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4.4 out of 5 stars40
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2012
Mark Chester's guerrilla approach to that which is before him resulted not only in his spearheading the rise of S.C.F.C.'s Naughty 40, it has also resulted in a genre defying appraisal of his life. Honesty was evidently the frame upon which he stretched his story, Mark Chester has gone toe to toe with his past, present, future and hardest of all for anyone, himself. Instead of a football special/coach hire travelogue of bad half-time pies and tough boozers he has approached this project the way that he has lived his life, as a game casual. While there are of course accounts of brawling as an adrenaline sport, mayhem as a pastime and when the rolled dice dictated it violence as a tool, there is a depth of articulation that belies public perception. This is not just another volume produced for a firm's profile and trophy cabinet; it is an erudite literary exploration of a subculture which is part of the national sport and working class culture while often still remaining beyond the ken of a wider society. Hooligans, casuals, thugs, pick your epithet, are as similar and unique as any other social grouping; the empathy and pathos with which many of the tales are told show a support network and humanity unthinkable to those who cannot comprehend that these men and boys are not demons grown in test tubes. Naughty is a piece of social history which anyone who is interested in how society works, or just well written truthful literature, will enjoy. Mark Chester has given us a reflection of his life told not with smoke and mirrors, but with the swashbuckling valour that was his stock in trade. This is autobiography tackled as if taking an end, get in the middle of it of it and stand. There's a couple of poems in there that some say aren't bad either.
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on 3 February 2004
Just finished reading this book and must say that it is probably the best book of its genre.
It is not simply a repetitive tale of " we did so & so with 30 lads" followed by more of the same. The book actually gives an insight into the main characters, most noticibly the author himself, which must have taken some courage to open up his past life but also admits when the N40 or the Under 5's get a slap.
Coming from a northern industrial town, it's easy to relate to the relationships and camaraderie that are built, especially being a Burnley fan.
This is no comparison to the bilge that the Brimson brothers trot out and comes across as a genuine and honest account.
If you like Hoolifan & the Naughty Nineties, buy this book!
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on 17 November 2014
Really enjoyed this book nice to read that you admitted to getting a kicking unlike some others who think the are invisible
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on 12 February 2014
This was not what I expected and is rather repetitive and to be quite honest, its a bit boring really
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on 23 May 2014
Starts out ok for firs chapter after that just boring,boring,boring,boring,boring!boring,boring,boring,boring,did I fall asleep there,---boring,boring!boring,boring did I mention that this book is boring.
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on 6 January 2014
Not a bad read split into three sections. The first section was very enjoyable but the second two just didn't work for me. Became a chore to read!
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on 31 January 2004
Having bought every book on football hooliganism and terrace culture within the last fifteen years and having been an ex member of a firm myself, I treat most of the books in the same manner,most of them being biased one sided accounts of that particular firms encounters against rival opposition.
But the NAUGHTY FORTY book is one of the better books to have hit the bookshelves with Mark Chester giving a fairly obvious honest account of events and the social side of being involved in a firm.
The book is clearly tailored for "lad culture" and those who study the enigma of football violence.
Some accounts willbe shocking to those who are uninitiated but relevant and common to those who have participated or are stillactive.
Mark Chester uses a verytrue quotation in the book when he states that"only those who have had that adrenalin rush from organised football violence" can relate to what it is all about, there are many who try to explain the reasons why people get involved in the violence but they are only looking in from the outside, thus making this book good reading from those who have actually been there and understand what the attraction is.
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on 17 May 2014
I purchased it for my son who tells me it was an electric read! He could not put it down!
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on 2 October 2003
What can i say? This book is both powerful and exciting.
I have read a fair few 'hooligan' books as it is a topic i am interested in and studying. This is probably the most strongest one i have read so far and certainly showed me into the world of a football hooligan, that it isn't just about the violence and the football team. It details the life and trials of Mark Chester and you can almost relate to ecerything that he is saying. It wasn't a book just about fighting it was a brillant insight to a retired hooligan telling us about the culture of a 'firm'. I would reccommend this book to anyone, it is superbly written and extremely fascinating, i know i didn't want to put it down! Whats more is that it is written with pure honesty which is a rarity in many cases and is nothing but a credit to the author. Well done!
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on 12 November 2015
Great all round story as it wasn't just about one person but a life around the big picture..great stuff
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