1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A good read, but not a history.,
This review is from: Feet of the Chameleon (Hardcover)
This is not the story of African football, as the cover proclaims. It is a collection of articles about various aspects of African football, the sort of articles you may read in World Soccer or some similar magazine, albeit rather longer.
Each chapter is around twenty to thirty pages long, and deals with one particular facet of African football. There are many great stories in here; stories of football matches; stories of revolution and political intrigue; and stories of remarkable individuals, among others. Each of these stories is important in the development of African football, but they do not together constitute a history - possibly a collection of highlights, but not a history.
The chapters can be read individually, and I would recommend this to any reader not already familiar with the background, as there is (understandably) a huge number of names to contend with (players, coutries, teams, politicians, journalists, etc), and it can be difficult to clearly follow the narrative.
In addition, the chapters are not strictly in chronological order; their general themes may be in time order, but many follow themes which span a large period of time, so the reader constantly finds himself moving backwards and forwards in time.
This is all fine, and not meant as any sort of criticism.
Apart from the claim that this is the story of African football, the only criticism I have is that the author does not seem to trust his reader's knowledge enough. There are too many references to players of today, and the few African world stars of the last few years. Their names seem to dropped into every chapter, no matter how tenuous their links to the actual subject matter of the current chapter. It is as if the author thinks we will lose interest if he fails to mention Didier Drogba, or Samuel Eto'o, or George Weah, for a few pages.
It is, however, a highly enjoyable read, and I trust the final released text will have been properly edited, as the review copy provided to me under the Amazon Vine programme was awash with grammatical and spelling errors.