Fever Pitch [NOOK Book]

Overview

Nick Hornby has been a soccer fan since the moment he was conceived. 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 fandomits agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young men's coming of age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above ...
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Fever Pitch

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Overview

Nick Hornby has been a soccer fan since the moment he was conceived. 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 fandomits agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young men's 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.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440673047
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 104,804
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author


Nick Hornby is the author of six internationally bestselling novels (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, a collection of his 'Stuff I've Been Reading' columns from the Believer.  His screenplay for the film An Education was nominated for an Academy Award. He lives in Highbury, north London.

 

Biography

Journalist and bestselling novelist Nick Hornby is best known for his portraits of dysfunctional Peter Pans -- clueless postmodern males in various stages of arrested development who discover, often to their chagrin, that growing up is a process involving far more than the passage of time. Dubbed the "maestro of the male confessional" by The New Yorker, Hornby is credited as the founder of the "lad lit " genre -- a peculiar honor, since he also seems to be its only truly successful practitioner!

However, to dismiss Hornby's writing as the testosterone-laced equivalent of "chick lit" is to seriously underestimate his talent. The New York Times Book Review put it this way: "Hornby is a writer who dares to be witty, intelligent and emotionally generous all at once. He combines a skilled, intuitive appreciation for the rigors of comic structure with highly original insights about the way the enchantments of popular culture insinuate themselves into middle-class notions of romance." (As further proof of his standing in the literary community, a group of distinguished colleagues -- including Germaine Greer, Zadie Smith, and Doris Lessing -- honored Hornby with the 2003 London Award.)

After graduating from Cambridge, Hornby worked a succession of jobs (he taught school, gave language classes, and served as a host for Samsung executives visiting the U.K.) before becoming a journalist. He wrote a series of pop culture columns for the Independent and wrote about music, books, and sports for Esquire, The Sunday Times, Elle, and the Times Literary Supplement. Then, in 1992, Hornby published a hilarious sports memoir about his maniacal obsession with Britain's Arsenal Football Club. A huge bestseller, Fever Pitch won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and helped to give soccer a cachet far beyond its formerly "blokey" appeal. His debut novel, High Fidelity, appeared in 1995. Teeming with hip music and pop culture references, this story of a thirty-something record store owner lamenting his failed romantic relationships struck a responsive chord with readers on both sides of the Pond, paving the way for his bestselling 1998 follow-up, About a Boy.

Critical praise and literary honors have followed Hornby throughout his career: His 2001 novel How to Be Good won the WH Smith Fiction Award and was nominated for a Booker Prize; A Long Way Down (2005) was shortlisted for both the Whitbread Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He is the author of a bestselling novel for young adults (Slam), and his nonfiction essays have been collected into several anthologies, including The Polysyllabic Spree, Housekeeping vs. the Dirt, and Songbook (published in the UK as 31 Songs). He also serves as a pop music critic for The New Yorker.

Good To Know

Hollywood loves Hornby!
  • High Fidelity was filmed in 2000 with John Cusack.
  • Hugh Grant starred in the 2002 film About a Boy.
  • Fever Pitch was filmed twice: The 1997 British version starred Colin Firth. In 2005, an Americanized remake (substituting the Boston Red Sox for the Arsenal Football Club ) was released starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.

    Hornby has admitted that when he first began writing, voice was a problem. "Everything changed for me when I read Anne Tyler, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, and Lorrie Moore, all in about '86-'87," he has said. " ... voice, tone, simplicity, humour, soul ... all of these things seemed to be missing from the contemporary English fiction I'd looked at, and I knew then what I wanted to do."

    Hornby is the father of an autistic son, Danny. He is also a co-founder of TreeHouse, an English charity school for autistic children. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Speaking with the Angel, an anthology of stories he edited in 2002, was donated to TreeHouse.

    Writer Zadie Smith has credited Hornby for "reintrocuding the English novel to its long-lost domestic roots."

    Music is still paramount in Hornby's life. He has a longstanding relationship with the American rock group Marah and has collaborated with them in music/spoken word performances on several occasions.

    Hornby writes a monthly column, "Stuff I've Been Reading," for The Believer , a literary magazine published by Dave Eggers's McSweeney's publishing house.

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

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 28 )
    Rating Distribution

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 20, 2004

      A Gooner Legend

      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

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted February 7, 2014

      This book is a fantastic book if you are a big English soccer fa

      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!

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 21, 2004

      Grown men crying

      Quite simply, although I am biased as an Arsenal fan like the author, this is the only book that has ever caused me to weep tears of joy. The paragraph on the final moments of Arsenal's 2-0 championship winning victory in Liverpool is the most tearjerking moment of literary history for people like us !

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 8, 2002

      Soccer motif helps reveal growth

      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.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 21, 2000

      It's In Everyone of Us

      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!!!

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 15, 2000

      Bloody wonderful, honest book about the love of football

      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!

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 6, 2013

      As an established Arsenal...

      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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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 21, 2012

      This may earn me a bit of hate, but....

      I apologize to any who may be offened.....but have any of you checked the BPL standings? And, whom may i ask, is at the top? Just something to ruminate on..........

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 4, 2007

      And now . .. .

      FEVER PITCH will not resonate with everyone, the same way Palahniuk's LULLABY won't and the likes of McCrae's KATZENAJAMMER will not fall into the category of 'must haves.' But, it is an interesting book and you don't have to have a vested interest in football (European--Soccer, really) to enjoy this title. Set in memoir style, FEVER PITCH is a quizzical look at fanaticism with one sport, and how it affect the lives of people. Hornby's insights are keen, and the lets us in on a world that ranges from shallowness to great depth. Better known for his HIGH FIDELITY, Hornby nevertheless hits a high mark with this book. This book explores the way the game brings people together and at other times, tears them apart. The most riveting aspect of this title is the way Hornby shows us how the 'game' is woven so into his own life. If you enjoyed his ABOUT A BOY or the ribald and fun KATZENJAMMER (McCrae), the this book will not disappoint with its insight into the world of sports.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 23, 2009

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      Posted January 6, 2011

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      Posted January 10, 2010

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      Posted November 22, 2009

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      Posted December 8, 2009

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      Posted January 13, 2009

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      Posted April 20, 2011

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      Posted January 7, 2010

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 26, 2008

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 26, 2012

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