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Fever Pitch
     

Fever Pitch

4.2 28
by Nick Hornby
 

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In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that's before the players even take the field.

Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part

Overview

In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that's before the players even take the field.

Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby's award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom - its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young mens' coming-of-age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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)
Library Journal
In a humorous vein, Hornby guides the reader through a series of football matches (soccer games) played from 1968 to 1991 by an English first-division team known as Arsenal. By his own admission, the author is an obsessive supporter of ``The Gunners,'' as the team is popularly known, but not of the violence or hooliganism that Americans often associate with the game in England. Hornby's purpose in writing this memoir is to explore the ``meaning'' that soccer holds for many enthusiasts. Few people in North America can grasp the fanatic appreciation that Europeans and the British have for the game. While this book will be popular with soccer fans, patrons having little or no knowledge of the sport will require more basic information. An alternative title is Paul Gardner's The Simplest Game (LJ 1/94), which provides a more comprehensive examination of soccer. Recommended where demand warrants.-L.R. Little, Penticton P.L., B.C.
From the Publisher
“Whether you are interested in football or not, this is tears-running-down-your-face funny, read-bits-out-loud-to-complete-strangers funny, but also highly perceptive and honest about Hornby’s obsession and the state of the game.” —GQ 

"Hornby has established himself... as a maestro of the male confessional. [His] books reveal a fascination with the sheer voodoo of what so often passes for masculinity; the weird ritual facts, the useless objects, the losing clubs and teams." —The New Yorker
 
"Utterly hilarious." —Elle

"Fever Pitch transcends the mundane and the sporty to say something about the way we live." —The Observer 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780001047716
Publisher:
Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
Publication date:
03/01/1997
Product dimensions:
4.33(w) x 5.51(h) x (d)

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Meet the Author

Nick Hornby is the author of seven internationally bestselling novels (Funny Girl, High Fidelity, About a Boy, How to be Good, A Long Way Down, Slam and Juliet, Naked) and several works of  non-fiction including Fever Pitch, Songbook and Ten Years In The Tub. He has written screenplay adaptions of Lynn Barber’s An Education, nominated for an Academy Award, Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. He lives in London.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 17, 1957
Place of Birth:
Redhill, Surrey, England
Education:
Jesus College, Cambridge University

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Fever Pitch 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the UK the Arsenal Fans are known as Gooners and this was their piece of history. The characterisation and writing is wonderful and the drama so brilliantly played out that the Gooners can re-live their Nirvana again and again. Don't read if you're a Spurs fan
Nathandrew More than 1 year ago
This book is a fantastic book if you are a big English soccer fan (Arsenal in particular). I got into it more just because I have a general liking of the sport and was interested in a different perspective of the game. And I guess thats what I got? Nick is obsessed with the game and he makes that known from the beginning, so to be honest you know what your getting into. But that obsession really put me off. He talks more about the game than his unnamed lover, he gets more worked up about whats going on in a soccer game than about the death of fans a few stadiums over, and repeatedly worries about having kids, not because of the natural "Oh Crap I'm having kids" tendencies we all have but because that might mean he will have to miss ONE game to go watch the BIRTH OF HIS CHILD!  Overall the book was interesting but not something I would read again. For me its a 2 star book but it looks like some other people disagree. Good Luck!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everyone must find a passion in life and gain experience from failures and triumphs; in Nick Hornby¿s ¿Fever Pitch¿ a boy grows up under the wing of a soccer club and gains valuable life experiences from the anguish of defeat and the glory of victory. This semi-autobiographical book outlines Hornby¿s life with the backdrop of a lifetime obsession for London-based Arsenal. It starts when his parents become divorced and he finds comfort in the swearing and dirty crowds of Highbury Stadium in North London. As his life changes, his obsession does not. He tells readers about the anguish and torment it causes him but always comes back to the comfort of the hooligans and the small glimmers of hope every season. This book is very insightful, and achieves its theme of growth by using obscure references to soccer games as a continuing motif. These help connect the ongoing growth of Hornby with the condition of Arsenal in a particular game or season. The games are not summarized and only clear and precise images are recalled in order to give the author¿s true feeling during that point in his life. Each chapter is based on a certain game and how that pertains to Hornby¿s maturation. Arsenal¿s condition as a team, directly relates to his feelings on life. This technique does, however, make it hard for someone not familiar with English soccer to follow. Hornby takes for granted that one knows who Crystal Palace is and that the FA cup final is played at Wembley stadium. For those even slightly familiar with the EPL, however, the book is a direct hit on the soul of a sports fan and the agony it brings through shadows of hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading this witty book makes me say 'Oh, so it's the common feeling of every footie mad?' as for more than ten years I question whether my obsession in footie is a normal thing or not- especially that I'm a girl. The more I read it, the more it makes me laugh and cry remebering all those feelings. The very kind of book every footie-mad would write, so thanx to Mr. Hornby for bring this madness to the world. For footie haters, this is what we -the lovers- are. Two thumbs up!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's an honest, hysterical and frighteningly real novel about the sheer pain of being a football fan. He gets it right when he says real supporters of a team don't enjoy a single second of it. He correctly illustrates the torture a fanatic goes through. Brilliant!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two years prior to reading this, I became a fan of Arsenal. This is amazing, for me it hits heights it won't for others, but it is a brilliant chronicle of what it's like to be a football fan, and what it was like before the Barclay's family-friendlying of the Prem. Often doesn't overly romanticize it (in my opinion) so much as record the experience.
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