5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
hard pleasure, 19 April 2010
In some ways this book is a hard one to read, not because of any inadequacies in the written style of the book, which is forthwright and punchy, but because of it's honesty. John Healy hasn't held back and right from the beginning of the book, when we are exposed to his father's agressive parenting, we know that this is no 'life-through-rose-tinted-glasses' account.
The Grass Arena refers to John's life as a homeless junkie in the parks of London. This is where the pleasure of the book lies. He describes a world which seems to be happening in parallel to the 'real' one, but it is no less real for John or those that shared their existence with him. It is very difficult to understand how anyone can live this way and survive for any length of time. Thankfully, John did, eventually finding chess which brought him back to a more healthy existence and a future.
This book is already a classic. I would love to see it on the curriculum.