Feet of the Chameleon Hardcover – 7 Sep 2009
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'***** Written with warmth and understanding, the book for which African football has been crying out for.' --FourFourTwo<br /><br />'The stand-out football book of 2009. Ian Hawkey chose a big continent, and a big subject but rose triumphantly to the task.' --The Independent<br /><br />'Vivid anecdotes and emotive stories trace the journey of African football from something distant and ramshackle to a producer of some of the game's most valuable players. Excellent.' --The Observer
'The stand-out football book of 2009. Ian Hawkey chose a big continent, and a big subject but rose triumphantly to the task.' --The Independent
'Vivid anecdotes and emotive stories trace the journey of African football from something distant and ramshackle to a producer of some of the game's most valuable players. Excellent.' --The Observer
About the Author
Ian Hawkey is an authority on African football - he grew up in Nigeria, and spent his teenage years in Zimbabwe and Egypt. He has been the International Football Correspondent for the Sunday Times since 2001.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Hawkey certainly knows his African football and this is a big and interesting, if slightly dry read. African football is a colourful, chaotic and often wonderful thing and all is well captured by the author in here. So often caught up in the politics of each country, used by dictators for egotistical purposes there are heart warming and heart breaking stories in here. Hawkey delves deep into the subject, telling us amongst other things, why the clubs employ white European "witch-doctor" coaches. "For us, it's important the boss drives a big car" (Celestine Babayaro, once of Chelsea). A lot of names such as Drogba, Milla and Weah will be familiar, the latter still a possible president of his country, Liberia.
Hawkey uses team nick-names and animal analogies to name his chapters in keeping with the African way, but to be honest this can make navigating the book a little tricky and there is no index which reduces it's effectiveness as a definitive reference. There is a list of the African Cup of Nation winners, World Cup appearances by African teams and Footballer of the Year etc but not enough to make wannabee "Statto's" too excited. The book also switches from topic to topic and team to team quite quickly so you have to concentrate fully to keep a handle on it and this can reduce it's enjoyment
Overall, a good in-depth read for the student of African football, not the casual fan as it is very detailed, but slightly flawed IMO for the reasons above.
The first glance is daunting. What you will find is 300-odd pages of smallish print and nary a photo plate from start to finish. What were they all thinking? What sort of public did they expect the book to appeal to? The nostalgia public will certainly love some of the descriptions of games of yore, but the nostalgic population crave photographic reminders. If they want to relive such-and-such a match or part of a match they are going to have a job finding the bit they want, or they are just going to have to settle down to the task of reading the book from start to finish, which is what I did. They may get some help from the chapter headings, but these are `literary' and stylish rather than plain index-headings. Also, the narrative is only very roughly chronological, so that is only an approximate guide too.
If more common sense had been shown in the presentation I might not have felt so strongly that the book is overloaded with detail, but I think I would have thought that to a certain extent even if the layout had been brilliant.Read more ›
If you are interested to learn more about the "trade routes" that have brought great African players to Europe as well as the dangers it all poses to that continent's domestic leagues, this is a fine way to understand.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good read. It gives a broad view of African football and the background to some of its best and worst moments.Published on 14 July 2012 by Peter Stone
I have to admit to being rather ignorant to any African league teams, most of my footballing knowledge is in England with some Europeans Leagues. Read morePublished on 13 May 2011 by P. Sharpe
Warm, compelling and well researched. The book provides a lot of details on a previously undercovered subjectPublished on 15 July 2010 by papaboubadiop
This is the kind of book to buy the football obsessed man in your life - it's a little different, showing the power of football to reunite groups of people divided by terrible... Read morePublished on 23 Dec. 2009 by Francesca Rose O
I'm not usually a football fanatic, but having spent some time in East Africa, was intrigued to see how this analysis of the development of the African game would pan out. Read morePublished on 27 Nov. 2009 by Christopher Meadows
With the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa looming on the horizon Ian Hawkey's timing of this book is impeccable. Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2009 by Graeme Wright
With the upcoming World Cup in Africa in 2010, this book by Ian Hawkey is a change for football fans to read about the history of football in Africa. Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2009 by D. Evans
I could not read this book in oen go, but as somehting that sits on the shelf in our cloakroom, I can see many a studious male taking it down and spending a few minutes reading... Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2009 by Victor Meldrew Mk2
Okay, I like football. I wouldn't ever say I was the most knowledgeable fan though, I've never been able to reel off stats and can seldom even remember who scored the goals that... Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2009 by Matt Merritt