Customer Review

8 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Fair, Not all True & a new Spin Doctor that is Duncan Hamiltion, 10 Jun 2008
This review is from: Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough (Paperback)
I'm afraid I'm going to have to go against the grain on this one.

When I first picked this book up, & read John Motson's quote on the front cover "One of the best football books I've ever read", I thought I was onto something.

What I found was that Duncan Hamilton has 'pillaged' Brian Clough's character here. For example. Whenever something positive came up in a subject, Duncan Hamilton found it in himself to point to the negative & not dig deep into how Brian Clough reached his successes & share that with us. He spun things in such a way that reality was changed to suit Duncan Hamilton's small mindedness. Duncan Hamilton does not share with you that Brian Clough recognised Duncan Hamilton as an ambitious young journalist who Brian Clough helped out like no other journalist in his time. Not once does Duncan Hamilton thank Brian Clough for helping him out in his career & recognise the fact that without Brian Clough, Duncan Hamilton would never have been heard of. Duncan Hamilton's 'other work' will never be recognised because it isn't any good. All the time through this book I was waiting for something riveting to spring from the pages. All that sprung from the pages was a journalist that got lucky, by being so close to a legend, that is Brian Clough, who took a couple of 'ordinary' Football clubs to the top of the old 1st division & for one of the them, to 2 European Cup successes, Duncan Hamilton picked up the controversial moments & spun them in such a way that he felt he could gain his own lime light rather than share the truth. I can't help but feel that this book was written by Duncan Hamilton for his own financial gain rather than to share his knowledge on Brian Clough. I think neither Brian Clough's family, nor what were his close confidents, will take any pleasure out of what has been written in this book. Justice has not been done in this book & to continue to be honest, this book read quite flat.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jun 2008 18:04:31 BDT
W. Ginno says:
I would have to disagree with Johnboy257's view of 'Provided you don't kiss me'. Hamilton's portrayal of Clough is far from the 'pilaging' that the reviewer attributes. The author's tone is anything but judgementmal. I would go so far as to state that Hamilton is almost reverential of the man, on a personal and proffessional level, likening him to a father figure at points (p247).

Hamilton acknowledges the opportunities and incredible access that Clough gave him, and the part that Clough played in shaping his individual growth from a nervous young reporter, stuttering and stammering in Clough's office, to his current position as an author and journalist. I personally got the impression that Hamilton was reluctant to go into detail about Clough's adversities, in particular his descent into alcoholism. However, Hamilton IS an author and a journalist; you cannot write a biography and gloss over the bits that are uncomfortable.

Clough was a complex man: a great manager, a charismatic figure, but a man was flaws like any other; in the word's of the author, 'he was like a Russian doll- many other Cloughs hidden beneath the one on view'. (p254)

I would whole heartedly recommend reading this book and making up your own mind. For me, 'Provided...' is a sensitive, rather than sensational portrayal and left me wanting to find out more about of Old Big 'ed.

Posted on 4 Jul 2008 07:18:32 BDT
Think you must be thinking of a different book mate. This analysis couldn't be further from the truth, in almost every particular.

Posted on 9 Sep 2008 16:37:23 BDT
Gatsby says:
I can only think that you have completely misundertood the book.
As I read it, I thought it was the most sensitive and moving portrayal of BC that I have ever read. I was in tears at the end and felt the author's heartache at the loss of a mentor and father figure.
Read it again and read it properly

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2008 15:38:34 BDT
John McBride says:
Thanks for your comment to my posting. I felt, & still do, that there is an undercurent running in this book that was using Brian Clough's name for financial game.

With Best Regards,

Johnboy 257

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2008 15:39:45 BDT
John McBride says:
Not sure if your comment was meant for me? Let me ask, "do you agree or disagree with my review?"

Best,

Johnboy 257

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2008 15:51:19 BDT
John McBride says:
Hi Gatsby,

I've read the book, as I do with all the books that I purchase. I do also however take emotion out when I read & have my mind open. I followed Brian Clough's career & yes, controversial & outspoken he may have been, but for me, Duncan Hamilton found an old 'heirloom' in his attic & sold it in the name of Brian Clough.

I didn't think much of Duncan Hamilton's writing either, but hey, we're all entitled to our own opinions but considering I paid for the book, I'm entitled to pass mine on too.
Best,

Johnboy257

Posted on 2 Apr 2010 14:09:40 BDT
Gessa says:
Whilst respecting John's obvious passion, I disagree with his review particularly in the author's admission and deference to the part Clough played in his own career. Episodes such as phoning him daily to help reduce his stammer, allowing him on the team bus and even asking Hamilton's boss to give him a pay rise. I would agree with W. Ginno that Hamilton likens Clough to his own Father and respects immensely the family background that gave Clough his moral and political ideologies. As to profiting from the name/subject of Clough, I for one am far more happy to see Hamilton's observations of Clough in the public domain, rather than lost for all time.

Posted on 13 Oct 2010 15:38:22 BDT
plushpig says:
"Duncan Hamilton's 'other work' will never be recognised because it isn't any good."
Two words: "Harold Larwood"

Posted on 22 Jun 2013 02:03:41 BDT
Saucy Jack says:
I agree with Gatsby. As the author would only too readily concede Brian Clough was the best thing that ever happened him. I too was in tears by the end. Super book.
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