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Lake Half Empty and Half Full
on 4 December 2012
Paul Lake is clearly a deeper thinker than many former sportsmen, and this autobiography charts the arc of his injury-wrecked career, in which multiple set-backs gave him far more time to sit back and think than he would want, leading ultimately to deep depression. The football-memoir sector of the book world is becoming a crowded market-place, and I read this straight after Mark Ward's book Hammered. Perhaps Lake's book suffers a little by comparison in terms of writing style, dramatic incident and comic relief, but it is still a compelling tale, and one that is hard to put down. Howard Kendall comes out like a shining beacon in both books, and neither writer shies away from naming and shaming fellow professionals and managers who fall short of their expectations. Unlike Hammered, however, this ends with the writer having apparently found himself a new, happy niche in life, and good luck to him, because what I really take from this is a new appreciation of what footballers go through and how fragile their chosen career is. They need to realise that for themselves though, and reading this book should be a must for all of those currently in the game, as well as the rest of us baying advice for the terraces.