6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Football Factory (Paperback)
Interesting and disturbing depiction of a contemporary working-class Londoner. The novel portrays a bleak England which has little to offer its poor, white natives. The central character--who one imagines must be loosely based on the author--is a nasty man, whose one outlet is football hooliganism. A Chelsea fan, he defines his existence not around actual matches and scores, so much as he does around the pre and post-match violence (if any). The book seems to suggest that for him, and his ilk, society has nothing to offer and he must retreat to the camaraderie of his fighting friends to find any release and meaning in his existence. The chapters alternate between focusing on the main character on match days, and peripheral characters (some only barely related to the novel at all) and slices of London life. Despite the very raw descriptions of violence and sex, the writing is too deft, and the message too sharp for the book to be considered a mere cult novel. King's subsequent novels, Headhunters, England Away, and Human Punk are all equally vital--if not as raw--reading. Great non-fiction companions to this book are Colin Ward's classic, Steaming In, and Nick Danziger's Danziger's Britain.