Hornby, Nick Fever Pitch

ISBN 13: 9780575053151

Fever Pitch

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9780575053151: Fever Pitch
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"Funny, wise and true." --Roddy Doyle

"A brilliant book by one of the best writers around--not just a book about football, but a book about love, death and the feather-cut." --Julie Burchill

"A lovely book, by turns vivid, wise, sad, jubilant, enraged and very, very funny. I read it in one sitting." --Pete Davies I have measured out my life in Arsenal Fixtures, and any event of any significance has a footballing shadow. When did my first real love affair end? The day after a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Coventry. For a man to chronicle his life in match reports may be a mark of his ingenuity. It is certainly a measure of his obsession.
Nick Hornby's affliction first took hold in 1968 when, as a sombre eleven-year-old, he saw Arsenal beat Stoke City (1-0 from a penalty rebound). From that first momentous afternoon, and for the next twenty-four years, the swings and shifts of his own life became inextricably linked with the changing fortunes of his team. The blind faith of childhood, adolescent alienation, adult neuroses--all were played out on the terraces at Highbury. A brilliant blend of personal insight and reportage, Fever Pitch is not just about goals and rain and semi-final replays. It's also about suburbia, death, sex and ambition. It is the most memorable picture ever produced of what is to be a fan. Fellow sufferers, and those who have to live with them, will recognise the symptoms, no matter what the team, or what the obsession.

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Review:

Fever Pitch is both an autobiography and a footballing bible rolled into one. Nick Hornby pinpoints 1968 as his formative year--the year he turned 11, the year his parents separated, and the year his father first took him to watch Arsenal play. The author quickly moved "way beyond fandom" into an extreme obsession that has dominated his life, loves, and relationships. His father had initially hoped that Saturday afternoon matches would draw the two closer together, but instead Hornby became completely besotted with the game at the expense of any conversation: "Football may have provided us with a new medium through which we could communicate, but that was not to say that we used it, or what we chose to say was necessarily positive." Girlfriends also played second fiddle to one ball and 11 men. He fantasises that even if a girlfriend "went into labour at an impossible moment" he would not be able to help out until after the final whistle. Fever Pitch is not a typical memoir--there are no chapters, just a series of match reports falling into three time frames (childhood, young adulthood, manhood). While watching the May 2, 1972, Reading v Arsenal match, it became embarrassingly obvious to the then 15-year-old that his white, suburban, middle-class roots made him a wimp with no sense of identity: "Yorkshire men, Lancastrians, Scots, the Irish, blacks, the rich, the poor, even Americans and Australians have something they can sit in pubs and bars and weep about." But a boy from Maidenhead could only dream of coming from a place with "its own tube station and West Indian community and terrible, insoluble social problems." Fever Pitch reveals the very special intricacies of British football, which readers new to the game will find astonishing, and which Hornby presents with remarkable humour and honesty--the "unique" chants sung at matches, the cold rain- soaked terraces, giant cans of warm beer, the trains known as football specials carrying fans to and from matches in prison-like conditions, bottles smashing on the tracks, thousands of police officers waiting in anticipation for the cargo of hooligans. The sport and one team in particular have crept into every aspect of Hornby's life--making him see the world through Arsenal-tinted spectacles. --Naomi Gesinger

Review:

Whether you are interested in football or not, this is tears-running-down-your-face funny, read-bits-out-loud-to-complete-strangers funny, but also highly perceptive and honest about Hornby s obsession and the state of the game. GQ
"Hornby has established himself... as a maestro of the male confessional. [His] books reveal a fascination with the sheer voodoo of what so often passes for masculinity; the weird ritual facts, the useless objects, the losing clubs and teams." The New Yorker
"Utterly hilarious." Elle
"Fever Pitch transcends the mundane and the sporty to say something about the way we live." The Observer"

"Whether you are interested in football or not, this is tears-running-down-your-face funny, read-bits-out-loud-to-complete-strangers funny, but also highly perceptive and honest about Hornby's obsession and the state of the game." --GQ

"Hornby has established himself... as a maestro of the male confessional. [His] books reveal a fascination with the sheer voodoo of what so often passes for masculinity; the weird ritual facts, the useless objects, the losing clubs and teams." --The New Yorker

"Utterly hilarious." --Elle

"Fever Pitch transcends the mundane and the sporty to say something about the way we live." --The Observer

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781573226882: Fever Pitch

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1573226882 ISBN 13:  9781573226882
Publisher: Penguin, 1998
Softcover

9780241950197: Fever Pitch

Penguin, 2010
Softcover

9780141395340: Fever Pitch

Penguin, 2014
Softcover

9780140293449: Fever Pitch

Penguin, 2000
Softcover

9780241953082: Fever Pitch

Penguin, 2010
Softcover

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