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Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King: The Turbulent Life of Eric Cantona

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  519 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Many have tried to persuade Eric Cantona to write his autobiography. He never will. Philippe Auclair has interviewed every key player in Cantona's life to produce a biography that reveals, for the first time, the heart and inner thoughts of this most extraordinary character. Cantona played for six different French clubs, making his international debut at twenty-one, ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 21st 2009 by Macmillan (first published August 6th 2009)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  519 ratings  ·  27 reviews


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Start your review of Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King: The Turbulent Life of Eric Cantona
Richard Leeming
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Curiously a much better book than Auclair's autobiography of Thierry Henry, possibly because Cantona is a much more interesting man than Henry (and I speak as an Arsenal fan who loathes Manchester United with every fibre of my being!).

Auclair is even handed about Cantona's strengths and his accompanying weaknesses, his skewering of the mob reaction to Cantona's attack on Matthew Simmonds at Selhurst Park is one of the stronger passages of the book, as is a section towards the end when Auclair
...more
Adam Whitemore
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So much more depth than the typical football bio
David Miller
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are a Manchester United fan born in 1975, then Eric Cantona is, and always will be, 'the King'.
This book is is no hagiography and quite unique in many respects for a sports biography / autobiography.
...
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
كان من الممكن اعطي الكتاب 5 نجوم بعد 60 صفحة فقط,او 120 صفحة,في النهاية قررت ارفق المراجعة بعد 180 صفحة وانتهاء الجزء الأول من مسيرة كانتونا

بداية اشارة للكاتب المذهل فيليب اوكلير..اسلوبه في بناء الأحداث من حول الشخصية بدون اقتباس مباشر منها مذهل فعلا..وانت تقرأ المسيرة من خلال كلمات من حوله بإستطاعتك أن تبني احداث سنوات وشخصيات مرت في مشوار الكرة الفرنسية..هو كاتب رائع واسلوبه في السرد ممتع وغير ممل

نقطتين احب اتفرع منها..اولا صورته كلاعب قليل من عاصرها لذلك ما يرتبط بالذاكرة فقط هو اعتدائه على
...more
Rebecca
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, first of all, Goodreads' page count for this hardback edition is out by nearly 200 as there are 469 pages, rather than the 288 it tells me there are.

But listing issues apart, this is a very good book. I think it helps that the author is a fellow Frenchman, who can explain Cantona's Marseille background in cultural and social terms that most English biographers would not bother with. And of course, Auclair has been more detailed and done more actual research than most previous biographers -
...more
Nicolas Ronvel
Une petite déception. Après Open de André Agassi, je pensais retrouver une biographie intéressante, mais je la trouve un bon niveau en-dessous.
Le soucis vient principalement de sa longueur, et surtout des résumés de matches qui ralentissent considérablement la lecture. Les phases d'analyse, ou celle qui décrivent l'environnement, la personnalité de Cantona, sont toutes très intéressantes. J'étais encore jeune lors des événements, je m'en rappelle brièvement. J'ai vu beaucoup d'images, de vidéos
...more
Akhlaq
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
The literary world is not overly filled with biographies of Eric Cantona despite his career and becoming the driving force and personality of the newly established Premier League in 1992 so Philippe Auclairs contribution is definitely the most definitive.

The author has taken immense research to get a full picture of Cantonas life and career with recounts of his professional career in France which is rarely told in this depth. His journey from France, his parallel career with his national team
...more
Thiago S.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Cantona is a very interesting character but this book certainly isn't. Couldnt finish it even containing less than 300 pages, mainly because of the very long paragraphs which made the read boring and the story hard to follow.

I give it 2.5 stars and I was really fooled by the high av. rating this title possessed here on goodreads. Maybe hundreds of man utd fans have just voted without reading it. Of the part I had the endurance to read, got one or two good anedoctes, the rest were endless
...more
Abhinav Jb
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ooh aah cantona

One of the best football books I've ever read. Objective in analysis but doesnt stop from acknowledging the genius anf enigma that was Cantona
Darren Sheppard
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Phillipe Auclair has a wonderful vocabulary
Ayushman
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book sparks joy and I haven't even gotten to Cantona's United years yet.

An added bonus has been populating Cantona's previously anemic Wikipedia page.
Mohd Farid Scott
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
First off, this book is my introduction to Philippe Auclair. I wasn't familiar with his writings before but now I am a fan!
For me, Auclair's credibility (which he maintains throughout)comes from his detachment from Eric himself. Yes, both of them are French but that's about it. No grandiose claims of being in the circle or unobstructed link to the man himself. In this book, Auclair intertwined the highs and the lows broadening the story right from the very beginning in a little household full of
...more
E. J.
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A terrific account of the career of a footballing genius and an unmissable read for any fan of Cantona or Man. Utd. It should appeal to the neutral too. Cantona found his football and spiritual home at Old Trafford because Alex Ferguson "got him" in a way few managers before did. When Cantona went from Leeds to Man. Utd, the fortunes of both clubs changed dramatically and it's not hard to see that Cantona's transfer had a big part to play in this. For Man. Utd, he was the catalyst and foundation ...more
Rohit Pahari
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A superbly crafted narrative on the life of one of the most misunderstood characters in the history of football. It's tempting to choose sides in a biography, particularly when it's the biography of a man who has simultaneously been deified and vilified by the same society, at the same frame of time. However, Philippe Auclair shows excellent balance throughout this meticulously documented archive of Cantona's life - up to his 'death' in 1997 - and combines it with marvellous, free-flowing prose ...more
James
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio, football
Fantastic insight into a grossly misunderstood footballer. This is not a platform to defend his actions, nor pour scorn on them, but a chance to present his career in facts rather than tabloid hyperbole.
Instead of using simple guesswork, it analyses his state of mind and asks 'why' rather than judging.

Auclair writes this in such a way that it does not feel like a biography of a famous personality but a historical or psychological piece on one of history's great characters. He manages this whilst
...more
Priyank Acharya
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cantona - the rebel, the revolutionary, the show man, the artist..a human fighting with the world and with himself for his existence

Opinion keeps on changing as you go through the book... initially it runs on a track of 'portrayal of cantona' as an unusual freak , ill tempered but a passionate lad , however as it builds up its totally up to the leader to form an opinion

Book is worth a read on account of fine details of league football , behind the curtain world of french journalism and sports
...more
Martinxo
Dec 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, football, biography
Apart from the too detailed (for me) accounts of Cantona's exploits in the French first division and the post-Kung Fu/Palace episode Man Utd days, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Cantona was (and still is) an interesting bloke and even greater footballer. Auclair's book is intelligent and well written, certainly worth reading if you like football with flair, passion and panache, Eric had plenty of that!
Smh624
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book about a complex character. More than just a sports story, it was a pleasure to read both from revisiting the incredible talent and events I followed in the 90s and the interesting cultural issues that existed at the time...football-wise, England vs France, and the advent of megabucks in the football (soccer) world.
Ashish
A brilliant and unusual biography of a brilliant and unusual player. The research has been meticulously done, the prose is wonderfully written and Philippe Auclair's insight is unique and refreshing.

Highly recommended.
Roos
Mar 25, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: truestory
Siapa mo pinjem...hehehehe.
Pavel Pumprla
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sport
Wouldn't place is on the top of the biographies with Agassi's OPEN, but was definitely worth reading. Well written and Cantona is definitely an interesting person which makes it a good combination.
Luke433
Aug 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good biography of an unusual character
Andrew Murray
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Enjoyed this.
Fawzi Halimi
rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2013
Jonathan Hill
rated it liked it
May 29, 2019
Ragnar Liaskar
rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2014
Nebiyu Samuel
rated it it was ok
Aug 23, 2019
Michael
rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2016
Victor Ward
rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2010
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