Top critical review
Insightful, interesting, but not for the full 90 minutes.
on 10 January 2014
The autobiography of Mark Halsey. One of the country's top referees and his experience surviving cancer.
This is a rare glimpse into the world of football refereeing and Halsy definitely has a story to tell. To view the inner workings of the game is fascinating to any football fan and when names are mentioned it brings delight, but this story is a little too long. Not in length, but in content. What starts as genuine insight and revelation by an articulate storyteller turns (towards the end) simply of a man on a rant, endlessly complaining. Mark Halsey let's us know his opinion on events that we're mostly familiar with, but these opinions become increasingly negative as his career in the book progresses, until the end where they are the full content of the text and he hasn't much good to say about anybody or anything.
This book tells us more about the personality of the author rather than the events within. He comes across as: honest, stubborn, self centred (but at the same time considerate) and sadly somewhat pessimistic. I'd have hoped that a person with such an eventful life and career where he achieved so much could walk away a smile on his face, but Halsey seems to have an axe to grind here. I'm not saying his criticism isn't valid, I'm saying it doesn't make very good reading.
I think this book would have been better had opinions, feelings and events not been so interwoven.