Book Review: Jarrod Black – Hospital Pass: An Unashamed Football Novel by Texi Smith

Hospital Pass is the second novel featuring Jarrod Black, an Australian footballer plying his trade in the English professional game. At the end of the first book, Introducing Jarrod Black, the central character was about to begin pre-season training ahead of a new campaign. This second novel picks up the story as that season comes to its climax.

Indeed, the twists and turns of the league finale provide one of the two major plotlines of the book. The other is a family related narrative which is a significant part of the book and provides an interesting play on the oft-quoted phrase from the legendary ex-Liverpool manager Bill Shankly, Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.

As a reader this family related plotline conveys the feeling that the author Texi Smith is talking with an authenticity, gained through personal experience and therefore is an influence on the title of this second book, both in its double meaning and indeed is a challenge to the subtitle, An Unashamed Football Novel.

In looking to make comparisons with the first novel, Hospital Pass has a number of subtle differences. For instance, with the reader getting to know more about the Black family, including Jarrod’s wife, children, parents and in-laws, the story is set more in the present than the past. Also, interesting to note is the change in composition of the second book. Both novels to date are of a similar length (250-260 pages), with Introducing Jarrod Black, split over thirty-three, often very short chapters, with Hospital Pass delivered over eleven parts.

However, readers can be assured that this does not detract from this second novel providing a similarly captivating follow up from Smith’s debut novel. Both books have an easy style in terms of story and character development, one that could easily translate into a television mini-series.

Despite the more serious nature of parts of Hospital Pass, the feel good factor still remains and at the end of the book the audience is left with some unanswered questions that hopefully herald a third instalment of the Jarrod Black series.

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Posted October 24, 2019 by Editor in category "Reviews


  1. By Paul on

    This book I really enjoyed, the characters are relatable and the storyline kept me interested, not just the football moments but also the in-depth look into Jarrods struggles in his personal life. As a father and footballer I can relate to this novel. Great read!

  2. By Sue on

    Really enjoyed Jarrod Black Hospital Pass after finishing an Introduction to Jarrod Black Great insights into the world of football plus the off field story was enjoyable. Can’t wait to see a third novel from Texi Smith.

  3. By Jules on

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Texi Smith’s first instalment of the tale of Jarrod Black, I eagerly awaited this book. I can categorically confirm it didn’t disappoint. Not only did the informative insights into the beautiful game continue to engage, but so did the development of and relationship with the characters. This sequel took me on a real rollercoaster and succeeded in delivering an intimate and relatable portrayal of how life can present battles and what all that this entails can take. My appetite for more sees me keenly welcome the next chapter of Jarrod’s story and hope that the wait isn’t too long.

  4. By Tony Brown on

    What dreams are made of…what a great read!
    We all have a Jarrod Black in us.

  5. By Matt Wrixon on

    What a ride this second instalment is!

    Poignant and sincere, yet with with enough levity to keep the pages flying past to see what happens next in both Jarrod Black’s personal and professional life.
    If you enjoyed Introducing Jarrod Black you’ll love Hospital Pass. and if you haven’t read either of them, do yourself a favour.

  6. Pingback: Book Review: Anna Black – this girl can play by Texi Smith – football book reviews

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