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on 29 September 2010
I'm a big fan of John's Football365 columns and so was looking forward to reading this because I've never read a writer like him. I was not disappointed because We Ate All The Pies is hilarious. John's views on football make for wonderful reading. He has a way of telling stories about himself, his life, football teams, whatever, which make you feel like you're sitting in a pub being told them by the funniest, maddest guy you've ever met, who also happens to be very clever and brilliant with words. This book is just so much fun and I loved it. I'd even describe it as unputdownable - when I finished one chapter and saw what the subject of the next one was, I couldn't wait to read it and find out what John had to say about that. And I've just seen it's been nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of The Year award - very well deserved for a book that will make you smile and laugh and then want to go back to the start and read it again.
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on 8 September 2010
I've read John Nicholson on Football365 for years now. THere isn't really anyone else writing about football in the way he does but if you like Harry Pearson or the Baker and Kelly shows this has that sort of daft but passionate feel. He looks at different stuff around the culture of football such as pies, shirts, violence, booze and asks what they reveal about why we love the game and what football's place is in society. It's never dry and always funny. A real one-off, I raced through this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves football beyond the usual Premier League plastic fan stuff.
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on 4 March 2011
I was previously familiar with Johnny Nic's work through his columns on f365, and I've always been a huge fan. His articles were are always well written and very, very funny, although his sometimes radical schools of thought can be pretty divisive - but that's the whole point surely!?
'We Ate All the Pies' follows firmly in this way, with the author drawing on his personal experiences to great effect - I constantly found myself nodding along in agreement, usually laughing at the same time.
The book is nicely structured into the elements which Nicholson feels football has influenced our lives, and uses his love of rock music as a comparable to very good effect.
I could fully understand why John Nicholson might not be everyone's cup of tea due to his somewhat zany analogies and cross-referencing, as it could be perceived as him drifting from the point somewhat. However, I feel that this element of his writing only serves to add to what is already a thoroughly enjoyable and easy to relate to book.
This is without a doubt the most enjoyable football-based book I've ever read, and I would consider it an essential purchase for any football fan - you'll feel nostalgic, you'll laugh out loud, and you may even learn a thing or two along the way!
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on 15 December 2012
I love football, I love the hilarious rants you can see on programmes like 606 over on Radio 5 Live and so thought We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole by John Nicholson would be a good read. However, if I'm honest it never really took off for me.

The concept is that football is so loved in Britain that it has invaded so many different areas of our culture - be it food, television, travel, relationships and more. In addition to football we hear a lot about his love of rock music, alongside a number of random analogies and cross-referenced moments. This just led to it coming across as though it didn't have a flow.
Many of his opinions I would probably support but the writing for me wasn't at a level than engaged me - rather than being about the identity of Britain as a footballing nation it just seems to be a series of random points by a middle-aged man.
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on 11 May 2014
Brilliant from start to finish any football fan worth his salt is going to enjoy this book, what makes it even better for me is the fact I'm a Boro fan like John and probably of a similar age so was familiar with all the names and places. Highly recommended!
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on 7 March 2011
This book is... ok. There are some interesting opinions, it's just a shame about the number of irrelevant digressions (do I care that you love living in California, drinking wine? No.)

Familiar with John's writing style, I knew what to expect when buying the book (like others, from F365), but while the book does make some promising points, it's ultimately incredibly frustrating.

First of all - it's not about football. It's more an autobiographical story that's one-third football, one-third rock and roll, and one-third about sexual experiences.

At times it seems forced and like the sexual references are being crowbarred in - yet as someone who regularly bashes the tabloids, John should know better.

There's also a quite astonishing passage in the book where John essentially disregards the criticism of any reader (either on the internet or in paper) because he's, y'know, a journalist, and what do us plebs know about it?

Well, unfortunately John, we buy the books. We keep you in a job. I (probably) wouldn't buy another.
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on 15 January 2015
A great and funny football critic, John's prose is wonderful and laugh-out-loud funny. Read him weekly at Football365 and cherish his informed writing.
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on 28 May 2015
bought as a present later in the year have enjoyed the 7 book set on kindle by this author so thought my son would enjoy this
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