"Fever Pitch" is Nick Hornby's million-copy-selling, award-winnning football classic. 'I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring'. For many people watching football is mere entertainment, to some it's more like a ritual; ...
"Fever Pitch" is Nick Hornby's million-copy-selling, award-winnning football classic. 'I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring'. For many people watching football is mere entertainment, to some it's more like a ritual; but to others, its highs and lows provide a narrative to life itself. For Nick Hornby, his devotion to the game has provided one of few constants in a life where the meaningful things - like growing up, leaving home and forming relationships, both parental and romantic - have rarely been as simple or as uncomplicated as his love for Arsenal. Brimming with wit and honesty, "Fever Pitch", winner of the William Hill Sports book of the Year, catches perfectly what it really means to be a football fan - and in doing so, what it means to be a man. It sits side the very finest football classics of the last twenty five years, from "The Damned United by David Peace" to "A Life Too Short" by Ronald Reng, but it is ultimately a book that defies categorization and can be enjoyed by all. "A spanking 7-0 away win of a football book...inventive, honest, funny, heroic, charming". (Jim White, "Independent"). "Funny, wise and true". (Roddy Doyle). "Hornby has put his finger on truths that have been unspoken for generations. Furthermore, he writes beautifully. A damn good read. Buy it". (Tom Humphries, "Irish Times"). Nick Hornby has captivated readers and achieved widespread critical acclaim for his comic, well-observed novels "About a Boy", "High Fidelity", "How to be Good", "A Long Way Down" (shortlisted for the Whitbread Award), "Slam and Juliet", "Naked". His two additional works of non-fiction, "31 Songs" (shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and "The Complete Polysyllabic Spree" are also available from Penguin.
Publishers Weekly, 1994-05-09 Brought to print to take advantage of America's presumed fascination with the '94 World Cup (the first ever held here), Fever Pitch is a 24-year obsessional diary of English club football (soccer, to us Americans) games Hornby has witnessed and the way these games have become inextricable from his personal life. Hornby is the kind of fanatic who merely shrugs about the ``tyranny'' the sport exerts over his life--the mumbled excuses he must give at every missed christening or birthday party as a result of a schedule conflict. ``Sometimes hurting someone,'' he writes, ``is unavoidable.'' These occasions tend to bring out ``disappointment and tired impatience'' in his friends and family, but it is when he is exposed as a ``worthless, shallow worm'' that the similarly stricken reader can relate to the high costs of caring deeply about a game that means nothing to one's more well-adjusted friends. These moments are fleeting, however. The book has not been tailored for American audiences, so readers lacking a knowledge of English club football's rules, traditions, history and players will be left completely in the dark by Hornby's obscure references. Unfortunately, he has neither Roger Angell's ability to take us inside the game nor the pathos of Frederick Exley's brilliantly disturbed autobiographical trilogy. Though Hornby does show flashes of real humor, Fever Pitch features mainly pedestrian insights on life and sport, and then it's on to the next game--the equivalent, for an American reader, of a nil-nil tie. Author appearances. (June)
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