Fever Pitch

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Fever Pitch: A Fan's Life

Fever Pitch - UK - Hardcover - 1st Edition.jpg

Hardcover - UK - 1st edition.

Author Nick Hornby
Published 1992-??-??
Type Non-fiction
Genre Memoir
Themes Sports
Age Group Adult

Fever Pitch: A Fan's Life is a short memoir by Nick Hornby published in 1992. The book describes his life up until his 30s being a dedicated fan of London's Arsenal Football Club. The book has been so successful, it has been adapted to film twice and reprinted many times, although only the first edition uses the subtitle.

The book begins with Hornby's first soccer game as a young boy as way for he and his father to bond after his parents' divorce, then continues into his 30s. He discusses how he became interested in soccer, how many of the important memories in his life are tied to specific games, and why he thinks sports fans are often misunderstood.

Personal

Own?No.
Read?Abridged audiobook, unknown reader.
Finished2023-05-02.

I'm enjoyed everything I've read by Nick Hornby, so, when I found this book as an audiobook, I started reading it without even knowing what it was about. Although I'm not a huge fan of any sports, don't care much for soccer, and think even less of UK regional soccer, I still enjoyed the book. However, as I started trying to find the source of the audiobook, I discovered that it was a seriously abridged version, cutting the 8 hours long audiobook down to one and a quarter, so I still need to get a full length version.

Review

Overall:

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Good

  • As is expected by Hornby, the writing is superb the whole way through. He has a way of explaining every day things in a witty manner that make them seem extraordinary.
  • Even if you're not interested in soccer in the UK, or even competitive sports in general, you can still enjoy this book.
  • I like Hornby's attempt to find an analogy for a team you've been following for 18 years to suddenly win a championship. The over-used sex metaphor doesn't do it justice unless you haven't had sex in 18 years, and don't plan on it.

Bad

  • Evey so often Hornby gets into a bit too much depth on esoteric details, but by no means enough to make the book boring.
  • Sadly, the book is just too short.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Covers

Quotes

  • 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 with it.
  • By the early seventies I had become an Englishman – that is to say, I hated England just as much as half of my compatriots seemed to do.
  • I have always been accused of taking the things I love - football, of course, but also books and records - much too seriously, and I do feel a kind of anger when I hear a bad record, or when someone is lukewarm about a book that means a lot to me.
  • A critical faculty is a terrible thing. When I was eleven there were no bad films, just films I didn't want to see, there was no bad food, just Brussels sprouts and cabbage, and there were no bad books - everything I read was great. Then suddenly, I woke up in the morning and all that had changed. How could my sister not hear that David Cassidy was not in the same class as Black Sabbath? Why on EARTH would my English teacher think that 'The History of Mr Polly' was better than 'Ten Little Indians' by Agatha Christie? And from that moment on, enjoyment has been a much more elusive quality.
  • What impressed me most was just how much most of the men around me hated, really hated, being there. As far as I could tell, nobody seemed to enjoy, in the way that I understood the word, anything that happened during the entire afternoon. Within minutes of the kick-off there was real anger ('You’re a DISGRACE, Gould. He's a DISGRACE!' 'A hundred quid a week? A HUNDRED QUID A WEEK! They should give that to me for watching you.'); as the game went on, the anger turned into outrage, and then seemed to curdle into sullen, silent discontent. Yes, yes, I know all the jokes. What else could I have expected at Highbury? But I went to Chelsea and to Tottenham and to Rangers, and saw the same thing: that the natural state of the football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.
  • I had discovered after the Swindon game that loyalty, at least in football terms, was not a moral choice like bravery or kindness; it was more like a wart or a hump, something you were stuck with.
  • So please, be tolerant of those who describe a sporting moment as their best ever. We do not lack imagination, nor have we had sad and barren lives; it is just that real life is paler, duller, and contains less potential for unexpected delirium.
  • So, yes, of course I feel nostalgic, even if I am longing for a time which never really belonged to us: like I said, some things were better, some were worse, and the only way one can ever learn to understand one's own youth is by accepting both halves of the proposition.

Links

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