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Among the Thugs (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Oktober 2001

4.3 von 5 Sternen 26 Kundenrezensionen

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“Superbly written…darkly exhilarating…a sort of rollercoaster chamber of horrors.” – Guardian

“Compelling, intelligent and fully engaged.” – Martin Amis

“[Buford] gatecrashes a social world that most of us have spent some portion of our lives avoiding and brings it to life on the page with a ferocious relish that only someone who was a foreigner to soccer could manage, or stomach.” – Jonathan Raban


'Superbly written... darkly exhilarating... a sort of roller-coaster chamber of horrors' Guardian

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4.3 von 5 Sternen
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Format: Taschenbuch
Picked up the book - an American author? forget it! But I decide to carry on, being "actively" involved as an English supporter in the eighties I was interested. I agree with another reviewer, people will bs, he does appear naive in some areas but that works for the book. When he describes how badly behaved our fans were, it's embarassing, but at the time it meant nothing to us. One very important point (US readers take note) the deaths and diasters that took place were not really hooligan related but bad policing and organization. Buford account of Sardinia is so powerful. I must have read it 20 times. I was there and he really describes the frustration of being treated like animals and then the violence. Us in shorts the police with batons ect. Bottom line, only a few people were real wankers, most wanted a laugh but it got too serious. The author met a few head bangers and top fans- good book. You can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs!
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Format: Taschenbuch
Bill Buford is now fiction editor for The New Yorker. But for many years he lived in Cambridge, England, where he revived the literary quarterly Granta and brought it to prominence. While residing in Britain, he became fascinated with soccer hooligans, who visited a dreadful wave of violence on cities all over Europe in the 1980s.
There's much to commend Buford's book. The portraits of the people he comes to know are pointed, vivid, and well rounded. He's particularly able as a narrator of violence, carrying the reader along for page after page of his accounts of riots forming and then "coming off."
Much of what's interesting about the book is Buford's account of his own recognition of the inner thug, so to speak. When he begins his story, Buford is full of smug generalities and facile answers. He's sure he knows who the thugs are -- young, unemployed, uneducated yobs -- and why they're wild in the streets -- social protest. Then he begins to meet some of them and enter their social sphere, and realizes he's wrong. Many of them are older than he'd thought, family men with children and decent jobs. They're not protesting anything -- they're fighting because it's fun. And as he gains acceptance among them, Buford realizes that he, too, feels an atavistic thrill when the combat begins.
English readers have suggested that Buford may have been taken in a few times by Brits having some fun with a gullible Yank. That might well be, but most of the book is an eyewitness account. Compelling reading.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Bill Buford, a naive American adrift in England, tackles a very dicey subject: Mob violence by English football fans. He starts out innocently enough, trying to find the allure, cause, nature, basis, and form of England's notorious football hooligans, but soon has difficulty separating himself from his subject matter.
As he relates his journey into the world of the yobs, we get a vivid picture of the people and the events, but no real glimpse into what is behind the football mob violence -- even after Buford spends most of the second half of the book trying to work it out. The only real insight were provided is that the mob becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and that there is a line where a person within the mob ceases to be an individual, and becomes a compnent of a greater organism.
However, questions such as why sporting crowds in the US, Canada, or other countries never reach the level of violence or mob mentality as seen in England are never addressed, nor are questions of why this sort of violent behavior seems to be limited to a very large degree to football (soccer) crowds. Of course, that subject is beyond the scope of any one book.
Still, the snapshot into the seedy world of NF members, jingoistic supporters, drunks and felons provided by Buford is entertaining, in a voyeuristic sort of way. Besides, unless you are intimately familiar with crowds at English, or any European, football matches, Buford's book is best if taken as a sort of superficial sociological travelogue, offering a glimpse into a strange land, complete with foreign customs, traditions, uniforms and etiquette.
Reading 'Thugs' won't provide too much enlightentment on sports violence or the psychology of mobs, but it will entertain. And with the coming Euro2000 tournament, reading this may prove timely, as well.
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Von Ein Kunde am 31. August 1998
Format: Taschenbuch
Bill Buford uses two different ways to tell the tale of the English football supporter. Buford's first method, used in the beginning and end parts of the book, provide a view from the inside as the author documents his the part of his life spent, for lack of an original phrase, "among the thugs," specifically with supporters of Manchester United, one of the top teams in England's Premier League. Buford paints a harrowing picture as he describes people who are basically degenerates. Much like people used to fight in support of their country (does anyone really do that anymore?), the supporters use violence, much of it simply appaling, as their vehicle for team support.
Buford's second technique, employed in the middle section, uses a more scholarly approach as the author relates the supporters' behavior to the tenets of modern sociology, especially those that deal with the dynamics of the group or the crowd.
Although possessing a thoroughly interesting subject, especially for Americans whose sports are comparitively homoginized in the face of such thuggery, Buford's somewhat schitzophrenic approach takes away from the novel as a whole. When Buford immerses himself in the thug life, the reader immerses himself, too, thus providing for entertaining and slightly voyeuristic literature. Buford's sociology lesson is boring and repetitive, however, and the incompatible narrative methods keep the book from attaining its full depth.
In all, Buford presents an flawed yet interesting tale about a subject to which few Americans can relate.
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