Book Review: Scotball by Stephen O’Donnell

Scotball is Stephen O’Donnell’s second novel following on from Paradise Road which was published in 2012.

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.

In need of a job he returns briefly to the world of finance, but has a burning desire to carve himself a new career path and decides to put together a proposal for a football discussion programme.

The idea is accepted and the topical and forthright show called, The Scottish Football Debate comes to fruition with Fitzpatrick as the host. It proves to be popular and is nicknamed Scotball (hence the title of the book).

The programme is used as a vehicle to explore the state of football in Scotland, with topics such as the national side, refereeing standards, women’s football and the impact of the media featured within the various episodes of the show.

What also breaks in news-terms during the lifetime of Scotball is the significant story that is the financial crisis at Rangers. Fitzpatrick though is a Celtic fan and therefore his views are unashamedly tinged with green and white with regard to anything relating to their city neighbours.

The author (through Fitzpatrick) is also not afraid to debate and reflect on broader issues such as community, the economy and politics which impact the game. This means that whilst the book has an obvious attraction for football fans, Scotball also has a wider appeal as it touches on everyday life in modern-day Scotland. As with Paradise Road, O’Donnell uses Glaswegian vernacular to provide the reader with an authentic narrative voice which also delivers honesty and humour to another thought provoking novel.


Tags: , ,
FBR Copyright 20214 All rights reserved.

Posted September 14, 2015 by Editor in category "Reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.