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Lyrical but flawed
on 26 January 2014
A very enjoyable read. Intelligent and eloquent as you would expect from Dunphy, and this marks it out from the vast majority of sports books.
He comes across, however, as scarred by his childhood and he allows his prejudices to taint the story. Having spent half of my life in England, I found it refreshing how much he respected the English working class, but I cannot agree with much of his disparagement of Ireland and Irish people. Here, he is often mean-spirited and bigoted and this is a terrible pity. His constant use of the outmoded and officially discredited term "British" Isles to describe Britain and Ireland appears petty and provocative, for instance, and jars the reader out of what is often an otherwise enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
As with so much that Dunphy says, there is much to admire and agree with. As with so much he writes, he allows his prejudices to carry him too far. A real pity.