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Immortal Hardcover – 12 Sep 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Century (12 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184605981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846059810
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"In putting together Immortal: The Approved Biography of George Best, it must be said that author Duncan Hamilton has done little to redefine the genre. Instead, he has done everything he can with it as it is, he has pushed it, refined it, stretched it, lovingly touched up every corner of it until it is almost as perfect as it can be. In short, Hamilton has essentially won biography writing. […] what makes thisbook so wonderful, [is] the way that Hamilton patiently sets the scene, apparently meandering indulgently through the back stories of incidental characters, but actually drawing the reader deep into the 1960s, imperceptibly marking out the structures of sport, society and celebrity that the shockwave of Best’s arrival obliterated." (Mirror online)

"[An]evocative account, though that should not come as a surprise. The former newspaperman has become one of sport’s foremost biographers and he is in excellent form here with this account of a footballer who was once his hero." (The Times)

"A marriage of prose and detail so fine and fastidious that it takes the breath away." (Independent)

"This compulsively readable book will not be the last written about Best, but it may prove to be the most illuminating." (Independent on Sunday)

"What Duncan Hamilton’s impressively researched, definitive new biography, published on the 50th anniversary of Best’s United debut, captures is the artistry of the little Ulsterman." (Daily Mail)

"Diligent, highly readable ... Immortal strips away the myth to show the human Best, Hamilton is a guarantee of quality..." (Financial Times)

"Accomplished ... the attention to detail characteristic of Hamilton's work energises his story." (Daily Telegraph)

"Hamilton writes sympathetically and insightfully ... he has a smart turn of phrase and an uncanny ability to describe accurately and compellingly what happened during a game." (The Herald)

"The author deserves great credit for writing not a sycophantic paean to Best, but an accomplished well-researched account which doesn’t shy away from the footballer’s alcoholism and his propensity to be violent towards women." (Press Association)

"Thoughtful. 4 stars." (Mail on Sunday)

"Hamilton is a guarantee of quality." (Financial Times)

"Hamilton is a terrific writer ... Immortal is a fine biography and a fascinating portrait of a dawning age of sporting celebrity." (WSC)

"Immortal is undoubtedly the most satisfying life of George Best." (Guardian)

"The atmosphere of the Sixties is re-created brilliantly." (The Times)

"Hamilton through the stories and backstories of others broadens his horizons to explain the phenomenon that was Best and the world that destroyed him. Offering up new material and new perspective, Hamilton, as one reviewer would opined, mastered biography." (Irish Examiner)

Book Description

George Best is considered the greatest footballer of our time.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bantam Dave TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The first football match I ever watched was the 1968 European Cup Final when Manchester United beat Benfica 4-1. I was only eight years old at the time but I clearly remember my father telling me to watch out for the Manchester United player wearing the number seven shirt, George Best. George did not have a particularly good game (United's outstanding player that night was the almost forgotten John Aston) but he still stood out, perhaps as much for his long hair as his performance, and from that day forward he became my favourite player. Even today I think that George was the best player that I have ever seen. It was not until I read this book though did I realise that George's best days were almost certainly already behind him when he scored United's second goal against Benfica.

As this excellent new biography indicates, it is fair to say that George Best's decline started that night. Everybody thought that the European Cup win would herald the start of an era when Manchester United dominated European football, certainly George did, but instead of building on the victory Sir Matt Busby allowed United to stagnate. He failed to replace his ageing players, allowing them to carry on too long, and when he did bring in new players they were usually not of a good enough standard because Busby was not prepared to pay the asking price for the top-class ones. After the European Cup win George Best did not pick up any further winners medals as his beloved Manchester United steadily went downhill and, whilst it would be incorrect to blame his descent into alcoholism solely on this, his intense disappointment over the events at Old Trafford certainly were a major factor in his downfall.
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By Alex on 10 July 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was hard work, and proves that being a good journalist doesn't necessarily make a good writer. The subject should have been interesting enough, but perhaps it's not entirely Mr Hamilton's fault - So many of the facts of George Best's life are already well known, it's difficult not to be bored by the bald facts yet again regurgitated. I was hoping for special insights, but instead, what we get is each moment of a largely meaningless life poured over and set against tangents of social and historical comment in the shape of tenuous connections, adding to the tedium of reading. The writing style itself is very staid, with no spark or fluidity to it. A real shame, I was looking forward to this book, and paid over the odds for it. You can't tell a book by its cover
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a tremendous insight into the life and times of Britain's greatest footballer. What sets it apart is that the focus is on his brilliant playing career rather than the sad decline of George Best's life. As in his excellent biographies of Brian Clough and Harold Larwood Hamilton has the ability to make you feel the era he is writing about. Thoroughly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this as a present for my brother, read it and nearly kept it! There will be many biographies about George Best, and if one collects them, this will sit amongst his autobiographical works. You won't be disappointed as Hamilton does a good, honest job of outlining Best'd progress through his footballing career which made him a legend. On balance I believe Best was the best footballer I've ever seen. On today's pitches he would be unbeatable, but sadly that is just speculation, so we have to be satisfied books will help seal the memory, as this one does.
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By Capa on 25 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read this in two very long sittings. It's terrific. I've read lots about Best but this is full of fresh insights.

Well up to Hamilton's usual standard (and that's a very high standard indeed).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brought as a present for a younger family memeber who was too young to remember George Best, but had heard a lot of good things from people like myself who were luckly enough to have seen him at old trafford in the late sixties. This book is a piece of football history and a great story of his life and rise to fame, and how we remember him now.
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Format: Paperback
This biography is a thorough account of George Best's youth and ManU days, but it gets a bit indifferent towards his later playing career and life. You will find all the statistics in the back pages, but I would have liked at least a few highlights and quotes from his clubs, teammates and coaches after the Manchester glory days. How shockingly short this success period was, compared to his rather long career.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is essentially a tome of two halves. The first half is a magnificent analysis of George's career at United. From his early days at Old Trafford to the European Cup win in 1968 and then on both to United's and Best's sad decline. George's time at United represented only half of his career and there followed a further ten years of playing after he departed United. While George moved from club to club he never recaptured those heady at United. It is a pity that more detail and analysis is not given to his time with the other clubs that Best played for and the problems he had at some of them. A further disappointment is there is no mention of George's key friendships and working relationships with former agents Bill Mcmurdo and Mary Shatila. Additionally, Best was great friends with Phil Hughes who also acted as his agent for more than fifteen years but sadly there is no mention about Hughes who was a major part of George's life in his latter years. Finally, the book makes no mention of George's relationship with his son Calum nor his second wife, Alex. That said, despite the disappointing ommisions, this book is a still a very good analysis of Best's personal highs and lows at Manchester United.
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