Tfitoby's Reviews > Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
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May 23, 12

bookshelves: favourites, bio, arsenal, non-fiction
Read from May 22 to 23, 2012

The football season ended with a huge sense of relief but almost instantly I was in pain at the thought of June and July, those two months of the year when I have to fill my mind with thoughts other than 'when are Arsenal playing next? What time of the night do I set my alarm for?' The two months without football are the worst of the year. Not least because now that I am living in Australia, as opposed to England, it's also winter. It felt like the perfect time to finally revisit one of the books I've enjoyed most in my life, the memoirs of Nick Hornby, the now celebrity Arsenal fan and writer of lit-light novels that get turned in to not bad movies.

Having initially read this book in 1994 at the age of 12, before my world changed in so many ways and before professional football in England changed in so many ways I was curious as to how Fever Pitch would stand the test of time and how accurate my memory of it was. And I am happy to report that I enjoyed as much, if not more, now than I did then but most likely for different reasons.

The anecdotes are often hilarious and the observations of people and especially obsession/fandom/fanaticism are incredibly accurate, at times it felt like somebody actually understood why I behave the way I behave, these things that I always struggle to put in to words to justify myself to those people who just can't understand my chosen passion or the effect it has on me. It's not just a game to me, no matter how often well meaning people try to console me with that cliched line and perhaps now I can hand them this book and they will understand.

From an anthropological perspective this is an invaluable text, its a fabulous historical document also and as entertainment it fulfils its purpose and then some but most of all it's a marvellous source of pride for 'us,' the fans of The Arsenal that something so highly thought of is on its surface about us and not some other bunch of lillywhites or oil rich zillionaires playthings.

It didn't make the wait for the new season any easier but merely served to heighten my anticipation and expectation for when it finally arrives.
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Reading Progress

05/22/2012 page 22
9.0% "It's been a very long time, I've changed, Arsenal have changed but what Nick Hornby writes in the first 21 pages of this book is still 100% perfect. And gut wrenchingly funny to boot. (strangely Colin Firth is narrating in my mind)"
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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark FEVER PITCH is a small masterpiece, and one that beautifully explains and makes sense of a peculiar male gene--the desperate need for one's favorite team to succeed, and the indescribable misery you experience when they don't. My passion is the other kind of football, and I share your depression about the long wait between seasons, but even though this book is about "soccer" the sport it's referencing doesn't really matter. The decision to make it into a film about baseball (which I refuse to watch) was a horrible idea, and I say that even as a lifelong Red Sox fan.


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