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wonderful! This is football!
am 15. Februar 2007
As being often called "The best football book ever" I started to read this books with high expectations. And it did not disappoint me!
Every real football fan will recognise himself in the book. He does not have to be a fan of Arsenal London or knowing everything about English football. But somebody who really understands why the author prefers a home match of Arsenal to a friend's birthday party, will love this book. And somebody who wants to know how a football fan perceives the world (e.g. in years like 85/86 and not 1985 or 1986), will have fun reading this book as well.
Hornby tells us his life by giving reports about the football matches he watched. Again and again he is looking for parallels between his own life and football. This research is not always successful.
From his childhood on, Nick Horny accompanies the life of Arsenal. As in every good marriage there are crisis (he only watched two or three matches for several years). Sometimes it is really a love-hate-affair: Is he really disgusted by the scandals produced by Arsenal players on and outside the pitch? Or is his admiration for the club based on these ugly sides of football as well?
Actually, he knows that football is "only" a game. But nevertheless he is always impressed of the atmosphere at Highbury. And he is finally rewarded: The book has got a happy end. But a real one: the championships in 1988/89 and 1990/91. No story-teller could have imagined a more beautiful dramaturgy.
I liked especially that the author, as much as he loves English football (about which you can learn a lot in the book), never represents the seemingly typical English "fan". Again and again he condemns violence of so-called "fans". So is he deeply shocked by the disastrous catastrophes at Heysel and Hillsborough. And he is proud of not having to hide his university degree. In spite of all enthusiasm Nick Hornby has never become a FANatic in the ugliest meaning of the word. Great!