By Blodwyn Pigs Might Fly
Well, if Marcus Berkmann's book is the "Fever Pitch of cricket", what about the "Fever Pitch of football", er...Fever Pitch?
Along with a lot of other people, I was lured into reading this allegedly seminal book a decade ago. While it is very well-written and entertaining, and from the heart, the reaction at the time to the book was perhaps more interesting than the book itself. Middle-class man of letters likes football shock! The chattering classes couldn't believe it. Coming out just a couple of years after the 1990 World Cup had persuaded a lot of people that eating prosciutto and liking football aren't mutually exclusive, the timing was perfect.
I've been a middle-class football lover for well over 30 years now, and like a lot of others felt slight resentment at the bandwagon effect that propelled Fever Pitch. So I was slightly disappointed when I read it because it had been over-hyped, and what seemed a special story to many of its readers appeared to be an everyday tale of a football supporter to me.
By My Friend Jack
A break from his usual stories, this book gives the author an excuse to write about his favourite 31 songs. Why he likes them, obviously, but how each one fits into the context of his life. It's the book I've always been meaning to write, the only differences being (i) he writes better than I do and (ii) my choice of music would be better.
One thing I will give him credit for: his enthusiasm for Bruce Springsteen's Thunder Road, which prompted me to acquire it - and it's now one of my favourite tracks.
By Top Cat
What did everyone think of How To Be Good? I'm not a massive Hornby fan (About A Boy and High Fidelity were sort of ok), but I bought an audio version of this from a small book shop when I was desperate for something to keep me awake on a long car journey. It's the first book I've ever read (or listened to, as was the case here) where the motivation for getting to the end was sheer disbelief that such a huge-selling, populist title could be so souless and empty. I'm not proud of this, but the ending - the last sentence, in particular - was so utterly appalling that I ended up throwing the tape out onto the hard shoulder of the M11...
Nick Hornby - About a boy - 1998
A funny yet thoughtful and touching novel. The way Will and Marcus get together and grow together, family life is seen from a totally different point of view. And the singles' life, as well. I liked this book, a lot. And, even though they changed the end, I also liked the movie.(thread first started 03.05.06)