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Football Dreams: Players in the Real World Paperback – 21 Oct 2005
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"'Some of the biggest names in football have come to Robson Books, but not in a way any of them expected...' - Publishing News"
'Football Dreams' is a book of digital paintings, portraying 100-plus of English football's major figures in scenarios that suit their personalities. These include: Wayne Rooney as a streetwise scouser huddling with his mates in a burger bar; David Beckham crucified in front of a tower block estate after his 1998 World Cup sending-off; Roy Keane as a 'Big Brother' contestant; Jurgen Klinsmann as a German soldier proffering a football as a peace offering in the First World War Christmas truce and Ron Atkinson frantically dancing in the street at the Notting Hill Carnival to atone for his sins. These digital paintings, produced on a computer, have an uncanny photographic quality. Whether the illustration is Alex Ferguson as a shop steward running the boardroom or Brian Clough as a solitary drinker in a bar, it Looks Like the real thing. Starring everyone from Harry Redknapp, Paolo Di Canio, Micky Quinn, Sol Campbell, Thierry Henri, Zola, Robbie Savage and Roman Abramovich.See all Product description
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Some of it is quite subtle: Stan Collymore watching Ron Keane walking his dog (geddit?); a hint of a halo playing about Glenn Hoddle's head; Graeme Souness as Mr Wolf, the troubleshooter from Pulp Fiction. The unsubtle ones are the best, though: Beckham physically crucified after the '98 World Cup; Van Nistelrooy as a priest, completely free of sin; Peter Risdale as the Captain of the Titanic.
Just as a good caricaturist captures a truth about his subject which a portrait painter may miss, so the photo-shopped likenesses in this book show us real football as every fan sees it, several pints after a match. Quality!
Put simply, it is digitally altered pictures of famous people in football placed in surreal or fantasy surroundings with poignant captions that capture the essence of that person. You can't just call them 'jokes' as that would be a complete injustice. Some are gut bustingly funny but others act as a comment on that person's life/career/bigotries/outlook/public persona...the list goes on.
I don't see the point in writing endless lists that you can get from official reviews, but to give you an example, Jurgen Klinsmann is pictured in World War I German uniform coming across the no man's land of the trenches with a football in his hand. Get the idea? No? Well get the book, look at some of the other entries and you'll soon get into its groove.
I first heard about this at Christmas and it was reviewed in some pretty heavyweight newspapers too, but could I find it anywhere? I tried several London bookshops, even getting them to ring nearby branches, but nobody seemed to have it. Why? I gave up but then last week a mate rang up raving about a football book he'd just bought and I thought, hang on....and he directed me here. At last!
Enough of the history lesson. This book is unreal, surreal, briliantly funny, very thought provoking and visually is the best thing I think I have ever seen. If you know anything about football you'll get something out of this. If you know a lot about football, you'll keep turning to it because even when you think you 'get' the main theme of each individual entry, you spot something else.
I think it's brilliant and really can't see why it has been so difficult to get hold of. So many more people should know about this masterful piece of football devilment