- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Scotland (10 May 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0755319443
- ISBN-13: 978-0755319442
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 401,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Pack Men Paperback – 10 May 2012
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"A unique and special novel. I honestly haven't read anything as impressive as this
from a Scottish writer in yonks"
'If Scotland's father of working class consciousness James Kelman had a literary son it might be Alan Bissett...funny, irreverent and moving, let's hope [Pack Men] gets the readership and recognition it deserves' (Gutter)
'Pack Men is a wry, entertaining and mature work...Bissett succeeds in making us root for the most unlikely of antiheroes, even as he implodes' (Scottish Review of Books)
'Pack Men should be required reading for both sets of supporters...Along with the sectarian backdrop, Bissett tackles questions of personal identity, male bonding, sexuality and above all class in a narrative that sneaks much of that subject matter under the surface of a blistering, adrenaline-fuelled romp' (The List)
Witty, pacey and pitch black, Pack Men is the voice of the streets rising up.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
And then we have the biggest travelling support the football world has ever seen (conservative estimates widely reported as between 200,000 and a quarter of a million) being downgraded to "150,000 glory hunters"!
No surprise that the author is a Scottish Nationalist whose prejudices and hatred of Rangers and anything Unionist distort his ability to remain anywhere close to reality! Considering Bisset's previous works have included a story about paedophilia, he would be better served writing about what he knows in the future, maybe a book about Celtic's disgusting past awaits us...
Alvin has now graduated from university and is living in Edinburgh and the UEFA cup final is a convenient excuse for him to get together with old pals, Frankie and Dolby. Brian has emigrated and is cleverly replaced by Dolby's young son, Jack, ensuring the pack of 4 remains. Other members of the supporters bus also feature heavily in the story including the man mountain of testosterone Cage and the engaging Chrissie.
As we progress through the book it's clear each character has their own story to tell yet Bissett expertly entwines the characters stories around each other. This allows the book to unfold naturally, with each character given their place in the spotlight at the appropriate time.
From the 1st page of the book the issue of Sectarianism, quite literally, shouts out at us. Throughout the book the issue is debated, discussed and in some cases disregarded by each of the characters. Bissett's fresh approach to discussing this ever thorny subject, prevalent across Glasgow and other areas of Central Scotland, is to be commended. He opens up the debate in a much more honest, open way than others before him have. He is also quick to challenge our preconceptions of some of the supporters we encounter, dispelling the myth that all football supporters are knuckle dragging neanderthals.Read more ›
The pack mentality, and the difficulties in resisting such behaviour is well covered. Also, similarly, covered, was the mixing with the unknown during fresher days at university.
Some of us like football purely because we like football, and our team, chosen for a multitude of reasons (perhaps more so outside Scotland where there are often seriously strong pressures to follow just two teams) is followed mainly because it is more fun to have a close relationship and a shared history. As this book partly illustrates, there are many negative aspects to football support - not the fault of the game itself. It really is tribal, as Desmond Morris pointed out many years ago.
I did find the inclusion of childhood memories a little strange. The inclusion of sections about the sexual behaviour of the main character also seemed a little unnecessary.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought a used book which had the description of 'very good' for the quality, have to admit I'm a little disappointed. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great quick service.Disappointed with the book, written from a bias jacobite viewpoint.Published 19 months ago by George Mitchell
I have never, in my life, been able to understand the Old Firm dynamic on any level at all. Now, after having read Pack Men, I feel like I at least dimly perceive it. Read morePublished on 8 May 2014 by Dr. Michael Heron
Great read, I like the way it's laid out too, it seems to add extra punctuation, if that makes sense.
I bought this after hearing young Mr. Read more
Christmas gift for the man in my life after we met Alan Bisset at an Imprint festival in our local cultural centrePublished on 19 Jan. 2013 by Mrs. L. R. Nagle
I must admit, I am a big fan of Alan's work so I came to this prepared to love it. I was not disappointed. Even though I DETEST football. Read morePublished on 26 July 2012 by A. Gordon
I was massively disappointed by this dry ride of a book. Its being sold as a story about friendship and football but it primarily concerns the main character's sexual identity and... Read morePublished on 12 Jun. 2012 by Craig Wilson
Pack Men tells the story of a minibus full of Rangers supporters heading down to Manchester to watch their team play Zenit Leningrad in the UEFA Cup Final. Read morePublished on 10 Jan. 2012 by MisterHobgoblin