Finn McCool's Football Club: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead

( 24 )

Overview

"Stephen Rea's gripping tale of how he and his New Orleanian band of futbol player/friends survived Hurricane Katrina and regrouped is a study in tenacity. . . . Sports lovers, particularly those who dig soccer, can find plenty of action within the pages, as well. This is a book for fans of New Orleans, of the universal ball game, of ex-pats and of pubs. Score 10-nil for Rea and the McCools."
—The Irish American Post

"An uplifting account of friendship, football, and overcoming the odds in the face of tragedy. ...

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Overview

"Stephen Rea's gripping tale of how he and his New Orleanian band of futbol player/friends survived Hurricane Katrina and regrouped is a study in tenacity. . . . Sports lovers, particularly those who dig soccer, can find plenty of action within the pages, as well. This is a book for fans of New Orleans, of the universal ball game, of ex-pats and of pubs. Score 10-nil for Rea and the McCools."
—The Irish American Post

"An uplifting account of friendship, football, and overcoming the odds in the face of tragedy. Stephen Rea has scored an impressive winner."
—Derek Rae, senior UEFA Champions League commentator, ESPN

"Finn McCool's Football Club is a must-read for soccer fans. The grit and determination displayed by these lads in the face of disaster is amazing. Their spirit and never-say-die attitude is captivating. When the history of soccer is written in the U.S., I hope the players, management, and fans of the Finn McCool's club will get proper recognition for the major role they were able to play in promoting 'the Beautiful Game.'"
—Tommy Smyth, "the Auld Onion Bag Man," ESPN commentator

"Great story about real characters bonded by a passion for football and life."
—Stephen Nicol, two-time MLS All-Stars coach and head coach, New England Revolution

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589806412
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 688,000
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Rea is a freelance writer who has contributed to national and international newspapers, magazines, and Web sites for more than twenty years. He has worked for the Sun in the United Kingdom, as well as regional newspapers in the news, features, sports, and entertainment departments. He lives with his wife and daughter in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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(23)

4 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

    Great Book!

    I have limited knowledge of soccer and ireland, but unlimited knowledge of new orleans, and still found this book to be very entertaining, funny and enlightening. I love to hear what my fellow Katrina survivors went through during their evacuation. It definitley brings a sense of normalcy to a not-so-normal situation when you realize that we all went through it together. Anyway, it was a fun book to read and great to get a non-native's perspective on New Orleans. This book is full of funny observations and hilarious/tragic side-stories. A great read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Magnificent

    This was a fantatic book. I could not put it down once I started. Mr. Rea's personal account of one of our worst national disasters is gripping. Side note - non-soccer fans will still find this imensely entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful entertainment!

    Stephen Rea manages to skillfully combine the whimsical world of his pub football team with the disastrous tragedy that struck New Orleans in the form of Hurricane Katrina. For this football (soccer) fanatic, I could very much relate to many of the author's football crazy teammates, all brought together initially by their love of the 'beautiful game' and then by a far more ominous set of circumstances. Rea's matter-of-fact description of the aftermath of Katrina paints a very real picture of utter devastation and despair of post-Katrina New Orleans but ends up as a testament of the human spirit to continue living life and playing football, in the face of great disaster. Highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    Fantastic book!

    This is a wonderful, wonderful read. I really enjoyed it. Covers the whole range of emotions and Rea is a fantastic writer. Cannot recommend it highly enough. Truly a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2009

    not just for soccer fans!

    at first, i was a little skeptical about this book. my knowledge of soccer is somewhat limited to champions league semifinals and finals matches. but it did not take long for me to realize that finn's is not a book about soccer. but instead, it is a book about the enduring human spirit, and individuals who faced so much adversity and tradgedy in the wake of hurricane katrina, but who were reunited and kept together through their love of a beautiful city and a beautiful game. i highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    Much more than just a football book

    Stephen Rea has created an evocative memoir centering around his local pub and it's fledgling football team. As one might imagine colorful characters abound and hilarity ensues when alcohol and football are mixed.

    There is plenty of serious business as well dealing with issues arising from Katrina and it's aftermath. Various degrees of loss and survivor's guilt are explored honestly and emotionally.

    Having personally had the privilege of drinking in this pub for a day as well as dealing with the aftermath of NY's own 9/11 disaster this book really hits home.

    Be not afraid even if you are not a soccer fan or have never been to New Orleans, the themes explored in this book are univeral to the human experience. A very inspiring read and reccomended to all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2009

    Great depiction of a strange time

    Steven Rea certainly has his eye on the ball in his recollections of Katrina and difficulties faced by the residents of the Gulf Coast in the aftermath. The book does a great job of illustrating the sadness, chaos, confusion, joy, and humor experienced by the locals during a very odd period of time. You don't need to be a sports fan to enjoy the read although it might entice you to pop down to Finn's for a pint....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    A Cracking Read - Highly Recommend!

    Having lived through the Katrina experience in New Orleans, I can confirm that Stephen Rea gets it just right... from the minor inconveniences (no garbage collection, no mail delivery, no credit card services) to the major traumas (loss of home, loss of employment, loss of dear ones). Having moved from Northern Ireland only months before the storm, the author gives a unique perspective on this American disaster. Remarkably, however, this is no somber read. It is a humorous and loving study of a collection of colorful characters (hailing from New Orleans and from all around the world) who met pre-Katrina through a mutual love of soccer and became bound together post-Katrina as a community of survivors turned family.

    As stated in other reviews, one need not have any knowledge of or passion for soccer to enjoy this book. Yet love of the game runs through the pages illuminating its universal appeal. As the one sport played and adored in every corner of the planet, we see its ability to connect people of different nationalities, ages, occupations and languages. After being introduced to the gang at Finn's through this book, you may find yourself wanting to know all the more about the Beautiful Game... and with World Cup a mere year away, the timing is perfect.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2009

    The individual stories behind a national tragedy

    Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath had a major impact on a nation and a city. But what about its impact on individual inhabitants?

    Stephen Rea looks to his friends on his New Orleans pub soccer team and tells their stories. But he does not confine himself to telling stories of suffering. He goes beyond Katrina to tell us more about himself and his team mates so that we have a greater empathy for him and them and hence a greater understanding of the human cost.

    Many books deal with Katrina at the national or local level. Read this book to understand Katrina at the human level.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2009

    Great Book

    Great Book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    True stories from a true storyteller.

    As a New Orleanian, whose friends and family were affected by Katrina, I feel that this book shows the world a unique and important perspective on both Katrina and New Orleans. The stories are sad, funny, wild, and most importantly true. It's not just a book about soccer, or about Katrina, but about real people and real friendships, hinged together with the uniqueness that is Finn McCool's Pub. It is a must read, eye-opening experience that shows you points of view never touched by the media.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2009

    Quality read!

    The humor throughout this book almost makes you forget how devastating Hurricane Katrina really was. Definitely a roller-coaster ride and thoroughly entertaining. Glad I took a chance and bought this - well done Mr Rea.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2009

    An entertaining and enjoyable account of a tragic event and its impact on a group of soccer fanatics

    A thouroughly entertaining account of the impact of the worst natural disaster in American history on a group of guys with a common bond, soccer. Told from the unique perspective of a new New Orleanian with equal parts humor and sentimentality.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Fantastic read

    I absolutely loved this book. It is full of drama and is poignant and touching, but it also contains plenty of humor and many very funny stories. It features a group of Americans and expats who live in New Orleans and meet at an Irish pub in the city. They form a soccer team, but as their season is about to start Hurricane Katrina smashes into the Gulf Coast and wipes away their lives. Some of the guys are left behind to face the storm's aftermath while others are scattered around the world. The book tells how the friends filter back to New Orleans to rebuild their lives. Brilliant. I can not recommend it highly enough.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    This is one of the best books I've ever read, and a quintessenti

    This is one of the best books I've ever read, and a quintessential bible of the events during and after Hurricane Katrina. It will make you laugh out loud and bring you to the brink of tears.  Range of emotion is as common while reading as the wild, crazy, unbelievable, horrific, and hilarious events unfolding throughout the book.  It is stranger than fiction, but sadder, funnier, and more joyous, because it's real life.  I absolutely loved it, and highly recommend it!

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Wan't convinced Chelsea fans could write, never mind author a book this good!

    A friend who met Stephen in New Orleans bought me this book as a gift and I loved it. He may be a Chelsea fan, but he knows how to write! As a Birmingham fan, the football angle attracted me to the book but this is not a book about football. It's about camaraderie and overcoming adversity. You don't have to be a football fan to enjoy it, so even you Villa supporters should read it, when you learn how to.....

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  • Posted June 12, 2012

    Great read

    I picked up this book and couldn't put it down, great story, Ive spent time in New Orleans and Stephen Rea's book took me to the disaster as if I was there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Excellent read!

    Excellent read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    Great Book!

    A well written account of one man finding a new home, new friends, and a new team and nearly losing them all. A wonderful cast of characters taking their lumps on and off the pitch, banding together as friends and teamates in the dark months after Katrina. Funny and entertaining, this is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

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  • Posted May 23, 2012

    In this funny, poignant, and insightful book, Rea weaves togethe

    In this funny, poignant, and insightful book, Rea weaves together a vertiginous mix of characters, mishaps, and an unflinching passion for soccer into a luminous tapestry of struggle, rebirth and life in and around a New Orleans working-class pub. New Orleans is the richer for having this wonderful ex-pat author in its number and we hope that more books will come marching out of his compassionately beautiful mind.

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