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Fever Pitch Paperback – March 1, 1998
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"Hitler's Forgotten Children" by Ingrid von Oelhafen
The Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program. Learn more | See related books
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Fever Pitch is not a typical memoir--there are no chapters, just a series of match reports falling into three time frames (childhood, young adulthood, manhood). While watching the May 2, 1972, Reading v. Arsenal match, it became embarrassingly obvious to the then 15-year-old that his white, suburban, middle-class roots made him a wimp with no sense of identity: "Yorkshire men, Lancastrians, Scots, the Irish, blacks, the rich, the poor, even Americans and Australians have something they can sit in pubs and bars and weep about." But a boy from Maidenhead could only dream of coming from a place with "its own tube station and West Indian community and terrible, insoluble social problems."
Fever Pitch reveals the very special intricacies of British football, which readers new to the game will find astonishing, and which Hornby presents with remarkable humor and honesty--the "unique" chants sung at matches, the cold rain-soaked terraces, giant cans of warm beer, the trains known as football specials carrying fans to and from matches in prisonlike conditions, bottles smashing on the tracks, thousands of policemen waiting in anticipation for the cargo of hooligans. The sport and one team in particular have crept into every aspect of Hornby's life--making him see the world through Arsenal-tinted spectacles. --Naomi Gesinger
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Fever Pitch" is an obsessive's tale as much as it is a fan's story, and so should appeal to the same wide audience that enjoys his excellent novels (It was my love for "High Fidelity" that sent me straight to this book). It is a memoir of surprising depth considering how it is organized only by the dates of soccer matches between 1968 and 1991, and it makes perfect sense that Hornby, or any true fan, should see the rest of his life (parents' divorce, his own education, romantic and career trouble) primarily as it relates to the team he spends so much time, money and psychic energy on.
The irony, for me, was finding out after I read "Fever Pitch" for the first time that Arsenal was one of the top teams of the last decade in England, so Hornby at least gets to feel the joy that we Red Sox fans are still waiting for. Sure, we're ecstatic the Pats won the Super Bowl, but our lives will change forever when Boston brings home the World Series. But after "Fever Pitch," I'll remember to laugh like the rest of the world laughs when American sports leagues crown their title-holders "world" champions.
Although this book follows the life of an Arsenal supporter, anyone can read it, because Hornby's experiences are no different than those of any committed, "obsessed" football fan. I am a Leeds supporter, and much of what Hornby said described what I feel, so perfectly. I especially liked the part when he went on about wanting to switch allegiances if he could, but found out that he couldn't because he was too emotionally tied to Arsenal. No matter how poorly they played, or how frustrated they made him feel, he still supported the club. I've felt the same way about Leeds on many an occasion.
A great book about life, not just about football.
My main problem with this book stems from the fact that I missed out on approx. 30% of the context because I didn't know the people (players and coaches), places and teams that he spends a great deal of time espousing on. This book is written with the assumption that the reader is steeped in all the lore, historical trivia and nuance of British football and for those with limited knowledge, well I suppose they'll find themselves grasping at times trying to catch up with Hornby's detailed play-by-play enactments of memorable goals and on field blunders. Another thing - this is Hornby's first book and it shows. For those readers accustomed to his flowing, easy to digest prose in future works ('High Fidelity,' 'About a Boy,' 'How to be Good') you might be a bit surprised at how clunky his words form here. Yes, there are some very Hornbyesque passages and moments but for the most part it can be choppy reading at times but is interesting in the framework of mind knowing how his future works will evolve into crystalline works of literary brilliance.
On the positive note, this book will certainly strike a chord for every hardcore sports fanatic out there. Hornby lovingly touches on the idiosyncracies that every true 'fan' experiences from: Superstitious ritual, disdain for the casual and/or bandwagon fan, the psyche of those who faithfully follow bad teams, etc. Also, you'll find the occassional gem on the beauty of Football/Soccer as a pure sport that makes reading through this 247 page book ultimately worthwhile.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When author Nick Hornby admits to his audience that before a North London derby on March 4, 1987 that he’d seen a psychiatrist, at that point you’re in no way surprised,... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I've never read a more perfect written expression of the entirely rediculous yet entirely real mental anguish a sports fan endures during a season. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Peter Elliott
If you don't like soccer, don't bother. Way to many references to stuff, as an American who doesn't watch soccer but loves sports, that I could not relate to. Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. Briggs
This book makes you feel good about being an OCD sports fan. I am one (although my passion is American Football) and those in my life who aren't one just don't and cannot... Read morePublished 6 months ago by BJT
As a younger fan I can't relate to a lot of arsenal stories. The arsenal of my era was the Henry, Bergkamp, Wilshere. Read morePublished 6 months ago by D. Behrman
This is a classic Hornby book. It's really and autobiography of his own life with his wit and humor in full swing. Enjoy.Published 10 months ago by Nicole
If you are a huge football (soccer) fan, than I guess it's a solid book, but only if you like a game-by-game take of someones 20+ years of fandom. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Benjamin Sukonik
I do hope that Nick Hornby enjoyed writing this book because that would mean one of us got some pleasure. If was on of the worst books I've ever read and I like his work. Read morePublished 12 months ago by angelo rauso