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Soccer in Sun and Shadow, New Edition Paperback – April 17, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
A history of the sport of soccer, the poetic title of this volume, originally published in 1995 as El fútbol a sol y sombra and now in its fourth edition, is a dead giveaway that this is not a purely historical accounting of the world's most popular game. While Galeano covers the sport's origins in China five thousand years ago to the 2010 World Cup in chronological order, it's how he tells the story in this rather poetic history that sets the book apart from others. Galeano, a renowned Uruguayan author and journalist, brings a personal passion to fútbol's most memorable moments that can only come from a true aficionado. Whether describing great games, momentous goals or extraordinary players, each story has that distinct magical realism so prevalent in Latin American literature that it doesn't matter that from one sentence to the next the writing moves from clichéd to poetic, as when he describes the great Pelé: he cut right through his opponents like a hot knife through butter. When he stopped, his opponents got lost in the labyrinths his legs embroidered. Focusing mostly on the international aspects of the game, Galeano's Catholic upbringing, socialist politics, and the injustice he's seen as a journalist seeps into his commentary, and gives his narrative a refreshing perspective that captures soccer's spiritual roots, corruption by greed, and role as a global equalizer that puts royals and dictators at the mercy of minorities and slum kids. (Aug.) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From The New Yorker
Stands out like Pele on a field of second-stringers. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Some of his wriitng is exaggerated--the author is, after all, a poet--but his pure passion for the sport and its magic moments, and greatest players, shines through in every essay. I think any reader can enjoy this book, even someone with little former exporsure ot football.
However, some individuals, whose political ideas lean to the right, may be turned off by the author's obvious leftist slant on world affairs. My advice: get over it! Put it aside! This is one man's passionate, poetic history of the game he loves more than any other, and is well worth reading despite of, or perhaps even more so, because of the way he involves his own passions in the pages here.
Towards the end he condemns soccer for what it's become with a heavy socialist point of view which can become grating, but overall very entertaining.