If the title makes you think it's just ten match reports, think again. What you get is something like ten little novels, building into one trillion-pound, slightly deranged narrative packed with incident, atmosphere and insight. White has seen it all at close quarters and takes us to places others can't. He is very good on the blood and thunder of the games and the rough and tumble of the politics. What makes this book so good is its vividness and White is astute - it's not his fault he's a Manchester United supporter (well maybe it is) but he rises above it. He does pulsating justice to the Aguerooooooooo moment and Manchester City's sensational triumph in 2012; the Premier league's presiding geniuses - Ferguson, Wenger and Mourinho - come to life on the page, warts and all; the self-destructive madness of Leeds and Portsmouth are captured and Peter Ridsdale and the other demolitionists properly brought to book. All this and much more, to the sound of millions of fans screaming in adulation and agony. This is the Premier League in 400 pages. Champion stuff
I started reading and very quickly got addicted and sucked back in time. I grew up with the premier league and while I don't remember football much before I can certainly appreciate how much it has evolved over the years. The commentary in this book is excellent and I like Jim's approach to relaying these stories again. The attention to the wider picture of what those games meant or what they represent is excellent. Football is more than kicking a ball around pitch for 90mins; these stories are about the people behind the clubs, the fans, the players and how society grew to love football again. I only wish I don't have to wait 20 years for the second instalment.
The title of this book really undersells it's content. This is so much more than a report of the 10 matches mentioned in the title. The author uses these matches as a device for explaining some of the more interesting developments in football at the highest domestic level. It gives a great insight into the ups and downs, both on and off the pitch, of teams at both ends of the spectrum of success. It's written with great humour too, having me chuckling more than once. Highly recommended.
I am not a huge football fan and bought this book for someone who is, but started reading it and finished it in a weekend. It's a fascinating, insightful read and so beautifully crafted it would appeal to a wide range of readers. It should also be on every would-be sports reporter's reading list. Like Jim White's columns in the Telegraph, it is thought provoking and evocative with a subtle dash of humour throughout. A great buy, I have just ordered two more as gifts for friends. Fiona
Not only is Jim White explaining the reason why the matches he has chosen are important, he has importantly put them into context.
The book is filled with little snippets of information about the club's concerned that I was not previously aware of. Each match is put into its wider historical context rather than just the season they occurred in.
I was lucky enough to pick this up for 99p, but would have happily paid the cover price.
I loved this book as it had all the information I wanted to know about the history of the Premier League in precise detail. I would definitely recommend it. The 10 matches were described succinctly and tactfully & I found I could relate to all the information written in this book.
A top journalist and writer, this is another winning book from Jim White (not the Deadline Day one!) Like Jonathan Wilson with more jokes, but no less brilliance, this is a great addition to the canon of books on the BEST LEAGUE IN THE WORLD.