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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and fascinating
I am not sure if I am well qualified to review this book as I am not Irish, have only visited Dublin and have no knowledge of the Irish political or newspaper scene all of which feature extensively in Dunphy's memoirs.

I know of him simply as a skilful, slightly built midfield play-maker at York, Millwall and Reading who I watched in my youth and then as the...
Published 19 months ago by G. Waterman

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
I think eamon can be a bit contradictory and a bit self important but still enjoy his overall passion.On the whole an enjoyable read.
Published 14 months ago by John Twamley


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and fascinating, 10 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Rocky Road (Kindle Edition)
I am not sure if I am well qualified to review this book as I am not Irish, have only visited Dublin and have no knowledge of the Irish political or newspaper scene all of which feature extensively in Dunphy's memoirs.

I know of him simply as a skilful, slightly built midfield play-maker at York, Millwall and Reading who I watched in my youth and then as the author of a groundbreaking account of the angst and reality of being a footballer. "Only a Game" changed the way I looked at the sport and opened my eyes as to how footballers thought and were treated ,generally as replaceable serfs.

His new book is again beautifully written and indeed paints elegiac pictures of his poor but happy childhood. It then provides one of the best written accounts I have read about a football career and how he served at the whim and behest of a variety of megalomaniac managers and chairmen.

Not without learning pains he then reinvents himself as a writer and journalist where he is not slow to castigate cant and hypocrisy wherever he finds it.

There is much here about his feud with Jack Charlton who he thinks brought Irish football back into the dark ages despite his success.

The book ends abruptly in 1990 so there is hopefully more to come and more gaps to fill.

Whilst as I said a proportion of this book was lost on me, more than enough remained for me to luxuriate over - a lovely, lyrical and thought provoking read that demonstrated Dunphy against the world and how he sometimes but not always came out on top.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual footballer's autobiography, 24 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Rocky Road (Hardcover)
Let's get the facts straight before I start: I bought this book because Eamon Dunphy was a gifted player for my hometown team Reading in the 1970s and because he wrote an intelligent and honest column for the Reading Evening Post each week. I also met him a couple of times after games when my sister and I used to do the classic young football fan thing and wait after a game to spot our heroes. I have followed his career ever since, buying his biographies of U2 and Matt Busby and, of course, the original book 'Only A Game?' which was perhaps the first book by a professional footballer to 'tell it like it is' for the unglamorous lower division footballer.

Now for this new book - an autobiography of a fascinating life written by an accomplished writer. The reason for reviewing this book (it's my first online review) is that I wonder whether this excellent book will suffer from falling between two stools; ignored by the football fan because he wasn't a big name player with a top division club, missed by people who aren't interested in footballer's biographies.

I'll forgive him for only spending seven pages on his two years at Reading because this is a book with a much wider range than a potted football career. Dunphy tells a familiar tale of a financially poor but loving family upbringing, interlaced with politics, sport, injustice and redemption. Spotted by Manchester United he spends five years in youth and reserve teams before leaving for a career in the lower divisions, but gives us a training ground perspective on some of the legends of the game including Best, Law, Charlton and Giles in the aftermath of the Busby Babes and Munich.

There is politics, journalism, religion and football, with characteristically fierce battles over all of them. In fact, 'fierce' is a fine description of Dunphy's character, as well as stubborn, awkward, principled and honest. He managed to cause trouble wherever he went, including his two years at Reading which ended with the Board of Directors instructing the manager to sell him, then charting an unconventional path as a football writer who strayed into politics and religion, and a TV pundit who was almost lynched for criticising the national team. All well written, clear-eyed and self-critical book by a true original. Surprise yourself and buy it, and if it leads you to more of his books, then great!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anglo Irish Disagreement, 27 Aug. 2014
By 
Dog trainer (failed) (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Rocky Road (Hardcover)
You absolutely must read the one star review here by Sean Morrison. He describes himself as an Irish Nationalist and rails against Dunphy the 'Anti Irish Clown'. Thanks, Sean, for illustrating the Official Ireland mindset that Eamon deconstructs so devastatingly.

It's a brilliant book. Well written, passionately argued, sometimes uninformed, but always riveting. So Eamon is a bit dodgy on the roots, methodology and motivations underpinning Loyalism. On everything else he is a sound man, and a great tonic for we Anglo Nationalists who have to live alongside 'true' Nationalists like Sean Morrison, and, God help us, bog Irish speakers and 'enlightened' Nationalists like Gerry Adams.

What do you do, Sean, if you are Irish, living in N Ireland, and embrace all things Anglo? What if you see that old fraud De Valera with his strapping lads and comely lasses dancing at the crossroads, as a moron? What if you were born a Catholic but do not see why such a corrupt institution should enjoy a 'special' place in the governance of the country? What if you were forced to play that culchie game gaelic football at school and you think the GAA should have its ass kicked from here to kingdom come? What if you despise republicanism just as much as you loathe loyalism?

Should we move to England, as you suggest to Eamon? No! Anglos must unite and buy Eamon's book. Together we can teach Republicans and Loyalists how to hold their knives and forks properly. Maybe even get one or two of them to speak intelligible English. And for God's sake get rid of the bloody Irish language street names. The greatest gift the English ever gave us was their beautiful, complex, subtle, flexible, enchanting, contradictory, paradoxical, irregular and exquisite language.

We will never civilise the true Gaels and the 'loyal' Brits here, never release them from their squalid and vicious little turf war, but we can have a damned good laugh at them ... he he, ha ha ...

Very well played, Eamon. A little self serving at times, somewhat consciously self deprecating at others, but a wonderful read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 23 Feb. 2014
This review is from: The Rocky Road (Kindle Edition)
I think eamon can be a bit contradictory and a bit self important but still enjoy his overall passion.On the whole an enjoyable read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A FOOTBALL AUTOBIOGRAPHY WITH A DIFFERENCE, 1 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Rocky Road (Paperback)
First class read. This is certainly a very different football biography than the reader normally expects from a retired football professional. Eamon Dunphy writes with understanding and thought. Yes he was a professional footballer gracing the stage of several football clubs, and yes he is a professional journalist who writes about football, particularly Irish football, but he is not afraid to open the can of worms which is the age old gripe of football hierarchy, the powers that be are in it for themselves, nobody else. Eamon Dunphy it would appear has become an 'enfant terrible' of the Irish football structure, a whistle-blower who reveals all the ills of the sport, but also expresses his views.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in football, and how it works, and as a bonus a brief and general insight into Irish politics, and how that has worked over the last thirty years
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 23 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Rocky Road (Kindle Edition)
Great read one of the books of the year so far.i would recommend it to non sports fans too .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished, 11 May 2014
This review is from: The Rocky Road (Kindle Edition)
A very good read but ends abruptly. Does not cover his radio days. Very little about his personal life during and after his playing days. Worth the read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One long boring rant., 19 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Rocky Road (Kindle Edition)
I'm a fan of Dunphy on tv, but this book is just a rant about all facets of life in ireland. He just seems to be one of these people who have worked in England for a time and now Ireland and most of the irish are just not up to scratch.
You could always leave Eamonn. You seem to have turned into one of these bluffer's you're always on about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 2 Jan. 2014
This review is from: The Rocky Road (Hardcover)
An absolutely fantastic account of an interesting life. Extremely candid and laced with Dunphy's passion throughout.

If you take anything from the book it's the fact that Eamon is a brilliant writer first and foremost and a football pundit second.

Very much looking forward to the second book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 7 April 2014
This review is from: The Rocky Road (Kindle Edition)
looking forward to part 2, is it just me or does the cover kinda look like a box Alpen. the end
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The Rocky Road
The Rocky Road by Eamon Dunphy (Hardcover - 7 Oct. 2013)
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