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Soccer in Sun and Shadow Paperback – August 6, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Galeano recalls his childhood memories of goals scored and saves missed, the beautiful dance his heroes performed with the ball, and his pride in South American soccer. His writing is sublime and metaphoric, and Galeano never stumbles. By the time he examines the new phase of commercial soccer you'll want to cry at the tainting of a game that is (was?) so pure. The commercialization of soccer will help peolpe from the states relate to the rest of the world: after all, it was just a couple of decades ago when our four major sports were ruined by escalating salaries, corporate involvement and worthless expansion. Galeano wears his heart on his sleeve and creates a wonderful read that anyone, sports fan or not, should enjoy.
I enjoyed reading stories about various aspects of the sports history and the personalities that formed it. I liked learning about the person who invented the bicycle kick and Di Stefano's incredible goal or how Zizinho scored a double goal against Yugoslavia during the 1950 World Cup. Throughout the book, Galeano imbues the narrative with a tone of passionate reverence for soccer, although he is critical of the big-money machine it has become in recent years.
This is a good book for both fans and non-fans of soccer.
I did learn a lot about the various Latin American soccer players of the early days through to the '60s that are often overlooked by the myopic Europeans. It's interesting to learn who the Brazilian scoring star whose records Pele chased was Artur Friedenreich and that he was black (I had no clue as it's never mentioned in most texts) which explains that racist omission from the 1921 Brazil squad in the South American Cup back in less enlightened times. I loved hearing about the various "Machine" era players of River Plate in the '40s. To hear about the heroes of the first superpower in world soccer, Uruguay, back in the '20s was also superb.
He definitely fills in the gaps in my soccer knowledge but, especially when he does his World Cup summations they often start well by setting what the times were like (i.e., 1958 World Cup story begins by telling of satellites in space, wars in Lebanon and Algeria, '56 uprising in Hungary, a new pope and a new doll called Barbie showing up) but his abrupt way of describing the Finals is bizarre. For example, he often matter of factly states who the leading scorers were with not much nuance or detail yet will go on in other mini essays about some obscure incident in a league match in Colombia.Read more ›
The ideal edition of this book would have an accompanying video with clips of at least some of the moments Galeano describes. Failing that, however, the book itself makes magic with words to describe the "beautiful game". Galeano's politics come through also, and they only help to give the right sort of "local color" to the text. The translation is very well done, so that one hardly ever wonders how much better things might have been said in the original.
All in all, a great little book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. The vignettes trace a wonderful history of soccer and its greatest players over 150 years. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jason M Hanson
Really easy, quick read and very interesting if you're into international soccer (football).Published 7 months ago by suttonjp
I would recommend this book to readers that still view soccer as the beautiful game, despite it's flaws. Definitely a book for the romantic. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bryan Eugene Dunning
Wonderful, with characters and episodes from the history of soccerPublished 11 months ago by scilla
The cover reads "[a] beautiful ode to the beautiful game" by Grant Wahl from Sports Illustrated. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Aidan
Excellent short narratives on soccer and the politics, social issues related with the most popular sport of the worldPublished 14 months ago by Soma Dasgupta