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Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport
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Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  797 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
The Pies beat the Saints and the city of Melbourne was still cloaked in black and white crepe paper when the rumour of a pack rape by celebrating footballers began to surface. By morning, the head of the sexual crimes squad confirmed to journalists that they were preparing to question two Collingwood players ... And so, as police were confiscating bed sheets from a townhou ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 6th 2013 by Black Inc. (first published May 3rd 2013)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mel Campbell
So much has been raved about this book that, in my contrary way, I steered clear of it for ages. Also, I hate sport and think the way it's lavishly funded and celebrated as self-evidently great is one of the worst and most corrosive things about Australian culture. Third, I am not a fan of what Helen Garner has turned into a respectable genre for women non-fiction writers in Australia: the personal court case narrative.

I could tell that Krien had done a lot of archival research (of court docume
Jul 29, 2013 Jillwilson rated it really liked it
“She had no language to explain the grey zone, to explain what was lost in translation between the sexes.” Night Games is about sex, consent and power. The writer Anna Krien traces the trial of a young VFL footballer accused of rape after a Big Night Out in 2010. Like the writing of Helen Garner or Chloe Hooper, the writer is solidly in this story, describing her emotions as she watches the trial unfold. And, as occurred in The First Stone, Krien only has access to one half of the participants ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Bronny rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. Anna Krien mentions Helen Garner's 'The First Stone' and it seems obvious that she was aiming to make this book a similar thing. 'The First Stone' pissed me off, a lot. Garner's views on that whole subject clashed with my own and I was annoyed and frustrated throughout most of reading it, but I think it was still worth reading because of Helen Garner's talent. Unfortunately, Anna Krien just doesn't seem to have that same talent. ...more
Nov 29, 2013 Rachel72 rated it really liked it
I got this as a freebie because I bought a Crikey subscription, and hadn't previously heard of it, but the subject matter immediately interested me, as a criminal lawyer, feminist and footy fan.

The publisher's blurb describes this as "in the tradition of Helen Garner's The First Stone" and Garner is thanked in the acknowledgements. The approach is certainly similar: an analysis of a recent, relatively high profile rape case, examination of the wider context in which the alleged offending occurre
Feb 03, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
Another title for this book could be: Blurred Lines. While the theme is potentially a concern across all professional team sports (and beyond), unfortunately it appears the AFL provides enough meaty examples to earn a book of its own. I felt compelled to read this book, primarily as a female Melbournian who has enjoyed watching good (as opposed to any) football matches over the years, mixed with interest that extended from my younger days when AFL footballers might happen be at the same social ...more
Jun 07, 2014 Magoo rated it really liked it
This was gripping. Gripping in an horrific, shocking way, not an enjoyable one. This is a text every young person, male and female, should read simply because it details the horrors wreaked on both genders as a result of a lack of respect and tolerance with regards to sex, relationships, friendships and women. Krien goes to great lengths to try and balance her arguments and generally details her sources with regards to the incidents and events that she reports on. Astonishingly so many famous, ...more
Liz Barr
Dec 17, 2013 Liz Barr rated it it was ok
Night Games by Anna Krien examines rape culture in AFL. Suffice to say, it made me a bit mad. Not just because of the nature of the issue (although that was a big part of it), but the book is centred around a rape trial, and I wasn’t completely comfortable with the way she covered it.What happened was, after the night of the (tie-breaker) grand final between Collingwood and St Kilda (coincidentally the only year I paid attention to the AFL), two Collingwood players and a guy from a small local ...more
In some ways, this is Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee for sex and sport. A murky case (arguably), a trial, a journalist's concern that integrity and objectivity has been compromised.

Krien has copped a bit of flak for the latter - although she has also been defended for making her uncertainties unclear from the outset. To be honest, I do not envy the task that Krien set herself. As she admits toward the end, a part of her wished she had picked a more straightforward case with a clear victim and
Sep 27, 2014 Trevor rated it liked it
Shelves: australian
Well written interesting investigation of the trial that took place as a result of the rape allegation after the Collingwood Grand Final win in 2010.

This is not the type of book that you "enjoy", but I'm glad that I've now read it.

The writer Anna Krien takes a balanced point of view, and manages to link the central story in with many others of a similar nature that have occurred in both the AFL and NRL. Two minor negatives that i have are:

1) Why no foot notes or bibliography?
2) Fleshing out the
Cate Ellink
Mar 12, 2016 Cate Ellink rated it it was amazing
Devoured this book. Well put together thoughts on such a difficult subject, or range of subjects. How Anna Krien kept her discussion so succinct fascinated me. She had many and varied examples yet reined them in and distilled them to the bare bones. She touched on minorities, feminism, misogyny, groupthink, fall guys, expendable resources...yet the touch was deft. She never got bogged down in any discussion. This was so much more that sex, power and sport, it was a real look at society in ...more
Brendan Carney
Nov 08, 2015 Brendan Carney rated it it was amazing
A must read for any Australian or anyone interested in Australian culture or society. Emotionally pensive, brutal and honest. This is the kind of book that could change lives and encourages readers to take a long hard look at themselves, those around them and institutions which are regarded by many as mainstays of Australian culture.

Krien is a magnificent writer. Will go back and read her first book, Into the Woods and then patiently wait for whatever she publishes next.
Dan Billings
Jul 26, 2015 Dan Billings rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping and powerful, this is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking books on the plague of rape culture in modern sports. I couldn't put it down but it definitely aggravated a few members in my book club, especially Melbourne-bred AFL fans who are loathe to take any of their boys in uniform to account. This is an important book which reveals uncomfortable realities in Australian culture.
Anna Spargo-Ryan
May 13, 2013 Anna Spargo-Ryan rated it really liked it
A thorough analysis of sexual assault in Australian football. I found the narrative hard to follow at times, but the depth of the research was fascinating and expertly executed.

(view spoiler)
Jun 16, 2013 Avril rated it really liked it
My only complaint is the lack of footnotes. When did non-fiction writers stop documenting their sources? I kept turning to the back to see where and when a particular quote came from and there was nothing.
Aug 09, 2013 Kathie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for any woman who considers herself a feminist and a footy fan.
Confronting, depressing and yet one of the most important books written about the world of football and sexual politics.
A very balanced take on a very murky culture.
Belinda Hudson
Feb 05, 2014 Belinda Hudson rated it really liked it
This is a great book. It is a very interesting insight into the male dominated football culture and the impact it has on society in general. Well worth a read.
Jan 04, 2014 B.P. rated it liked it
I would have preferred a more academic approach, however, I think it is important that Krien has broached this topic in an accessible way.
May 24, 2013 Dan rated it liked it
Interesting topic but this book was a little like riding an exercise bike. It gave me something to do but didn't go anywhere.
Sep 04, 2013 Viv rated it it was amazing
I didn't agree with all the conclusions in this book but I thought it was a powerful read. Unfortunately I don't think the people who should be reading this book will read it.
Mar 20, 2014 Skye rated it it was amazing
This was such a compelling read, about one of my favourite issues. I definitely need to get more non-fiction like this into my life.
May 25, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book. A combination of meticulous research and fantastic storytelling.
Nov 25, 2016 Di rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub, non-fiction
This was a book that we had for our book club and I don't think I would have read it otherwise. It won Sports book of the year 2014. On the cover, it was compared to Helen Garner's books and in one sense the comparison was fair enough. It is all you ever wanted to know (and probably a lot more that you didn't) and all that you might have ever suspected about sex and power in sport. No doubt the same could be said for the entertainment industry. And recent newspaper reports suggest that it is ...more
Steven Kaminski
Nov 13, 2016 Steven Kaminski rated it really liked it
"Everyone knows what the rules are for groupies who hang around famous athletes & rock stars." - Alan Dershowitz

Really interesting book that looks closer at the culture in Australia. And in particular focuses on the trial of Justin Dyer, a footballer (Rugby player) was accused of raping a woman in an alley after she had engaged in consensual sex with another player. He would go on to be acquitted. But why he was acquitted had a lot to do with culture.

- The culture around football (rugby) in
This book was interesting, well researched, and 'balanced' for lack of a better word.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the criminal case at the centre of the story. Everything else was spot on - the analysis of footy's status in Australia, team groupthink, the rise of hypermasculinity - but the angle that Krien took with the criminal case just made me feel a bit squicky. Not having the perspective of the victim made it feel as if the case was just included in the book to redeem/justify all
Ken Richards
Dec 08, 2016 Ken Richards rated it liked it
Interesting and even handed analysis of a controversial sexual assault case in Melbourne involving footballers from a famous club, during celebrations of a Premiership victory.

Anna Krien looks at the 'boys will be boys' culture prevalent in modern sports, and how attitudes are slowly changing, though not without desperate resistance. How these cultural factors affect the concepts of consent and awareness thereof are forensically examined, both through the events played out in the courtroom and
Jul 17, 2014 Thom rated it it was amazing
Young Australian author Anna Krien’s recent publication Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport is an engaging and thoughtful reflection on the power and attention enjoyed, abused, and sometimes unsolicited by sportsmen. The journalistic narrative format brilliantly complements the book’s content, and Krien’s frankness, in both her expression and personal opinions, is praiseworthy.

The book itself is about a court case in which the defendant, an aspiring A.F.L. footballer, is accused of rape in the wak
Maha Abed
Sep 28, 2013 Maha Abed rated it liked it
I have to say that before I started this book, I knew there existed a misogynistic, sexist, sometimes violent, football and rugby culture in Australia. But, I learnt A LOT more about this repulsive culture by reading this book. It's scary how footballers, generally, view the world. They are scouted by the clubs when they are young, and unable to yet shed a mature approach to everything they do and their identity in the world. Then, they are drafted and taught how to act and think, all for the ...more
Sep 28, 2016 Meg rated it it was amazing
An angry and important book. Anna Krien explores the ugly and dark side to Australian football culture with an impressive amount of research and without any bias.

I've wanted to pick it up for awhile, and with the AFL announcing the launch of an all women's league next year and Rebecca Maddern becoming the first female panelist on The Footy Show, I felt it was an important time to finally read this.

I recommend this to all female football fans and all the footy jocks I so despised in high school.
Mar 23, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it
This book follows the trial of a young AFL footballer on the fringe of stardom when he is accused of rape. Krien uses the story to examine a number of the high profile rape allegations, particularly gang rape allegations, which have impacted several AFL and Rugby League. A really tough and interesting subject for a woman to tackle (pardon the pun) in Australian culture, where the skill of being able to toss a piece of pigskin around a paddock makes you a legend and supersedes anything else ...more
Ben Lever
Jan 01, 2016 Ben Lever rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. The first book in many moons that has given me that "Staying up way too late because I can't put it down" experience.

For one thing, the discussion of the continuum of rape, the masculine culture of footy (and Australian culture at large), and how the two play into each other, was excellent - extremely nuanced and insightful.

But from a stylistic point of view, I feel the way Krien quite openly inserts herself into the narrative to be a good way of tackling the issue. There is no omni
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Melbourne Library...: Melbourne Book Club - September 1 10 Sep 04, 2015 12:54AM  
  • Floundering
  • Boy, Lost
  • The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell (Quarterly Essay #51)
  • This House of Grief
  • Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee
  • The Misogyny Factor
  • Blood
  • Madness: a Memoir
  • Eugenia
  • Heat and Light
  • Foreign Soil
  • The Family Law
  • The Strays
  • Girl Defective
  • The Eye of the Sheep
  • Mullumbimby
  • Women of Letters: Reviving The Lost Art of Correspondence
  • Her Father's Daughter

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