I Kick Therefore I am: The Little Book of Premier League Wisdom by Alan Tyers and Beach
|I Kick Therefore I am: The Little Book of Premier League Wisdom by Alan Tyers and Beach|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: The little red book of thoughts of a modern-day footballer, that is so much more interesting in this spoof form than the real thing.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: August 2012|
You remember Ronnie Matthews, don't you? He's the footballer who celebrated his one – and so far, only – international match by booing his way through the Faroe Islands' national anthem, then getting a red card for chatting up the lineswoman. He still thinks he contributed well to a vital friendly, however. He's the player whose career in piddling his way through continuously lesser and lesser clubs for far too long has only been matched in the recent game by Steve Claridge. And still he's bucking the trend – he's the only author smart enough to realise that four-hundred page, ghost-written biogs are unnecessary, for he's crammed all his life, career, philosophy and response to Twitter into an hour's read.
And of course it's a spoof, but it's one living on dangerous ground. Every Tom, Dick and Harriett down the pub can crack a joke about Robbie Savage's media career, or what a player is to do after the pre-big-bucks Crawley Town lets a man go. The Internet has only sustained the fanzine's lively approach to taking the mickey out of the beloved sport of soccer, and sharp response to its unique peculiarities are only hours away at most from appearing on Facebook. So for a book to succeed of the same ilk it really does have to make you laugh.
And this one did. It's a very successful blend of Ronnie Matthews the invented character – his dubious sojourn in a Turkish jail, his poetry about depression; the stereotype of the average footballer and his activities, and the combination of the two. It's a very quotable book, with a very sardonic self-deprecatory sarcasm, and the fact it can manage to equate A***nal with Buddhism puts it highly in my esteem.
Flicking through it you might think it looks a bit rough and ready, a bit childish or naff, but the quick and easy sketched illustrations and the way they help format the page to different designs shows some thought has gone in from both author and artist. For once here's a novelty book that doesn't need to come out just in time for Christmas, but is a worthy little gift for the start of the new Premiership season. It doesn't try to be too up-to-date, or hip, but it is intelligently humorous, and I'm glad the publishers saw fit to send me a review copy.
Where Are They Now? - Rediscovering Over 100 Football Stars of the 70s and 80s by Matt Allen is a real-life look at the endings of footballers' working lives in the days before celebrity biographies for the under-20 year olds.
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You can read more book reviews or buy I Kick Therefore I am: The Little Book of Premier League Wisdom by Alan Tyers and Beach at Amazon.com.
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