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on 29 May 2016
This season-long odyssey around every senior Scottish football ground provides a fascinating snapshot of our national game and culture, with Gary Sutherland's witty insights making it an entertaining read. It's hard not to question his sanity as he heads off for a second lower-league game in as many days during the deep midwinter but it's these unglamorous assignments that provide the best parts of Hunting Grounds as the author encounters eccentric diehards who are also prepared to brave the elements – all for their love of their team. Going to matches has become a sterile experience at many grounds in the top flight as clubs increasingly view their fans as consumers but it's a different world at some of the outposts we stop at on our journey with the author. He perfectly captures both the chaos and charm of lower-league football, with a farcical clash at wind-blown Gayview providing a fitting end to the adventure. As someone who regularly flirted with hypothermia while playing boys' club football once or twice as season next to the sea in Arbroath, I can testify to the madness of building a football stadium in such close proximity to the North Sea.
Kevin McAllion
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on 1 February 2015
This book does what it says on the cover. Gary Sutherland visits every football league ground during one Scottish football season. Each chapter has a match report, a fan report and a "pie report". We also get a fleeting impression of each club's home town. I now know where to find Stenhousemuir and why I probably would never want to.
Scot's cuisine comes out poorly, with the match day pies being distinctly unappetising. Even accounting for the ones Sutherland rates the most highly, I reached the conclusion the pies were best avoided.
I doubt the Scottish tourist board would commend this book. Matches are dour spectacles in sparsely populated grounds played out in inhospitable weather.
The book covers the 2006-07 season, though revised in 2012, so is a bit dated now. Yes, Rangers were in the Premier League back then.
This is a gently humorous safari. If, though, you are interested in the eccentric underside of Scottish football, reading the book is a pleasant way to spend a few hours.
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on 5 August 2013
I would love to go to all the football grounds in the Scottish Premier and Football Leagues. But, given the constraints of time, geography and family the only way I'll manage it is vicariously. And now, thanks to Gary Sutherland, I have. What an epic! 42 grounds in one season - all by public transport. It is all here, the journeys, the pies, the pints, the towns, the grounds, the games, the highs and the disappointments. I feel like I've done it myself, all without leaving my armchair. I read it chronologically but you could dip in and out and still enjoy it, though that would detract from Gary's achievement. It is well structured and written, witty and insightful. Apart from actually doing it, this is the next best thing.
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on 17 February 2016
Reading this 10 years after it was first published it's funny to see that despite the turmoil that has been Scottish football over the decade, at the end of the day not all that much has changed. A really enjoyable read.
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on 5 May 2014
A joy to read. You can really enjoy this book, it goes on about travel, the game watched, pints of beers and pies. A revaluation in football books, a joy to read and well worth the entrance fee. Stuff the big teams, especially in England, read about proper teams and what they have to offer.
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on 6 February 2017
Brilliant high standard GOOD AS NEW
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on 23 January 2014
Great book for all Scottish football fans !! Highly interesting !! Buy now if you like football !! A good one !!
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on 20 March 2014
An excellent read for any football fan. Very witty. Good mix of humour and info. Would recommend to any Scottish footy fan.
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on 8 July 2013
For those who like a match-day atmosphere that is an opportunity to read and imagine those stories, moreover, you can get some clubs data.
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on 26 August 2008
"Hunting Grounds" is an absolute delight. I've lost count of the number of people I've urged to buy this book. Sutherland takes the reader on a journey which encompasses the glorious pinnacles of the Scottish game (Ibrox, Hampden) to the (ahem) less lauded arenas of Scottish football - Central Park, Cowdenbeath on a dreich Tuesday might in January, anyone?

With great humour and insight we are treated to the best (and worst) of what Scottish football has to offer the punter: the clubs, the stadia, the fans, the foul language, and the pies. It's all here.

A perfect holiday read. And essential preparatory reading for those about to undertake their own football odyssey through the underbelly of the Scottish game.

Gary Sutherland should be awarded a medal for this daring, intrepid and hilarious book. A joy to read. Highly recommended.
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