Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Ultra Violence
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 April 2015
4.5 out of 5 stars

I know nothing about and have zero interest in football, and the culture of football hooliganism fascinates me only in a horrified sort of way, but having recently read Mark Barry's fabulous Once Upon A Time In The City of Criminals I wanted to know more, so chose to read this, his most successful book to date.

Something I've noticed after reading a book that's really worked for me is that I can't always remember if it was written in the first or third person, so alive were the characters. Ultra Violence, however, has set a new standard. It's written in the SECOND person, yet I still felt I knew the unnamed main character as well as if he'd told the story himself, or if I'd had it narrated to me. Yes, that's right, a whole novel written in the second person, and it works a hundred per cent. How clever to have seen that this was exactly the way to write this; yet another indication of the talent of Mr Barry, who is fast becoming my favourite 'indie' of all those I've read.

Ultra Violence is depressing, it's sad, it made me feel fed up about how different things were in my own youth, it tells of the unsavoury, the prejudiced, the lacking in culture, the unwashed underclass of society (the Bullys!)and those who've wrecked their own lives, but I couldn't put it down. The story alternates between the past and the present all the way through, until they meet at the end, a structure I always find effective. Fabulous ending, too. I love a great ending. I gather in the new edition there are two endings, alternatives, but, alas, I had the old one on my Kindle.

Oh, and I still think the main character is a closet homosexual, by the way. So closet he couldn't admit it to himself, perhaps. Don't know if anyone else agrees with me. From about fifty per cent in I was waiting for the Big Reveal....
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 January 2015
I don’t think I’ve read a novel written in the second person before but I really liked it and thought it suited this storyline perfectly adding a direct, in the moment feel to the whole book. Barry’s attention to detail and his clever turn of phrase is, as always, impeccable and it didn’t matter that I don’t know Nottingham nor do I know anything about football hooliganism. I still enjoyed reading this immensely.

As well as being sometimes humourous, sometimes dark I found this to be a very moving story about a middle aged man struggling with the world he lives in and trying to hang onto his wife and son neither of whom show much interest in him anymore. He doesn’t have anything he truly cares about until a chance encounter with a face from his past brings up memories revealed in flashback to a time when he feels he really was someone. The experiences that moulded his journey to becoming a football hooligan are told in sad and graphic detail.

This book has two endings - both are brilliant. The first, set in the past, is bittersweet, you know what’s coming, and then you’re treated to the second at the end of the epilogue set in the heart breaking present. This is a terrific read throughout but Barry really knows how to end a book and I want to read anything he writes.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 February 2017
This book is the thrilling, humourous story for one man's journey from idealistic young fan to major football hooligan set against the shadow of a grim and soulless age in the bustling English city of Nottingham. It's going to go OFF.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 March 2016
Excellent. Really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel. I never realised Notts had such a mental following. Not too many laughs but a good overall story. Roll on no.2
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 May 2017
Vote YES 2
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 June 2012
"Just finished the book, took me about 3 days to read it, did not want to put it down after starting it. A really fascinating read about a group of men who follow their football team. An insight into the ups and downs of being a football hooligan and it also tells the true story that not all football hooligans are stupid and from the gutters. An intriguing read which you will feel part of the more you read. A very strong recommend from me and I look forward already to the new book coming out next year"
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 5 August 2014
Very good read for any old school Football casual and probably a real eye opener for the modern Football fan. Well written and about much much more than just the Football or the violence. On a personal level it gave rise to many old memories, some good, some bad! Having read numerous books on a similar subject mostly some Years back now I have to say this is amongst the very best.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 February 2015
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 November 2014
into the hooligan culture, and the author takes you back to the halcyon days of it. the days of your youth. the best days of your life. A bit like John King with a Nottingham slant.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 May 2015
Great book
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse