6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One of my all-time favorite books,
This review is from: Soccer in Sun and Shadow, New Edition (Paperback)
I liked my old paperback edition so much, I bought a hardbound version of the new edition. (The new material BTW is just a continuation of Galeano's commentaries this time centered on the 2002 World Cup tournament. Older version just went up to the 1998 tournament.)
Any discussion of Galeano's writing must begin with his inimitable style. For lack of a proper genre, I call his writings "mosaicos", as each little vignette is like an individual tile in a larger, greater picture. Sometimes this format can be a bit disjointed, but in "Soccer Sun Shadow", it works because the Reader understands that the vignettes are organized chronologically. Galeano does have some vignettes about the origins of the game and its spread to the far-flung corners of the world by British imperialists, but by and large the narrative begins with accounts of games/goals/players from the early 1950s. Since Galeano is Uruguayan, he also has a decidedly Latin American bias (so don't expect to be reading about European teams of the era).
I'm 42 years old and a fan of soccer; some of the stories/players mentioned I had never heard of, so it was refreshing to hear a bit of this history. Once Galeano's narrative caught up to my earliest memories of the game (1970/1974 World Cups), I felt like I was talking to an old friend about a subject we both love. I think that's why I like this book so much: it blends my love of literature (I'm an English teacher) with my love of soccer, and it does it so poetically, so precisely, with such quick turns of language, it is a distinct pleasure to read and reminisce.
I'm not saying you should buy two copies of "Soccer Sun Shadow" (like I did), but if you buy one, I'm sure you'll enjoy the read.