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The Football Factory Paperback – 6 May 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Paperback, 6 May 2004
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Film tie-in edition edition (6 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009947462X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099474623
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The best book I’ve read about football and working-class culture in Britain in the nineties. -- Irvine Welsh

Book Description

'The best book I've read about football and working-class culture in Britain in the nineties. Buy, steal or borrow a copy now' Irvine Welsh

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My first thoughts upon reading this was how similar the style seemed to be to that of Irvine Welsh, right down to using hyphens to indicate the speech of his characters instead of speech marks. The similarity was made all the more surprising by the fact that on the version I have there is a recommendation of the book by Welsh on the front cover. However, this only serves to indicate the considerable influence Welsh had on 90's British fiction, with this novel being first published two years after trainspotting. As with Welsh, King's writing is vivid and has plenty of the language necessary to authentically portray the particular white, working class section of society which both authors concern themselves with. The chapter concerning Millwall Away is particularly well written, conjuring up all the excitement and intensity of the Chelsea firm roaming through the Bermondsy estate looking for their Millwall counterparts, yet also describing the sickening harsh reality of main character Tom's personal injuries. This direct, colourful writing style makes the novel a quick, engaging read, although a couple of times I got confused as which thoughts and speech went with which character.

The main difference between this book and the film is that the book has vignettes of characters such as Mr. Farrel the old pensioner war veteran and Will Dobson, the middle-aged journalist slotted in between the accounts of violence, male comeradery, drinking and sex. These provide interesting counter-balancing points of views on the topics with which the book is concerning itself - the state of modern football, the media, differences between generations, law and order, class, racism and gender.
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By Rob Sedgwick VINE VOICE on 19 Jan. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
The book is a classic. It has one of the greatest opening lines of any book every written. I knew the moment I picked it up and read that sentence, that it would provd to be one of the seminal works on the 1990s, and so it proved. It's set in the world of football fans and hooligans but it's not about football at all, it's about the people that follow it.
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Format: Paperback
The Football Factory is a brilliantly written piece of work, which easily surpasses anything else written on the subject (one slightly inferior exception to this is 'Away Days'). King's main character, Tom, is totally believable. I thought King's handling of the ambiguity of racial attitudes in modern Britain, via Tom and Mr Farrell, was superbly done, as was his handling of issues surrounding old age. The quality of some of the prose is astonishing. Consider the following. Mr Farrell is at the funeral of his best friend who has died suddenly and breaks down in tears, as he thinks of, not only his friend, but his deceased wife who passed away three years earlier, and who he's kept alive in his head, having conversations with her over cups of tea. 'Finally Mr Farrell stood up and broke through the weakness because that's all that tears could ever be. Conditioned by his background and sex not to show emotion, that was for the privileged with time on their hands and a need for excessive psychology.' Prose of this quality occurs throughout the book. You don't need to have any interest in football or football violence to appreciate this modern classic. I pushed it on to a female colleague, a young teacher of French, who hated football. She read it and, on giving it back to me, simply said, 'It's brilliant.' She then bought 'Headhunters.'

Another reviewer, who only gave this book two stars, criticizes the book by saying it's Arthur Seaton meets Clockwork Orange. But what's wrong with that? I have a feeling that King has been influenced by both Alan Sillitoe and Anthony Burgess.
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By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2001
Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book.It gave a view on football violence from a hooligan's point of view,but also viewed what they thought about life,and about the class that they come from,and the class that governs them,and makes decisions for them.John King writes in a flowing way, and the disparite characters that appear-Mr Farell,Vince and Albert all fit into the story,and have a role to play.
I have not read anythong by John Hall before,but I enjoyed his style, and will certainly be reading some of his other books.
Good Read
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