Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Red or Dead: A Novel Hardcover – May 27, 2014
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
*Starred Review* A 700-page, experimental novel about the coach of an English soccer team? A limited audience pretty much guarantees this won’t be a best-seller, which is a bloody shame—it’s a magnificent literary achievement. Peace, the respected British novelist who also wrote The Damned Utd (2006), about the short, controversial tenure of Brian Clough at Leeds United (adapted into a fine film starring Michael Sheen), here tackles Bill Shankly, the legendary man who, from 1959 to1974, transformed Liverpool Football Club from an also-ran into a modern-day powerhouse. Peace’s prose is at first daunting: weaving a dense tapestry of short, declarative sentences, he builds each scene with painstaking, poetic repetition. Whole scenes are repeated with minor variation—and, needless to say, he leaves out quotation marks. (Commas are also in short supply.) But, training session by training session, and game by game (seemingly every game he managed for Liverpool), the pummeling repetition achieves a profoundly powerful effect, like an incantation, bringing to life Shankly’s relentless drive, his committed socialism, his near saintly concern for the fans—and rendering his rudderless retirement all the more poignant. Peace is clearly an admirer, and no matter which team you support, it will be hard to remain unmoved. --Keir Graff
“I’d offer the British P.M. Red or Dead, David Peace’s demented novel about real-life soccer coach Bill Shankly... The novel is barking mad, but quite brilliant, and is a monument to a kind of magnificent decency once at the core of British life, but now rapidly fading."
—Kazuo ishiguro, New York Times Book Review
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
“As both postmodern epic and ultimate sports novel, Red or Dead is a winner.”
“Red or Dead is hypnotic, the words casting a spell that verges on the shamanistic….[it] creates the most remarkable, operatic sweeps of emotion in the reader... This is the stuff of great literature.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Sprawling, ambitious and heartbreaking, it's one of the best sports novels in recent years."
—NPR, Best Books of 2014
10 Best Books of 2014
—Janet Potter, NPR's On Point
One of Liberty Hardy's (RiverRun Bookstore) Must-Read Books from Indie Presses for 2014 on Book Riot
“It’s about so much more than soccer. It’s about politics, obsession, community—plus, what could be more British than football?”
—Condé Nast Traveler, 10 Books to Inspire Your Next Trip to the United Kingdom
“Red or Dead might be seen as an elegy for that period when the game was played by and for the working classes and perhaps even seemed an authentic expression of their collectivist sensibility... In writing an elegy for Bill Shankly’s world, then, Peace suggests that what has been lost goes far beyond sports. Or to put it another way, he shows us ourselves in soccer."
“David Peace’s writing reverberates in your head, pulling you along headfirst into the story... Red or Dead is a feat of writing. The manner in which Peace shares this history with us is just as important as the story itself. It’s not often that writing can transport you through style. Peace more than just succeeds in this. He excels."
—Preeti Chhibber, Book Riot's Books of the Year
“Truly brave and utterly heroic . . . I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like Red or Dead before. Not ever.”
—The Goldsmiths Prize shortlist citation
“I want to go out and knock on doors like a Jehovah’s Witness and read this book to people.”
“A magnificent literary achievement . . . Profoundly powerful.”
“An epic that has more in common with Beowulf or The Iliad than with the conventional sports novel.”
—The Times of London
“The writing is honed, sculpted, poetic . . . It doesn’t matter if you don’t follow the game, this is also a profound investigation of the tension between aspiration and the constraints of time, the very essence of the human condition.”
“A book about the choices by which we live and die, the moments that make us feel alive, and those that choke our souls. It is a masterpiece. Make no mistake of that. A masterpiece.”
“An extraordinary piece of writing.”
“A story of triumph . . . one that might be quoted for decades.”
“In Red or Dead, the acclaimed writer David Peace tells the stirring story of the real-life working-class hero who lifted the spirits of an entire city in turbulent times. But Red or Dead is more than a fictional biography of a real man, and more than a thrilling novel about sports. It is an epic novel that transcends those categories, until there’s nothing left to call it but—as many of the world’s leading newspapers already have—a masterpiece.”
-Book Riot's 100 Must Read Indie Press Books