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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite brilliant
Firstly let me get one thing straight - I'm not a football fan and I have no real interest in the Dutch. But with Brilliant Orange, David Winner seems to have cast these minor inconveniences aside and written a masterful analysis of the Dutch psyche, using football, (and specifically the 1970's team of Cruyff, Kieser, Rep et al) as a counterpoint to their particular...
Published on 30 Jun 2000

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK read...
To respond to the praise heaped upon this book, I just want to say that I thought it was an OK read, but not 5 stars - what is it...War and Peace ?

There is a tendency with football literature to be responded to in exalting terms for merely mentioning anything over and above football - so it is in this book and so it is that sp many readers have responded with...
Published on 4 Aug 2009 by TheSublimeSupine


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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Sep 2014
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GREAT BOOK ABOUT TOTAL FOOTBALL
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Orange - Is Brilliant, 7 Aug 2005
By 
Graeme Parker - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Brilliant Orange - The neurotic genius of dutch football.

This fascinating book goes way beyond football. The main aim seems to be to explain Holland's fantastic footballing skills and how they still fail to deliver on the big stage.

David Winner takes the reader from the first developments in dutch football through to explaining or at least trying to explain the idea of total football, the great tensions between Holland and Germany and the in fighting of most dutch teams. All this is intertwined by deep discussions relating to Holland's place in the world, its art, economy and politics.

The book does touch on complex and debatable issues but that is what makes it. This is certainly not recommended for information on tactics or statistics; it really is a book about Holland and the Dutch. Well recommended, most people I'm sure will learn a great deal from the stories told here!

Graeme Parker
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 17 Dec 2014
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All as it should be
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting read for uninitiated, 3 Jan 2012
By 
Ms. Victoria L. Brown "vlb1967" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book provides an interesting insight and some theories into the plight of Dutch football. It looks at Dutch society, culture and history to try to explain why the Netherlands are so good but usually fail to win major toutrnaments. Only criticism is the short chapter on the influenece of religion/Calvinism.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful book, missed a small but important point, 24 April 2009
I've been interested in Dutch Football on and off over the years and have always followed their international team with interest. David Winner's idea of linking different elements of Dutch society, art, architecture, politics and football using key themes is quite unusual and insightful.

The book works well, I found it a great read, especially the interviews with former Dutch greats like Arnold and Gerrie Muhren and Johnny Rep. There's also an interesting point on Guus Hiddink, currently interim Chelsea manager, who struggled with racial division within the dutch camp and didn't deal with it especially well. But time and managing South Korea, Australia, PSV, Russia and Chelsea has obviously changed perspective.

Winner mentions the Dutch trait of making space (shown to great effect in total football) and also compartentalisation and separation. But he doesn't mention apartheid, one of the few Dutch/Afrikaans words commonly used in English (although less now, thank God). Apartheid means separateness and was used to devastating effect in South Africa and its most vigorous opponents were often those of Dutch descent (eg Hendrik Verwoerd).

Apartheid wasn't mentioned at all and whilst I obviously didn't expect it to occupy a large part of the book, it does highlight one of the key Dutch traits and some space should have been devoted to it.

Nevertheless, it was a thoroughly enjoyable book and highly recommended for anyone interested in football and art, culture and history.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Drivel, 19 Sep 2012
Really really awful. A typical theory is that the Dutch invented the passing game as the land is so level and flat...words to that effect. I would say that this is the worst book I have ever read, but I threw it away by page 80. This gives us all hope of becoming a published writer!
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