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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 1999
Shindler writes with a passion for his subject and a long, painful knowledge of Man City but this is spoilt by a clumsy and leaden style. This is surprising for someone who repeatedly reminds us that he is a Cambridge history graduate who has spent his whole working life in TV and the arts. His most irritating trait in this book is to tantalise us with hints of interesting tales but without delivering the goods. Thus we learn that in the late 1960s, the sublime Colin Bell had all the ingredients of a happy life - E-type Jag, great talent, successful career, big house - but was miserable. Why ? Colin Shindler is so astonished he forgets to ask. Twenty years later he catches up with Bell again - and still we learn nothing about the great man ! Similarly, we never learn why the great rapport that Shindler shared with his sports-mad uncle turned to disaffection. What went wrong ? This book has some funny anecdotes (though the Bobby Kennedy story on page one is the best) and some moving passages such as the loss of his mother when still a young boy, but ultimately it fails to deliver on its early promise. A lot like Man City really... Not a bad book but not even nearly in the same division as Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' and as a fellow Blues supporter who really wanted to like this book, it is hard to have to say that.
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on 19 February 2015
First and foremost - this book has very little to do with Manchester United, although it is a good title to "draw you in". The book is about a) being Jewish ( and quite repetitively) b) Manchester City and c) Lancashire cricket. Manchester United only really feature every time they beat City, which is frequently. Basically, though, the emphasis is on his Jewish upbringing and whilst there are some sharp observations and amusing comments it gets repetitive. I am from the same era and location as Shindler and I understand the difficulty and potential loneliness acutely....but it didnt need quite so much obsessive focus. Great idea, and great Bobby Kennedy joke, but ran out of steam very quickly. Great shame.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 29 February 2000
What we have here is a well written book documenting the rise, fall, rise, fall, rise a little bit then fall straight into division two Manchester City. Don't be fooled though as the book deals with more than sport and therein the book stumbles. Without sounding too unfeeling, I found that the middle section of the book about Shindler's mother dying and his loss of faith afterwards somewhat heavy reading. The books apex comes unsurprisingly when City win the league in '68, but no-one remembers because of Uniteds victory in the European Cup of the same year. And, as the author states himself, all of City's achievements have been overshadowed by their nearest neighbour this book is also overshadowed by Hornby's Fever-Pitch but is still nonetheless a very worthwhile read
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2000
I haven't been able to put this book down and have started to read it for the second time. I hope that there will be a sequel. Colin Shindler is a superb author and he has put pen to paper and provided an unbiased opinion on what it is like to be a Man City Fan and why Man City have the best fans in the world.
The very title of the book has been selected to entice those masses that would have ignored it had it been titled "Manchester City shaped my life - thank's be to God".
It's good reading and is a must for any football fan, it's honest, funny and is a gem of a book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 1999
Shindler writes with a passion for his subject and a long knowledge of it but this is spoilt by a clumsy and leaden style ... his most irritating trait in this book is to tantalise us with hints of interesting tales but without delivering the goods. Thus we learn that in the late 1960s, the sublime Colin Bell had all the ingredients of a happy life - E-type Jag, great talent, succesful career, big house - but was miserable. Why ? Colin forgets to ask. Twenty years later he catches up with Bell again - and we still learn nothing about the man ! Similarly, we never learn why the great rapport that Shindler shared with his sports-mad uncle turned to disaffection. What went wrong ? This book has some funny anecdotes (though the Bobby Kennedy story on page one is the best) and some moving passages such as the tragic loss of his mother when still a young boy, but ultimately it fails to deliver on its early promise. A lot like Man City, really... Not a bad book but not even nearly in the same division as Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' and as a fellow Blues supporter who really wanted to enjoy this book, it is hard to have to say that.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 1999
The best part of this book is the title. It is also the worst because it promises so much which the book fails to deliver. The beautifully crafted Bobby Kennedy joke on page one promises a wry and witty obsessional memoir. But all it delivers is the obsession. Perhaps the target audience, more familiar with Fantasy Football League, Nick Hornby and Match of the Seventies, are not going to be too interested in obscure detail from games played more than thirty years ago, but there is nevertheless a bulk of it recalled from a patently obsessive mind. Although there are occasional and wonderful flashes of ironic sharpness (for example, the Titanic-wreck depths when City fans start to chant, "are you watching Macclesfield") he cannot sustain it. I chuckled out loud over his uncle Laurence, perpetually embattled with the MCC (yes, it is a book about cricket too), draping his shirt over the Lords sign forbidding them to be removed; but it was the only time I did. This is a shame because watching Manchester City over the last decade ought to have produced funnier material than we are given ...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2000
Although I am 10 years younger than the author, I too lived through those times of the late 60's & early 70's.
Being born in Salford and having spent my time at Old Trafford (supporting every other team other than Man Utd) and the real Old Trafford supporting Lancashire cricket, I shared the same feelings as Colin.
The days of Best,Charlton,Law, as well as Bell, Summerbee & Doyle........Clive Lloyd,Jack Bond,Jack Simmons,Farouk Engineer are times never to be repeated. The famous victories and incidents written about as well as growing up during those times made me weep uncontrollably....having emigrated to South Africa in 1974 & then to Australia in 2000 the precious memories of those early days documented in the book just came flooding back...
A wonderful book......a true & rare gem!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 1999
What we have here is a well written book documenting the rise, fall, rise, fall, rise a little bit then fall straight into division two Manchester City. Don't be fooled though as the book deals with more than sport and therein the book stumbles. Without sounding too unfeeling, I found that the middle section of the book about Shindler's mother dying and his loss of faith afterwards somewhat heavy reading. The books apex comes unsurprisingly when City win the league in '68, but no-one remembers because of Uniteds victory in the European Cup of the same year. And, as the author states himself, all of City's achievements have been overshadowed by their nearest neighbour this book is also overshadowed by Hornby's Fever-Pitch but is still nonetheless a very worthwhile read.
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on 7 December 2014
Just as it was described, very excited to give this as a Christmas present.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 1999
For any Manchester City fan out there , this a book not to be missed!It will make you realise that you are not alone in your plight.This book incooporates the story of a jewish boy living in Manchester who,(unfortunately for him at some points in the book!) is a Manchester City fan.It incooporates the highs and lows of his struggle against the evil red men on the other side of the city.
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