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Back from the Brink: The Autobiography Hardcover – 5 Oct 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Century; First Edition edition (5 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846050766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846050763
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"As survivor's tales go, this is brutalist epic...McGrath's narrative has a stark honesty." (Sean O'Hagan The Observer Sport Monthly)

"Continuing the trend of brutal honesty which was popularised by Paul Gascoigne's autobiography, McGrath's book is difficult to read for anyone with an ounce of human kindness, especially those who marvelled at his ability from the Old Trafford terraces... Beautifully written." (Manchester Evening News)

"Laceratingly honest...remarkably unflinching" (Mail on Sunday)

"A startling, harrowing read... far removed from the churn-em-out footballing autobiographies...This is an uncompromising tale, wonderfully told, about one of our most talented and disturbed sporting heroes." (Hugh Farrelly Irish Independent)

"Heartbreaking...poingnant" (Robert Philip Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The autobiography of the greatest defender of the 1980s and 90s --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a story about a man wrestling with addiction while being blessed with great athleticism. Being autobiographical, Paul is more scathing about his lapses than a biographer would be, while underplaying his iconic football image. At times it's gut-wrenchingly honest as his constant submissions to the booze prevent him fully realising his athletic potential. You don't have to be a Man U fan, Villan or Republic of Ireland fan to read this. Paul's roots and upbringing alone are rivetting and scary.

Me, I'm a music fan really, and this life has parralels with Phil Lynott's tragic rise to fame and seduction by drugs. I just hope it doesn't end prematurely in the way Phil's did. A mixed race Irish man growing up in Dublin with no knowledge of his father but driven by a calling to excel. The troubled romances and the shadow of oblivion cast over even the most triumphal moments.

Paul's football carreer was dogged by dodgy knees, alcoholism and an amazing lack of self belief or confidence. A genius awarded countless accolades and many caps who feels unworthy of sharing the stage with his contemporaries. I was shocked by the extent of his problems and the lengths his friends had successfully gone to to prevent the truth being more widely publicised. I look forward to someone making this into a film.
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Format: Hardcover
Oooh Aaah Paul McGrath went the chants around Landsdowne Road, Old Trafford and Villa Park in the late '80s and early '90s when one of Ireland's truely outstanding sports personalities was at the peak of his career.

And what a brilliant career it was. Paul McGrath was a rock at the heart of United and Villa's defences and a collosus for Eire particularly in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. And the amazing thing is that McGrath achieved all this whilst battling alcoholism and inner demons that would undoubtedly have destroyed a lesser man.

The book is a very candid account of McGrath's life, from his tough childhood in Dublin where he suffered because of his skin colour, to his rise to the summit of professional football where he often played whilst under the influence. The book gives an indication of what McGrath's mindset and mental state was like during these halcyon years, and includes some really interesting stories and insights into the some of the top personalities in English and Irish football at the time.

Legend is a word that is certainly used too lightly, but this is not the case with McGrath. He is a true legend and what's more he comes across as a very honest and likeable character. A great read.

Declan Mullan.
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Format: Hardcover
Writen in the same vain as Tony Adams book.

How on earth he was able to stand up let alone play is utterly amazing. Then to win PFA player awards and represent your country defies all logic and reason.

This is not just a football book, but a journey through his life and his constant struggle with the demon drink and drugs.

Great great book.
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Format: Paperback
Paul McGrath tells a searingly honest story, although as you read your way through you realise McGrath himself couldn't possibly have written this alone, without a massive amount of help from his ghostwriter/co-author Vincent Horgan. McGrath describes his corrosive lack of confidence that is still in the process of destroying his life ("Back from the Brink"? Shouldn't the title be "Still on the Brink"? McGrath makes clear in the final chapter he is only beginning to acknowledge his problems, let alone address them.)
It's an interesting story of a flawed man who led a double life, thrilling millions with his football, while hurting many round about him. It's also a story of British society (and the football industry in particular) and its inability to cope with mental illness in general and especially addictive behaviour. The answer is always to cover up for McGrath, dry him out, get him fit enough to play; then dump him out of the game at 38, stuffed knees, screwed up head, and none of the skills to cope.
Having said this, the book is WAY too long at just over 400 pages. McGrath has very little to say in any detail about what went on when he was playing although more about his relationship with different managers and physios. That leaves a lot of time to talk his inner demons, drink, finding drink, evading friends guarding him, and what he did when he was drunk. Even with the best will in the world, when you are reading about him disappearing for the tenth time it is starting to get a bit dull.
He has interesting things to say about the managers but is so absorbed by drinking that he has very little to say about the game. He was hired as a panelist for Match of the Day for tyhe 2002 World Cup (he never made it as he turned up drunk) but on the evidence of the book he does not seem to have been a deep-thinker about the game anyway.
Paul McGrath the man - I really hope it works out for you. "Back from the Brink" the book - ok but no more than that.
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Format: Paperback
I waited till this book came out on paperback, took it on holiday and could not put it down till i had finished it.

I wont go into great detail, but what Paul has gone through in his life is really quite incredible, i remember him as a player , but this book lets you see the troubles the man has had throughout his life.Some may well be self induced, others really heart breaking to read.

For me, one of the best books i have ever read, and i have a lot of respect for Paul after reading this, it is as i see it a very honest book that deals with his problems with drink throughout his life and playing career.

Hope someone makes this into a film.

All the best Paul.
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