Customer Reviews

38
4.7 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2012
Let me start by saying I have no interest in football... but don't let that put you off this absolutely brilliant book. If nothing else, this book gives justification to all those late drunken nights in the pub where we all have our best ideas.

Up Pohnpai is a fascinating read both funny and touching, it is truly mind boggling what Paul and Matt manage to achieve and the story of the Pohnpai football team will hold you captivated as you journey from toad infested pitches to the bright lights of Guam's polished football field of dreams.

The author's style is funny and personal and you will quickly build up a strong empathy for both the Island of Pohnpai and its future footballing stars. Although outside of my normal reading I cannot recommend this book enough so pick up a copy, sit back and enjoy the ride.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2012
When i read an article about this in FourFourTwo magazine i thought it was a brilliant and madcap idea,having blazed through this book my initial thought was spot on,a great read not only for football fans,but travellers,and anyone who does'nt know of the football loving toad community.As a disillusioned football fan it was superb to read the 2010 World Cup Final being compared to Guam v North Mariana Islands.Funny and sometimes moving.Loved it from cover to cover
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2012
Picked this up on kindle after seeing Paul on Soccer AM ages ago and finally got around to reading it. Wish I'd read it much earlier as it turned out to be a cracking book detailing his attempts to bring football to Pohnpei. An enjoyable book filled with some moments of real humour and you get a real sense of his desperation at times to try and make things work.

Would recommend to those even if you didn't have a great interest in football.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2012
What an amazing story ... if it was fiction you'd put it aside because 'it's too farfetched and total nonsense'! But, in fact it's a TRUE story, related with humour and charm showing what CAN be achieved with tenacity, resourcefulness and ... did I mention ... HUMOUR!!!

Well done to these two enterprising young men, to their back up team, their support network and their families ...

Treat yourself to this book ... ENJOY!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2012
I don't do drugs, but I'd love to try betel nut. This book will also make you want to do many other insane things. Engrossing, amusing and inspirational. I tend to get through two books a year. I've devoured this one in 4 days (well I'll be finishing it tonight actually). Fantasy becomes ambition, becomes reality, becomes responsibility.

Even though it's one of the most surreal true-life stories you could read, it is told in a way which is so easy to relate to because Paul's unwavering honesty makes it clear he is a normal bloke, just with a vivid imagination, Scott Parker-esque determination and an extra sprinkling of audacity. When sickly American TV proclaims that you can make dreams come true if you work hard enough, Paul Watson is testament to that (and Matt too).

It's no requirement to be a football fan for this at all. It's a life, travel and culture story as much as anything else. Buy it and you shan't be disappointed (unless it gets lost in the post).
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2012
I'd thoroughly recommend Up Pohnpei - it's an excellent book that's not just for sports fans. It's particularly refreshing to read about a true underdogs story on the other side of the world, and you'll learn a great deal about Micronesia too. Watson proves "the soul of football" is still out there - even if you have to go to the ends of the earth to find it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2012
I never review books, but this book is fantastic.

Even if you don't have too much interest in football, its a story we can all relate to in some way, shape or form.

Two lads with a dream, fantastic book. Really inspiring, they've changed football for the better in Pohnpei.

Would recommend this book to anybody, great read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2012
This book is truly amazing, read through twice already, not bored of it as it's similar to what I want to do later in my life, truly inspirational the leaps and bounds that pohnpei took in football after a self-proclaimed amateur coach like paul Watson just went over there to try and get an international cap and ended up changing the course of football in the whole country. Shows how powerful football is in the world with just one man and his best friends hunger for the game changing a nation, a small nation by all means but still a nation. Even if you don't like football it's still an extraudinary book on one mans travel to a place where you probably never heard of and by the look of a £2000 flight from England won't be keen to visit so why not read about it :)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2012
Fantastic read, about a footballing nation I'm sure very few had ever heard of. I'm tempted to book a flight out to Pohnpei to see how the team are progressing! Just goes to show what can be achieved with hard work and a strong team spirit.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 21 February 2015
I'm a huge fan of both football and reading, so a book about football is always likely to appeal to me as the best way of combining the two. Recently, I've read books set at the pinnacle of the game in "Life with Sir Alex: A Fan's Story of Ferguson's 25 Years at Manchester United" by Will Tidey and about one man's struggle to bring football to a foreign land in "Bamboo Goalposts" by Rowan Simons. ''Up Pohnpei'' is firmly in the latter category, treading very similar ground to Simons' book.

Frustrated at England needing Andorra to pull off an unlikely victory to achieve qualification for Euro 2008, Paul Watson and his friend Matt Conrad set about finding a national football team so bad that even they could win an international cap for them. Finding no encouragement in the official FIFA rankings, they stumble across the Micronesian island of Pohnpei and a description of them as the weakest football team in the world. So weak are they, in fact, that they were never known to have recorded a victory. Ever.

Even before they reach Pohnpei, Micronesia's residency laws look set to make their dream highly unlikely. But a chance meeting with a Pohnpeian shows that they don't have a national football coach and they could become the youngest national team coaches in the world instead. So Paul and Matt set about creating a team, but find they have to battle against the weather, the lack of basic facilities, the lack of a league from which to select their players, the high obesity rate and an almost national addiction to betel nut. Oh, and toads.

There is much to love about ''Up Pohnpei''. What particularly caught my eye is that Paul and Matt are just average guys. Admittedly, few of us can call upon a stand-up comedian brother to headline a fundraiser, but so often these books are written by people we could never hope to be. This is different, as what they do to raise funds and obtain equipment are the kinds of things that any of us could attempt. That said, the average person probably wouldn't take on such an endeavour in the first place.

What I most loved was that, despite the whole idea appearing to start as the result of a joke, Watson genuinely came to care about his team. His devotion to making a success of the attempt is clear and his upset when things go wrong and his frustration with people and things that stand in his way or generally prove more difficult than anticipated come across perfectly. Watson's emotional honesty is fully on display here and the book is all the better for it, as in his caring, the reader is drawn in and made to care themselves.

I was a little disappointed in how one-dimensional the book was. In "Bamboo Goalposts" by Rowan Simons, there was a lot about how the author struggled to fit into an entirely alien culture. Whilst that occasionally featured here, it was more in terms of how these cultural difficulties affected Watson's ability to communicate with his team and get the most from them, rather than how it affected his life on Pohnpei as a whole. Admittedly, it's not exactly a tourist hotspot and there are few places to visit, but the narrow focus made it feel as if he did nothing except football related activities.

I also found the ending to be a letdown. The end of Watson's involvement was the end of the book and it finished rather abruptly. I closed the book with the feeling that I'd been left hanging and there was more left to be told. Possibly these are recent events and there has been little time for further progress since Watson left, but I felt there was more to be told and that the story had been cut off partway.

Despite the narrowness of focus, this is a decent read. That a couple of average guys could come up with such a foolish idea but then work so hard towards that aim was inspiring. Seeing it change the author as well as the subject made for a more emotional experience than I expected. The limited focus makes it less well rounded than it could have been and may limit the readership, but for those football fans prepared to step out of the comfort zone around their favourite team, this is a well written book about football at a completely different level and reading it proves to be as rewarding an experience as watching your team win.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.