Thursday, 1 September 2011

Book Review: Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby

Synopsis - In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that's before the players even take the field.
Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby's award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom — its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young mens' coming-of-age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season. (Taken from Goodreads)

Review - Out of all Nick Hornby's books that I have read, this has to be my favourite.  I enjoyed About A Boy but I had already seen the film, although I found the book very amusing.  I wasn't so keen on Juliet Naked, How To Be Good or High Fidelity, even though I have seen the film of the latter which didn't grab me either. 

I did watch Fever Pitch starring Colin Firth (not his best film, in my opinion) but the book is far superior.  I was quite surprised because I am not a football fan.  What the book did was take me back to childhood.   When I got collectable football cards included in packets of bubble gum, names like Chelsea's Peter Moore, Bob Wilson (who of course, we see on our TV screens), George Best et al, brought back memories.  I loved the humour, I could understand Nick Hornby's obsession taking over his life.  I pretended to support Chelsea in my childhood days just to be able to have something to discuss with the girl who lived opposite, they never missed a home game and I'm sure went to most away matches.  I did follow some highlights of Crystal Palace at one point in my youth as they were the local team of my relatives.

What I don't get these days is how so much money is spent on players.  Yes, the top football players are stars of their game but quite often sadly do not live up to the celebrity status they are given.  Yes, there were some players who didn't always play fair back then and unfortunately, there is always the thug element associated with the game.  There is skill in the sport and it is such a shame that all supporters cannot display good behaviour when attending football matches at home or away.  3*

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