he appears on the field. It comes across as being totally honest, does not seem to shirk any sensitive issues and was a great read. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is a sports fan and anyone who wants to know more about the mindset of successful sports stars.
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on 26 March 2013
The best football autobiography I have read.It gives you a real insight on what goes on behind the scenes at a major club.It is well written and honest.He explains how he started out as a die hard Evertonian but converted to being a diehard Liverpool man well.A modern day footballer who is really passionate about the game,his club and his city.I recommend it to any fan of football.
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on 3 February 2013
i bought this book for a present for my 10 year old son hes a liverpool fan we both enjoyed reading it. however it did not arrive when it was expected i notified amazon they told me it had already been dispatched and assured me another book was on its way . indeed that book arrived so thanks amazon
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on 5 June 2013
I've just bought this for my Husband who is a big Liverpool fan, and he absolutely loves it. He drives HGV's for a living, and when he's on a break, its a brew and the book. He say's it's a really good read and has brightened up his working week (for the time being anyway).
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on 8 December 2015
Like Mr Carragher himself. The book is honest and holds nothing back, the way it should be.
I enjoyed reading this and every LFC fan or football fan will too. Now looking forward to an updated version, after he has placed his boots.
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on 4 April 2013
A fascinating read from start to finish, brutally honest account from one of British footballs finest , even non Lfc fans will enjoy the story of the rise of a young man from the streets of Liverpool to lead his club & country.
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