Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
 (20)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally gripping - a brilliant account of a tragic life., 23 May 2014
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
Amazon should add an extra star for books this good.
I started to read this book the day it arrived and I became totally hooked. By the next afternoon I'd finished reading it. I then read it again. I've read a great number of Arsenal books and other football biographies but this one beats them all.
The author takes very little credit for his work but he's doing himself an injustice. Far from being "just an editor" he's created a masterpiece in football literature that sets a standard for others to better. This book was not knocked out in six months like some I've read. Stewart Taylor (not the former Arsenal goalkeeper in case you're wondering) spent five years researching and writing Stuck in a Moment and it shows. All the facts come from those that knew Paul Vaessen: his brother and his parents; old school friends; those he played football with as a kid and at Arsenal, ex-wives and partners; other family members and those he did drugs with. Many of them suffered as a result of Paul's drug addiction.
The author didn't need to use his imgination to fill in the gaps - there are no gaps. Twice I was brought close to tears. That's not something that happens easily with me. There's alot of emotion in this story.
There's alot of feeling, especially in modern football, that players are overpaid and that their lives are one long pleasure cruise. This may be true for some but for every Ronaldo, Messi or Rooney there must be 50 would-be professionals who are rejected by clubs or who are unfortunate to be injured before they achieve their dreams. Stuck in a Moment highlights what can happen to those who are unable to cope with the heartache or when there's no support system in place to help them adjust to the normal life the rest of us have to live.
You don't have to be a football fan to enjoy this book - anyone who apreciates good literature will love it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The rise and fall of a footballing hero, 10 Jun. 2014
By 
Leslie T. Crang "plasticspam" (london,uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
I recently finished the sad story of Paul Vaessen by Stewart Taylor. For those with little knowledge, Paul is remembered by Arsenal fans for scoring a last minute goal against Juventus in Turin, in the Semi of the European cup winners cup as an 18 year old. 3 years later he retired with knee problems and died before he was 40 from a drug overdose. Hardly a cheerful subject?

Stewart Taylor though has spent 7 years on this opus, talking to family, friends, fans and ex team mates. Writing on such a subject is not easy I should imagine, but Taylor shirks no punches. He never makes Paul of as 'a fallen hero' and actually is quite frank thank Paul as his Mum Maureen say 'could be a b******' on occasions.

To me though, the stand out part for me on the book is how people cope with addictions in a family. Paul, in losing his love of football, steadily declines into addiction and that addiction causes a lot of heart ache for his family. You really empathise with his family, especially his mum, Maureen.

Many will say Paul should have seeked help, but back then, such things as Tony Adams 'sporting chance' didn't exist. Also, as Tony Adams says in the book, its very difficult for addicts to change there lifestyle and very few do.

In conclusion, this is a great book on football, addiction and family but incredibly sad. As a cautionary tale on addiction it really does hit all the high notes.

RIP Paul Vaessen
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read tale of every teenager footballer's dreams…and nightmares, 20 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
To be honest i wasn't sure how much there would be to know about a player who was in the Arsenal first team for a few years. I vaguely remembered his name and "that" goal but…it was just one goal right? Wrong. Covering the amazing story of every youth player's dreams. Paul was a physically strong lad at a young age, dominating his local club games after school. Before long there was interest from several big London clubs and encouragement from his Dad (who knew the ropes). The world looked rosy. The power of this book is how that dream can suddenly become a nightmare inflicted by a reckless tackle and then the months spent in painful recovery and creeping awareness that he would never be the same player again. The compelling aspect of this book is that its all true. The tragedy of this truth is that it happened right in front of so many people ; the AFC, the first team players and friends and perhaps most sad of all, those that loved Paul ; his family. This was a book I picked up thinking, how much would there be to read about a player who didn't win the FA Cup or Premiership (First Div)…..in the end i couldn't put it down. It haunted me for weeks afterwards ; a compelling , gritty read about the tragedy of bad timing and bad luck plus self destruction. Read this even if you don't support Arsenal because its a life lesson.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpeice., 28 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
This book should win sports book of the year.
It gripped me from start to finish.
Ive never read a book that has brought me to tears and shocked me like this one.
You would have to be made of stone not to be moved.
Its honestly the saddest story ive ever read.
In this age of superstar footballers on 300,000 pound a week its even more shocking this story is only 30 years old.
In fact every young pro footballer should read it, to make them see how lucky they are now if nothing else.
This young man went from having the world at his feet to having nothing in such a short space of time it will make your head spin.
Huge credit must go to Stewart Taylor the author, for his first book to be this good he should very proud.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A tragic, compelling story, 12 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
Put simply, one of the finest books I've ever read. A must-have for Gooners, though this books extends far beyond North London and, indeed, football, by telling an utterly compelling human story of lost hope and a heartbreaking fall from grace.
Typically a slow, methodical reader, I flew through Stewart's book in a couple of days. To use a well-soiled cliche, I found it nigh on impossible to put down and, as the story reached its tragic conclusion, I started to mourn its impending end. I would gladly have read another couple of hundred pages, so well crafted, researched and gripping is this book.
As another reviewer has posted, this has to be a contender for Sports Book of the Year, or possibly Of All Time, such is its dark magnificence. Featuring interviews with Arsenal players and staff from Paul's era, as well as his family, friends and others, Stewart skillfully creates a narrative that grips the reader throughout - a tremendous effort from a debut author.
Paul's is a cautionary tale for all who think they couldn't succumb to the demons that bedeviled him in his short life. He will forever have a place in history as a consequence of the header that saw Arsenal through to the Cup Winners' Cup Final; and while his sad descent will, for some, define him, we are left wondering how Paul's life may have turned out without the knee injury that wrecked his career and was the trigger for his addictive personality to lead him towards heroin.
I choose to remember him as the young man, bedecked in yellow and blue, who silenced the Stadio Comunale, Turin, in April 1980. Thanks Paul, and rest in peace.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars In an era when Arsenal FC boasts of having xx ..., 2 Jan. 2015
By 
S. Wooldridge "minicab" (Victoria, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
In an era when Arsenal FC boasts of having xx million Facebook followers and 90%+ of their "supporters" have never been to a game this is in part a reminder that it was only a generation or so ago that the players were virtually indistinguishable from the fans in terms of their upbringing, values, ideals, where they lived etc. Paul Vaessen didn't play that many games for Arsenal (about 30) and reading this book I worked out that I was present at about half of those games. It took me back to a simpler and in many ways more innocent age.
Thrust into the limelight at a very young age by scoring a crucial goal Paul Vaessen should've gone on to a 100 goals+ career for "The Arsenal". (Most interviewees in the book add "The" prior to "Arsenal" - another throwback to a different age.) But his career was cut short by injury and from there a descent into drugs, petty crime and death at a shockingly young age.
You don't need to be an Arsenal fan to read this book and identify with Paul Vaessen.
The author speaks to dozens of ex-players, friends and associates and pulls together a fascinating story. There are a couple of minor factual errors but they don't detract from the overall experience.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional, thought provoking book., 6 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
Gripping, harrowing, sad, even at times funny, in the darkest possible way, this book is an absolute must read.

This is a brutally honest and in depth tale of a mans brief moment of glory, followed by his tragic decline into the depths of addiction, and the pain that that brings to the addict himself, and to all those around him.

Unfortunately for Paul, as much as his 'moment' was something he carried with him for the rest of his life, I believe no matter how his football career had turned out, he was always heading for a life of addiction.

He dabbled with drugs as a young teenager, and on his own admission, had he not had football he would very possibly of turned to a life of crime in any case.

Given the character that emerged to me in this wonderful book, I believe even a full and successful football career would of just been putting off an inevitable journey into drug addiction and crime, once the placebo that was his football was over, whenever that might have been.

An emotional, thought provoking book.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 28 July 2014
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
Heartbreaking true story of someone who had it all and then had it taken away from him so cruelly. Through all of his troubles, Paul seemed liked a likeable man and although I knew the tragedy that unfolded, I found myself wishing and praying that it would have a happy ending. Alas, it wasn't to be and although this left me with a lump in my throat a number of times, it really was a great read. Stewart Taylor has done a fantastic job teleporting you back to the days when footballers weren't the super rich, supermen we see today and the thought of a football hero who finished on the scrap heap and forgotten by those who chanted his name pulls at your heart strings.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that is both compelling and harrowing. A ..., 12 July 2014
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
A book that is both compelling and harrowing. A warts and all account of the Bermondsey boy who had a dream start coming off the subs bench at 18 years of age to score the goal against Juventus that took Arsenal to a European Cup Winners Cup Final. But there’s no fairytale ending as just over 3 years later injuries force him out of the game. Real life then kicks in and we see the brutal and destructive power of addiction and the devastating impact it has on individuals, their family and friends.

This is a riveting read, if at times an uncomfortable one.

Thanks to the Vaessen family, Stewart Taylor & GCR Books for allowing us to share 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Juventus 0 Arsenal 1 (Vaessen, 88), 15 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen (Hardcover)
An excellent book, brilliantly researched and told. Vaessen's story is tragic, just shows how a footballer can have it all in front of them and then it's taken away with one horrendous challenge. Thankfully things medically have moved on greatly (think Ramsey, Eduardo) that these days players can recover but it wasn't like that in the early 80's. He never recovered from the high football gave him and ultimately Heroin replaced it. I can still remember celebrating that goal against Juventus listening to a crackling radio 2 with my Dad. I recommend this book highly and would not be surprised if it was the sports book of the year.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen
Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen by Stewart Taylor (Hardcover - 8 Aug. 2014)
£18.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews