Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$0.01
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by -usedbooks123-
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good used copy: Some light wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins. Text is clean and legible. Possible clean ex-library copy with their stickers and or stamps. We ship daily!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The World Is a Ball: The Joy, Madness, and Meaning of Soccer Paperback – October 12, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$2.27 $0.01

Up to 50% off select Non-Fiction books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Doyle, TV critic for Canada’s Globe and Mail, has a beat many would envy, writing about “whatever I see on TV.” But, perhaps paradoxically, he loves getting lost in the crowd. A chance assignment to cover the World Cup gave the lifelong soccer fan a passion for attending big, international tournaments in person. In recounting three World Cups (2002, 2006, and 2010) and two Euros (2004 and 2008), he focuses less on the field and more on what happens beyond the camera’s eye, from raging parties in the streets to quiet encounters between fans. He has a knack for choosing telling details, and in chronicling the crowds, context, and spectacle of these mammoth competitions, he makes a strong case for them as “joy-bringers, unique festivals of congeniality.” The narrative suffers from a minor case of the I-could-have-told-you-so syndrome; if we are to believe Doyle, he generally knew more about what would happen, and what it meant, than other observers. And, for all his love of revelry, he tends to pass judgment on whether others are enjoying themselves in the right way. Those quibbles aside, Doyle’s enthusiasm is infectious. And his book, packed with memorable scenes, should encourage even the most casual fan to take the fun of it all more seriously. --Keir Graff

Review

Praise for A Great Feast of Light:
"[This] book crackles with unexpected angles, and is written with a kind of naïve delight. It is the ideal present for anyone given to pontification about the brain-deadening effects of television."
The Sunday Times, (UK)

"A marvelous read, with keen insights and laugh-out-loud moments..."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"I had to stop reading several times because I was laughing hysterically."
— Malachy McCourt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605291463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605291468
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As an avid soccer fan, I was excited about this book and it started out well. Doyle is obviously an experience writer and has a good knack for finding quirky insights into the culture of different soccer communities around the world. However, as the book progressed the author's voice became increasingly grating to me with his smug know-it-all takes on various countries and their respective sides (he thinks England still sucks even if they win 5-1). I felt like his understanding of soccer tactics is very simplistic (teams like Ireland can beat bigger countries with grit and desire) and he placed way too much emphasis on results (Greece in Euro 2004 or Turkey in Euro 2008) while ignoring the inevitable random bounces of luck and fluctuation that crop up in the short term run of every major tournament.
1 Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thank you John Doyle for reminding me of how fun it is to travel during a major football tournament! This book details the interactions of three important aspects of modern day football: the game, the city and the supporters. The author takes us along his journey to two world cups (02 & 06) and two european championships (04 & 08). We experience the sleepless travel nights and countless train rides, the reactions of the locals to the game and the interaction of various supporters. If you were lucky enough to take part in one of the tournament, this book will likely trigger a reaction, most likely a happy memory. If you have never been, this book may just inspire you to attend one in the future, but be forewarned: nothing will ever get you ready for the sight of the Oranje Army live in person!

Don't expect detailed analysis on any of the matches played, most are not mentioned with more than a few sentences, so if you are looking for a history of the game type of book this is not it. This book is filled with many delightful tales of adventure before and after the 90 minutes have been played. The World is a Ball is about the beautiful game behind the eyes of a football journalist and more importantly a football fan.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audible Audio Edition
I wouldn't take the comparison to Bill Bryson seriously as this book fails to reach anywhere near Bryson's level of entertainment and witty observations. This was a rather flat narrative with several digs at England and the regular romanticizing of all things Irish that you would expect from somebody named Doyle.
Aside from that there were some interesting stories, but what I struggled with the most was the narrator's obvious lack of international football, geography and political knowledge. The number of glaring and repeated mispronunciations of names (people, places and organizations) well-known in the football world was increasingly annoying as a listener and while I wouldn't expect him to know them all, I would at least expect some quality control in the production process to pick them up. I could never quite become immersed in the narrative as I'd be tripped up by a reference to somebody called Sessuck Fabregas.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd seen John Doyle interviewed on FSR by Eoin O'Callaghan and when I heard it was not a book rehashing the games but a narrative about what happens away from what we see on the pitch I knew I had to have it. Doyle's writing is engaging and made me feel like I was right there in the thick of things as they unfolded. From the frantic pace of rushing to the games, to the quiet morning driving through the streets the day after a city's big celebration as most of the city sleeps off it's hangover, this book has it all. Every two years for the past decade, between the world cup and the Euros, I know I'm missing the world's biggest party. Thanks to Doyle's book, I can peek in from behind the curtain and catch a glimpse, and wish for the time when I can join them. GREAT job John Doyle, can't wait for your next one!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Overall, it is a very good book that captures the game in a new perspective. It takes the reader through the first person accounts of John Doyle, from the crazed fans in both restaurants and bars to the game itself. It thoroughly describes the culture of each nation and emphasizes the important role soccer has in each one, mentioning how the culture of a nation is shown in the way the players play. It demonstrates the importance and value an event, such as the World Cup, has on certain countries. His experience in the World cups and some European Championships he’s attended is well shown in the book. It is very interesting and gives a new perspective on the world of soccer.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my nephew and ended up reading the whole thing cover to cover. Considering I'm a female senior citizen who knows nothing about/never watches the game, that fact alone should tell you something about the quality of fine sports writing. For a guy who does know the game, and likes to read, this should be a real treat.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse