on 17 November 2011
How many not-quite-middle-aged-but-no-longer-young people are there outwardly struggling to make sense of their daily work and family lives but inwardly obsessing on something else, something that should be trivial but has become all consuming? A lot, I'd guess. In this case it's football. And while football related literature has become familiar since Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, Andy Conway's book is a delightful addition to the genre. The main character relates his own failures in life to Manchester City's 35 trophy-less years in the wilderness and the novel narrates his shot at redemption against the background of City's ultimately winning FA cup run in 2011. It's a nice conceit and it's backed up with some wonderful writing. In particular, the brilliantly drawn evocation of soul-destroying temporary office work, so rarely captured in novels, will spark glum recognition among a generation of readers, irrespective of their interest in football. For football obsessives, the way Conway's character pays only half attention to his emotional life, engaging instead mainly with his team may spark guilty recognition, particularly when the main character explains his impending departure for a new life to a father already heart-broken by divorce. All the while, the character's eye secretly lingers on the TV as his team plays. The every finest writing of all is saved for the liberating joy of having your team deliver the redemption you've always wished for. In this case, the charged and poetic description of City's winning goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi final is a passage every football fan will thrill to.
on 17 November 2011
I would love to pithily mark this book with 6, 1 more mark than is permitted. Anyone that has followed City over the years will relate to the sentiments of the author, but it should appeal to supporters of other clubs as well. A grate read.
on 20 December 2011
This is an interesting take on Manchester City's recent history, blending factual accounts of City's Champion's League qualification and the subsequent ending of 35 trophyless years, with an unfolding love story.
It gives an insight into what it feels like being a City fan of a certain age, the angst, the pithy unarsedness (sic), the hope, the despair. It also contains detailed instrucions on how to blag into Wembley stadium and ends on the highest of highs.
on 21 June 2012
i'm a city fan of 35 years, and i thought this book was like a teenage novel, all this woe is me nonsense, the character has a job, ok he hates it, but so do most people, he ends up with the girl he fancied all along, and gets to move to france, real hardship! what a load of pap!!