The ‘diary of a season’ format has become a popular outlet for football fans making their mark in the literary world. In general they are published shortly after the end of a season, so it was something of a break with tradition and surprise to receive a request to review a book written in the main during 2014, published in 2015, and which reflects on events 5 to 6 years ago.
This second offering has links to O’Donnell’s debut book, with Scotball having as its central character Peter Fitzpatrick. In Paradise Road Fitzpatrick leaves his native Scotland to sample life in the Czech Republic, but here returns with his Czech wife to Glasgow five years later.
Quite simply, in its present form, this is a disconcerting book as it totally fails to achieve its purpose of reassuring the reader around the text’s central premise. Riaz Khan’s main aim is stated as intending to show that Muslims are not part of a ‘fifth column’ in Britain and that the English Defence League […]
The cover is an oft neglected feature of a book, but in the case of Buckminster’s Ball it presents the reader to more than the standard synopsis which usually feature on the reverse of books. A. Zaremski uses both the front and back to introduce the central character Everit Tyshinski and a brief outline of the events that lead to him taking up a position as a soccer coach at a high school in North Philadelphia.
Football and poetry are not usually comfortable bedfellows and other than Dannie Abse’s heartfelt poem about his beloved Cardiff City, The Game, it is difficult to recall any serious treatment of our national sport. Of course in times of high emotion, successes and tragedies, people send poetry to the local papers, but it tends to be trite, or doggerel along the lines of, We play in red, they play in blue. They scored one, we scored two. After initial trepidation, The Arsenal…and Other Poems, however, proved to be far better and the author Mark Hamilton handles well the thoughts and feelings of the typical fan, yet also has plenty to interest the lover of poetry.