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Fever Pitch

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In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that's before the players even take the field. Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analy In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that's before the players even take the field. Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby's award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom — its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young mens' coming-of-age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season.


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In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that's before the players even take the field. Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analy In America, it is soccer. But in Great Britain, it is the real football. No pads, no prayers, no prisoners. And that's before the players even take the field. Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby's award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom — its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young mens' coming-of-age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season.

30 review for Fever Pitch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bucko

    This is a complicated book. On the one hand it is a highly personal look at the shortcomings of one man and (or should I say because of?) his obsession with a British football (soccer) team, seemingly so narrow in scope that I have a hard time thinking anyone but an Arsenal fan would enjoy it. On the other hand, it just might be the greatest sports book ever written, enabling those who don't "get" sports to understand how and why certain people they love can care so much about a bunch of grown m This is a complicated book. On the one hand it is a highly personal look at the shortcomings of one man and (or should I say because of?) his obsession with a British football (soccer) team, seemingly so narrow in scope that I have a hard time thinking anyone but an Arsenal fan would enjoy it. On the other hand, it just might be the greatest sports book ever written, enabling those who don't "get" sports to understand how and why certain people they love can care so much about a bunch of grown men running around chasing after a ball. I want to recommend this book to everyone I know, but with the caveat that they will probably not enjoy it. "Hey you should read this - I think you'll hate it!" Fever Pitch is Hornby relating his struggle as a die-hard sports fan (in his case soccer), and what an unmerciful, miserable, and ultimately inescapable experience it truly is. To love a sporting team is to know the constant, dull ache of suffering - at best punctuated by fleeting moments of triumph, at worst...endless, bottomless despair. The prevailing sentiment carries over well to other sports and it comforts me, when I find myself wondering why the (mis)fortunes of 11 or 9 or 22 strangers affect me so much, to know that someone out there shares and understands my pain. In the end, it's not even a "sports" book, not really. Fever Pitch is about obsession - the ease with which we fall into it as well as its smothering intensity. Ostensibly a book about soccer, in reading it you can recognize the traits of that person in your life, perhaps yourself, who loves anything just a little too much.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    First Hornby I've read--managed to avoid the brief college craze after High Fidelity came out...but now wish I hadn't. My roommate lent me this book after it came up randomly in a conversation...as I approach 30 and sports fandom becomes more ridiculous proportional to my age, I find myself having to defend my enthusiasm for baseball more and more. Being in Europe probably has something to do with this too. In fact, discussing my love of baseball generally turns into an argument for/against the l First Hornby I've read--managed to avoid the brief college craze after High Fidelity came out...but now wish I hadn't. My roommate lent me this book after it came up randomly in a conversation...as I approach 30 and sports fandom becomes more ridiculous proportional to my age, I find myself having to defend my enthusiasm for baseball more and more. Being in Europe probably has something to do with this too. In fact, discussing my love of baseball generally turns into an argument for/against the legitimacy/prominence of professional sports in our lives generally, and this inevitably leads, in my current context, to pointless self-righteous circle-jerks about football hooliganism. Suddenly I'm being handed a book about an English football fan. At any rate, I find Fever Pitch to be cogent defense of passionate sports fandom, with all the sheepish acknowledgments of occasionally 'overdoing it' that this obviously requires. It is thoughtful, well-written and funny, and describes the windy path of a personal/professional life as it develops alongside and sometimes in direct relation to the game-to-game, season-to-season drama of FC Arsenal in London. Now, I am nowhere near as crazy and obsessed a Twins fan as Hornby is an Arsenal fan, but to the extent that I nonetheless have to hear questions like 'can you go a day without talking about baseball?' fairly frequently, I feel personally identified with his sometimes indignant self-defense. Now instead of trying to explain in the same old tired ways what is so exciting about baseball (which is obviously barking up the wrong tree in the first place considering the glaze that appears in any interlocutor's eyes the moment you use the word 'strategy,' much less 'intense personal struggle'), I can just recommend this book and let the chips fall where they may. You either understand it or you don't...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Just an okay book which is disappointing from this author. I expected more. There were hints of his usual entertaining writing style and at least having grown up in the same time frame in the UK I did know some of what he was talking about. However his descriptions of his obsession were actually very sad and he came across as a rather shallow and unlikeable individual. I think I would have liked to hear more about his life and less about who kicked which goal at which match whenever. I have to s Just an okay book which is disappointing from this author. I expected more. There were hints of his usual entertaining writing style and at least having grown up in the same time frame in the UK I did know some of what he was talking about. However his descriptions of his obsession were actually very sad and he came across as a rather shallow and unlikeable individual. I think I would have liked to hear more about his life and less about who kicked which goal at which match whenever. I have to say his memory for all those unnecessary details was bordering on scary! Not his best book in my opinion.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Moira

    I love this book more than I can express. I read it for the first time after a particularly painful baseball season (Mariners expelled from the playoffs by demonic Yankees) and I've probably read it every year since. I'm actually reading it again right now because I am painfully baseball deprived until spring training. Now I realize that it is not actually about baseball specifically- and please, never speak to me about the Americanized movie starring Jimmy Fallon because I will cry and shriek- I love this book more than I can express. I read it for the first time after a particularly painful baseball season (Mariners expelled from the playoffs by demonic Yankees) and I've probably read it every year since. I'm actually reading it again right now because I am painfully baseball deprived until spring training. Now I realize that it is not actually about baseball specifically- and please, never speak to me about the Americanized movie starring Jimmy Fallon because I will cry and shriek- but sometimes it's the only thing that can make me feel like part of the universe again after my brain has been completely taken over by baseball fanaticism and I need to come down. In a review of Moneyball, Nick Hornby said this:"I understood about one in four words of Moneyball, and it’s still the best and most engrossing sports book I’ve read for years. If you know anything about baseball, you will enjoy it four times as much as I did, which means that you might explode." For me that completely applies to Fever Pitch, but substitute English football (or as I like to say, "soccer") for baseball. The ridiculous, futile, completely self-inflicted pain of being a sports fan is universal. If you like this book at all, and even if you're a Red Sox fan- no, especially if you're a Red Sox fan, do not ever watch the American movie. There's a perfectly pleasant and enjoyable British movie that stars Colin Firth, and you can probably find it on Netflix. It's very satisfying, and it doesn't insult the entire world of sports by shoving Drew Barrymore and David Ortiz together.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    The football season ended with a huge sense of relief but almost instantly I was in pain at the thought of June and July, those two months of the year when I have to fill my mind with thoughts other than 'when are Arsenal playing next? What time of the night do I set my alarm for?' The two months without football are the worst of the year. Not least because now that I am living in Australia, as opposed to England, it's also winter. It felt like the perfect time to finally revisit one of the book The football season ended with a huge sense of relief but almost instantly I was in pain at the thought of June and July, those two months of the year when I have to fill my mind with thoughts other than 'when are Arsenal playing next? What time of the night do I set my alarm for?' The two months without football are the worst of the year. Not least because now that I am living in Australia, as opposed to England, it's also winter. It felt like the perfect time to finally revisit one of the books I've enjoyed most in my life, the memoirs of Nick Hornby, the now celebrity Arsenal fan and writer of lit-light novels that get turned in to not bad movies. Having initially read this book in 1994 at the age of 12, before my world changed in so many ways and before professional football in England changed in so many ways I was curious as to how Fever Pitch would stand the test of time and how accurate my memory of it was. And I am happy to report that I enjoyed as much, if not more, now than I did then but most likely for different reasons. The anecdotes are often hilarious and the observations of people and especially obsession/fandom/fanaticism are incredibly accurate, at times it felt like somebody actually understood why I behave the way I behave, these things that I always struggle to put in to words to justify myself to those people who just can't understand my chosen passion or the effect it has on me. It's not just a game to me, no matter how often well meaning people try to console me with that cliched line and perhaps now I can hand them this book and they will understand. From an anthropological perspective this is an invaluable text, its a fabulous historical document also and as entertainment it fulfils its purpose and then some but most of all it's a marvellous source of pride for 'us,' the fans of The Arsenal that something so highly thought of is on its surface about us and not some other bunch of lillywhites or oil rich zillionaires playthings. It didn't make the wait for the new season any easier but merely served to heighten my anticipation and expectation for when it finally arrives.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Abhishek

    I have been an Arsenal supporter for the past 12 years. I have seen the ups and downs of the football team, I have shared their glory, I have shared their pain. They have given me days where I would not have wished to be anywhere else, and they have given me days where I wondered why I got hooked onto them. It has been a fan's journey, and it is going to continue to be, as I find myself in one of my biggest love-hate relationships. Nick Hornby has been on this path since 1969. While this book wa I have been an Arsenal supporter for the past 12 years. I have seen the ups and downs of the football team, I have shared their glory, I have shared their pain. They have given me days where I would not have wished to be anywhere else, and they have given me days where I wondered why I got hooked onto them. It has been a fan's journey, and it is going to continue to be, as I find myself in one of my biggest love-hate relationships. Nick Hornby has been on this path since 1969. While this book was written during the 1991-92 season, it is still the narrative of someone who has lived a fan's life for more than two decades. It is a thought which I dread, and yet one I know I will have to experience too. Fever Pitch does not tell me in any way that things would get better, infact it does the opposite; but what it lets me come to terms with is the fact that I will not be walking out of this relationship, that I am in it for the long term, and that I am not alone. Fever Pitch is a riveting book written from the heart by Nick Hornby who talks of the journey that Arsenal took since he started following the English football club, and how events on the field intermingled with events in his personal life. Arsenal back then were not even as exciting as they have been post the book's publication, so it really must have been something to support the club then. Fever Pitch talks about the club's heroes and villains of those years, and it talks about the events that went around in the football world then, be it hooliganism or the Hillsborough tragedy. But this book, as the author himself states, is not about the football as such, but its consumption. The turmoil that it can bring to a hardcore fan, the amount of significance it can assume for some, is something that can be mocked or respected. Nick Hornby asks you to do neither, nor does he care. He writes about the way things are, not about how they should have been. He writes his narrative with ease, mixing it with moments of dark humour, while also dwelling on the serious issues. Fever Pitch is a book that should be read by any Arsenal fan. It should in fact be read by any sporting fan. The emotions in the narrative will strike a chord and make you nod your head repeatedly, for you have been there too... for you too would be loving something so much that it hurts.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    NB: I received a free copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads Program, but that has not affected the content of my review. I wanted to like this more than I did. I've read several of Nick Hornby's novels, and as I generally enjoy reading about sports and I enjoy memoirs and humor, I figured this book would be a gimme for me. But sadly, it wasn't. To say that Nick Hornby was obsessed with football/soccer is an extremely large understatement. And like all people with true obsessions, if yo NB: I received a free copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads Program, but that has not affected the content of my review. I wanted to like this more than I did. I've read several of Nick Hornby's novels, and as I generally enjoy reading about sports and I enjoy memoirs and humor, I figured this book would be a gimme for me. But sadly, it wasn't. To say that Nick Hornby was obsessed with football/soccer is an extremely large understatement. And like all people with true obsessions, if you let them, they will talk in excruciating detail about the object of their obsession, and they will talk about it endlessly, sure in the knowledge that the subject of their fascination is so interesting that whoever is listening can't help but appreciate every last bit of detail they can provide you with. Chances are, if you haven't been on the receiving end of that kind of informative onslaught, you've been the one doing the talking (or wanting to do the talking). I have been both (whoops). The funny things is, listening to someone (or reading their writing) about something they are well-informed at or skilled at can be pleasurable. But there's a fine line between giving them information that will keep them interested and giving them so much it threatens to drown them. Unfortunately, I think that's what happened here, for me. Hornby talks about soccer with a level of detail that assumes his reader already knows what he's talking about. He talks about soccer in a way I didn't know it was possible to talk about soccer. There were times entire sentences meant nothing to me because the words or concepts he was using rang no synaptic bells whatsoever. And that was frustrating, especially so because the rest of the book was very good. Hornby ties his soccer obsession in very nicely to his relationship with is father, his childhood, growing up. It's also a very funny book. Hornby is unflinchingly aware of not only the negative (and positive) effects of his obsession on his own life, but is also extremely self-aware and reflexive about it. He talks about his love for soccer, and specifically his loyalty to his team, Arsenal, not as something he chooses to love, but which he literally can't help but to love, even if he doesn't want to. At times, it seems more like loathing than anything else. It's actually pretty fascinating. I just wish the lengthy bits about soccer had been a little less impenetrable. [3.5 stars]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I just finished reading this book for the second time. The first time I read it, I probably would have given it five stars; something about the glimpse into Hornby's world enthralled me, but then I wasn't quite as familiar with the lifestyle of being a Premiership fan as I am now. Set up as a series of essays, Fever Pitch depicts the life of a man who is much, much more than a casual Arsenal fan, while much less than a "hooligan." It caters to everyone who finds themselves in between those two d I just finished reading this book for the second time. The first time I read it, I probably would have given it five stars; something about the glimpse into Hornby's world enthralled me, but then I wasn't quite as familiar with the lifestyle of being a Premiership fan as I am now. Set up as a series of essays, Fever Pitch depicts the life of a man who is much, much more than a casual Arsenal fan, while much less than a "hooligan." It caters to everyone who finds themselves in between those two descriptions. As I was reading, I found myself at times nodding in affirmation as he described his emotional state during key moments in his lifetime. At other times, though, his experiences and observations were foreign to me; since I am an American, for example, it is difficult for me to understand a lot the nuances between fan bases for different clubs which seemed second nature to him. As a result, I felt Hornby came off unintentionally judgmental during certain portions of the book, though I got the feeling that someone who has been an fan of footy in Europe for longer than I have could confirm some of the perceptions (and, to an extent, stereotypes) that he portrayed. The book is very introspective. Hornby is the main, and really the only character, though it is his relationship with his dad which drives the story in the beginning and his relationship with his girlfriend which drives it toward the end. In a sense, Hornby is discovering the depths of his own passion as you go along. There is a great self-awareness at play here, and at some points I felt like Hornby was describing me instead of himself.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vishy

    I first discovered 'Fever Pitch' when I first discovered Nick Hornby years back - we read one of his novels for book club. I got it at that time and have been waiting for the right time to read it. Last week when I was thinking of which book to read next, 'Fever Pitch' leapt at me. I thought it was the perfect time to read it, with the World Cup on. 'Fever Pitch' is Nick Hornby's account of his life as a football fan. In the book, he talks about how his father took him to his first football matc I first discovered 'Fever Pitch' when I first discovered Nick Hornby years back - we read one of his novels for book club. I got it at that time and have been waiting for the right time to read it. Last week when I was thinking of which book to read next, 'Fever Pitch' leapt at me. I thought it was the perfect time to read it, with the World Cup on. 'Fever Pitch' is Nick Hornby's account of his life as a football fan. In the book, he talks about how his father took him to his first football match when he was around eleven years old and how by the end of the evening he had fallen in love with the game. The football team he fell in love with was Arsenal and in most of the rest of the book he talks about Arsenal's ups and downs over the next twenty five years, how he was part of it as a fan, how his life as an Arsenal fan was entwined with his life outside football and how during this same period he became a teenager, graduated from high school, went to college, had a girlfriend for the first time, how football affected his relationship with his mother, father, stepmother and half brother. He also talks about what it means to be a loyal obsessive fan of a particular team. Hornby also explores the changes that have occurred in football from the time he started watching the game till the time he wrote this book. He also talks about many of Arsenal's important matches and some matches involving other English clubs. The whole book is structured as a compilation of accounts of a series of matches through which Hornby explores the above themes. I loved 'Fever Pitch'. It is Nick Hornby's love letter to football, and his love for the game shines through in every page. There are beautiful lines and passages in every page which delight and warm one's heart. My highlighting pen didn't stop working. Football is not my favourite sport - cricket and tennis are. I follow football only during the quadrennial World Cup. But while reading this book, I almost wished I was a football fan, an obsessive one. Though Hornby mostly talks about players that I haven't heard about (the only known names I encountered were Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst, George Best, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Linekar, Pele, Johann Cruyff) - as the book covers mostly English club football from 1968 to 1992 - the descriptions of those times, the players and the matches was so beautiful and vivid, that they transported me to those times and made me feel that I was watching the scenes that Hornby was describing. When Hornby gushes about Liam Broady, I felt that I was there in the Highbury stadium watching Broady playing for Arsenal, making beautiful moves in an important match. Hornby's humour shines through in every page and there were many passages which made me smile and laugh. I wish I had read this book when I was younger. I would have become a lifelong football fan. 'Fever Pitch' is fan's beautiful ode to football. It is the most charming, passionate book in football that I have ever read. Maybe, not even football. It is probably one of the most passionate accounts of any sport ever written by a fan. It is a book I will be reading again. If you are a football fan, this is a must-read. I will leave you with some of my favourite passages from the book. "Brady was a midfield player, a passer, and Arsenal really haven't had one since he left. It might surprise those who have a rudimentary grasp of the rules of the game to learn that a First Division football team can try to play football without a player who can pass the ball, but it no longer surprises the rest of us : passing went out of fashion just after silk scarves and just before inflated bananas. Managers, coaches and therefore players now favour alternative methods of moving the ball from one part of the field to another, the chief of which is a sort of wall of muscle strung across the half-way line in order to deflect the ball in the general direction of the forwards. Most, indeed all, football fans regret this. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we used to like passing, that we felt that on the whole it was a good thing. It was nice to watch, football's prettiest accessory (a good player could pass to a team-mate we hadn't seen, or find an angle we wouldn't have thought of, so there was a pleasing geometry to it), but managers seemed to feel that it was a lot of trouble, and therefore stopped bothering to produce any players who could do it. There are still a couple of passers in England, but then, there are still a number of blacksmiths." "Like everyone, I have lamented long and loud the deficiencies of the English game, and the permanently depressing ugliness of the football that our national team plays, but really, deep down, this is pub-speak, and not much more. Complaining about boring football is a little like complaining about the sad ending of King Lear : it misses the point somehow, and this is what Alan Durban understood : that football is an alternative universe, as serious and as stressful as work, with the same worries and hopes and disappointments and occasional elations. I go to football for loads of reasons, but I don't go for entertainment, and when I look around me on a Saturday and see those panicky, glum faces, I see that others feel the same. For the committed fan, entertaining football exists in the same way as those trees that fall in the middle of the jungle : you presume it happens, but you are not in a position to appreciate it. Sports journalists and armchair Corinthians are the Amazon Indians who know more than we do - but in another way they know much, much less." "One thing I know for sure about being a fan is this : it is not a vicarious pleasure, despite all appearances to the contrary, and those who say that they would rather do than watch are miss the point. Football is a context where watching becomes doing - not in the aerobic sense, because watching a game, smoking your head off while doing so, drinking after it has finished and eating chips on the way home is unlikely to do you a whole lot of Jane Fonda good, in the way that chuffing up and down a pitch is supposed to. But when there is some kind of triumph, the pleasure does not radiate from the players outwards until it reaches the likes of us at the back of the terraces in a pale and diminished form; our fun is not a watery version of the team's fun, even though they are the ones that get to score the goals and climb the steps of Wembley stadium to meet Princess Diana. The joy we feel on occasions like that is not a celebration of others' good fortune, but a celebration of our own; and when there is a disastrous defeat the sorrow that engulfs us is, in effect, self-pity, and anyone who wishes to understand how football is consumed must realize this above all things. The players are merely our representatives, chosen by the manager rather than elected by us, but our representatives nevertheless, and sometimes if you look hard you can see the little poles that join them together, and the handles at the side that enable us to move them. I am a part of the club, just as the club is a part of me; and I say this fully aware that the club exploits me, disregards my views, and treats me shoddily on occasions, so my feeling of organic connection is not built on a muddle-headed and sentimental misunderstanding of how professional football works. This Wembley win belonged to me as much as it belonged to Charlie Nicholas or George Graham, and I worked every bit as hard for it as they did. The only difference between me and them is that I have put in more hours, more years, more decades than them, and so had a better understanding of the afternoon, a sweeter appreciation of why the sun still shines when I remember it." Have you read 'Fever Pitch'? What do you think about it?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    I came to Fever Pitch in a slightly roundabout way. I'm seeing someone with a couple of Nick Hornby books on her shelf, and feeling I had read some rather poor books recently -- and that few of my ways to book recommendations were leading me to books I enjoyed of late -- I had been thinking of giving Hornby a go. I still procrastinated it for a while, but I was thinking fondly, recently, of my experience with Jonathan Tropper and I happened to see something online comparing the two. So I looked u I came to Fever Pitch in a slightly roundabout way. I'm seeing someone with a couple of Nick Hornby books on her shelf, and feeling I had read some rather poor books recently -- and that few of my ways to book recommendations were leading me to books I enjoyed of late -- I had been thinking of giving Hornby a go. I still procrastinated it for a while, but I was thinking fondly, recently, of my experience with Jonathan Tropper and I happened to see something online comparing the two. So I looked up Hornby on Amazon's Kindle store, and resolved to sort by highest customer rating and read whatever bubbled to the top. I didn't expect it to be Fever Pitch, at least not once I understood that it wasn't a novel and was therefore not quite what I was hoping for. But, I decided, what the hell. My own judgment wasn't leading me to good choices lately anyway. The result was mixed. Fever Pitch isn't a complete autobiography of any sort. It's a memoir about being a soccer obsessive, and specifically an Arsenal obsessive. (If you're mentally upbraiding me for calling it "soccer" and not "football," please don't bother. The English coined the term "soccer" in the first place, and sneering at it is an ugly, particularly tribal sort of anti-American derision. I use it here where I might use "football" elsewhere because it permits no confusion and because the bulk of my Goodreads friends are American.) Hornby is not a soccer fan in the same way you might imagine if you aren't well acquainted with the game. He is a die-hard, the sort for whom soccer results are deadly serious and apt to overshadow any other news, good or bad. He comments early on that the book is therefore primarily for either obsessives like him or people on the outside who want to know what it's like to live with such an obsession. I am neither, really. I count myself a soccer fan, and support a couple of teams in different leagues. I appreciate a beautiful play as much as anyone, and a victory for my side does put me in a better mood. But I don't live and die by results and I don't have or want the sort of recall necessary to remember the squad from a decade ago or the particulars of a match from someone else's Cup final. I lack both the proximity and the distance he describes. So here is where the trouble begins for me. The book is not long, some 270 pages or so, but it's consumed, as I now know Hornby to be as well, with details. It makes it a bit of a slog at times, lacking the obsession (particularly with Arsenal, who are not my team) to really care about minor details. Hornby has an essentially simple thesis -- "I am a diehard Arsenal supporter and here is evidence of my obsession" -- and he runs into a fundamental contradiction. I don't care enough to want to read all of these match details, but did he not feel compelled to include all of them it would undermine his own thesis. The result is that I enjoyed myself a fair bit for perhaps 50% of the book, and then I was ready to be done. Another recurring issue for me, and I will have a caveat about this in a moment, is that Hornby is an unrelenting homer. He has to be for the book to make any sense, but it's aggravating nonetheless. Here comes the caveat: if I remember correctly, this book was written around 1991, long before I paid any attention to professional soccer. Hornby is convinced that Arsenal are universally hated and perennially cursed with terrible fortune. Perhaps it was true then; I really don't know, but I doubt it. But Arsenal have finished very near the top of the league for years now, manager Arsène Wenger is famous for doing very well with a more limited budget than his peers, and among the people I know they draw far less hatred than Manchester United, say, or Chelsea. Hornby endured years of failure and Arsenal have won the league only three times in his life. Cry me a fucking river. To this West Ham supporter, whose team has never, ever won the league despite its storied history and famous academy system, this seems like an awful lot of whining. Hornby names West Ham as a much-loved club even among fans of other teams; in my time supporting them we have been among the most universally-reviled sides in the English system. Perhaps my own homerism is clouding my judgment, but having seen them written up alongside a lot of generally neutral descriptions by thoroughly unaffiliated writers as "a bunch of cheating Cockney bastards nobody likes," I really don't think so. Again, of course, a lot can and has changed since 1991. But the persecution complex wears a bit thin. On a technical level, the book is executed well enough. Hornby strings together a sentence just fine, and he is candid about the many ways in which his behavior and thought processes are thoroughly ridiculous. I feel okay about Fever Pitch, but I don't know that I can recommend it to a general audience. If you have an interest in soccer it's an interesting look at a true obsessive, and makes me feel better about my own interest in the game. It also tells me very little about whether I ought to read Hornby's other work, which comprises mainly novels. A mixed bag.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

    It was almost too perfect that I chose to read Nick Hornby’s wonderful and engrossing football fan memoir Fever Pitch during World Cup month. Of course, it’s more than a football book, but I was really drawn to his frank admission of the very depths of his football obesession at the same time that the World Cup was reminding me how much fun and how intense it is to watch real top flight soccer. The writing is great. I can’t say much more about that. His good rep is well-deserved and I feel that It was almost too perfect that I chose to read Nick Hornby’s wonderful and engrossing football fan memoir Fever Pitch during World Cup month. Of course, it’s more than a football book, but I was really drawn to his frank admission of the very depths of his football obesession at the same time that the World Cup was reminding me how much fun and how intense it is to watch real top flight soccer. The writing is great. I can’t say much more about that. His good rep is well-deserved and I feel that I’ve been properly introduced and can go one to one day read High Fidelity, About a Boy, and all the rest. So on to the content. It’s hard not to admire, and perhaps envy a little bit, Hornby’s obsession with football. I can think of nothing that I have been so devoted to for even close to the length of time chronicled and I’m only a few years younger than he was at the writing of the book. To be able to count on one hand the number of games missed in the relevant lifetime is more admirable than lamentable. However, the book fairly recognizes the difficulty of cultivating such a devotion anew in this day and age. Further, Hornby’s perspective and description of soccer tragedies and the almost inappropriate way the game just goes on are so well put. A last bit of curiosity is the fact that for most of the book, the Arsenal Hornby describes is hardly the Arsenal I know. The Arsenal I know is one of the consistently good teams. They were entering this era toward the tail end of the book, in the early 90s, right before I would have started paying attention, but they had been so dismal, so good enough to avoid relegation, but not good enough to threaten to win almost anything for most of his recollection. I find it interesting and ironic how much the club’s success has mirrored his own. In an afterword, he does have some thoughts on the subject on how football has changed since the book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sannie

    Fever Pitch is laugh out loud funny. I found myself laughing aloud in my living room, on the train, waiting for public transportation. It is a story not only about soccer (football, sorry), but about fandom, passion, and the relationships that go with it. Nick Hornby details his relationship to the English football team Arsenal F.C. and yes, it's helpful if you know a little about the sport, otherwise you'd be a bit lost. However, his obsession with the team and sport is applicable to other obse Fever Pitch is laugh out loud funny. I found myself laughing aloud in my living room, on the train, waiting for public transportation. It is a story not only about soccer (football, sorry), but about fandom, passion, and the relationships that go with it. Nick Hornby details his relationship to the English football team Arsenal F.C. and yes, it's helpful if you know a little about the sport, otherwise you'd be a bit lost. However, his obsession with the team and sport is applicable to other obsessions as well; if you (or anyone you know) has ever been a fan of something and moods have been affected, then you will know perfectly well what he means. Arsenal is really a part of Hornby's life, becoming almost a character, and he details how he has to plan his social life around attending games, how his highs and lows correspond to the team's, etc. I had had a great quote picked out that applied to universal obsessions, but somehow the dogear became undone. I guess I'll have to re-read the book sometime.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anbu

    Fever pitch was an autobiographical account of an obsessive Arsenal fan whose happiness, sadness and everything depend on Arsenal’s success or failure. Most of us, Indian football fans, started watching English football from around 1996. That is the time when ESPN start telecasting one or two matches per weekend. That too most of them were United and Liverpool games. This is why India has lot of fans from these two clubs. For the guys like me, who started around 2003/04 season, Arsenal was all. T Fever pitch was an autobiographical account of an obsessive Arsenal fan whose happiness, sadness and everything depend on Arsenal’s success or failure. Most of us, Indian football fans, started watching English football from around 1996. That is the time when ESPN start telecasting one or two matches per weekend. That too most of them were United and Liverpool games. This is why India has lot of fans from these two clubs. For the guys like me, who started around 2003/04 season, Arsenal was all. The invincible team on a great football ground (First renovated Highbury, then world class Emirates) with great players likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira. We don’t know the past. The period when the dying on the football ground due to hooliganism, wall collapse and lot more reasons. This book explains a lot about that period which most of us do not know. We always habituated to imagine foreign stadiums are like this from start. No issues of spectator safety and comfort would have ever risen. If you are the person who always complains about quality of Indian stadiums, please read this book. In a country like UK, the stadiums should need more than 100 years to get improved; our stadiums are new and are in the process of improving. It will happen in time, so stop complaining. The best thing about this book was that this was written in the view of a fan. I could relate to lot of things like planning the outings and parties so that it would not affect him watching the matches, grumbling about the match whenever the team through away the lead and losing, we all do , don’t we? The main part of the book is the 17 year trophy deficit until they won the league cup on 1987. The irony is now we are in the deficit of 6 years. So I could understand his feelings when he explains the joy he felt when the team won the league. Also when Hornby explains his feelings after the team lost to Swindon in the cup final, I could relate it with the loss we suffered in the league cup final this year to the relegated Birmingham. Fever pitch, another great non-fiction book I have read this year. If you are a football fan and following English Football for quite some time, this is a good read irrespective of whichever club you are. This book gives us lot of information that we would not possibly known from the period starting 1968 till 1991. If you are a Gunner’s fan, ‘Man, come on this is a book by one of us’. No prizes for guessing my rating. :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Siddharth

    In a book filled with resonating passages about football, fandom and the Arsenal, this one stands out: "One thing I know for sure about being a fan is this: it is not a vicarious pleasure, despite all appearances to the contrary, and those who say that they would rather do than watch are missing the point. Football is a context where watching becomes doing — not in the aerobic sense, because watching a game, smoking your head off while doing so, drinking after it has finished and eating chips on In a book filled with resonating passages about football, fandom and the Arsenal, this one stands out: "One thing I know for sure about being a fan is this: it is not a vicarious pleasure, despite all appearances to the contrary, and those who say that they would rather do than watch are missing the point. Football is a context where watching becomes doing — not in the aerobic sense, because watching a game, smoking your head off while doing so, drinking after it has finished and eating chips on the way home is unlikely to do you a whole lot of Jane Fonda good, in the way that chuffing up and down a pitch is supposed to. But when there is some kind of triumph, the pleasure does not radiate from the players outwards until it reaches the likes of us at the back of the terraces in a pale and diminished form; our fun is not a watery version of the team’s fun, even though they are the ones that get to score the goals and climb the steps at Wembley to meet Princess Diana. The joy we feel on occasions like this is not a celebration of others’ good fortune, but a celebration of our own; and when there is a disastrous defeat the sorrow that engulfs us is, in effect, self-pity, and anyone who wishes to understand how football is consumed must realise this above all things. The players are merely our representatives, chosen by the manager rather than elected by us, but our representatives nonetheless, and sometimes if you look hard you can see the little poles that join them together, and the handles at the side that enable us to move them." Heavily recommended for anyone who lives and breathes the beautiful game.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pia P.

    For someone who's only background on football are a handful of Azkal games and pictures of hot shirtless football players my friends try to entice me with, I honestly loved this book. Nick Hornby tends to get too technical with his descriptions (and maybe, as a responsible reader, I should've at least tried to look up(/ask my friends about) the terms? but I'm lazy af) but that didn't take away from the experience. I'm honestly glad I made the executive decision to pace myself while reading it in For someone who's only background on football are a handful of Azkal games and pictures of hot shirtless football players my friends try to entice me with, I honestly loved this book. Nick Hornby tends to get too technical with his descriptions (and maybe, as a responsible reader, I should've at least tried to look up(/ask my friends about) the terms? but I'm lazy af) but that didn't take away from the experience. I'm honestly glad I made the executive decision to pace myself while reading it instead of rushing my way through it, because I would've probably skimmed through everything and missed the fandom experience. The book's depiction of fandom resonates so well to me even if I don't give a fck about Arsenal/football. I recognized myself in Hornby liking loyalty to a wart you're stuck with (hello problematic faves), his regression, his treatment of football as a crutch, etc. (just replace "football" with Niall Horan. lolJK I'm actually cooler than this, but I did enjoy the fact that one of Arsenal's greatest is named Niall lol) Having said that, I wish I was equipped with at least a basic knowledge of how football actually works, or how clubs work in the UK before reading this because that definitely would've added to the whole experience. But I'm definitely going to walk away with appreciation for Arsenal and football culture in general, deeper than my casual love for hot football players. Fever Pitch is a tribute to football and Arsenal in all their glory, warts and all, but Nick's love (obsession??) for the game and ~journey~ with football is something anyone can relate to, whatever their fandom may be.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jack Silbert

    OK, OK, it took me five months to read this book. Wait, I can explain. I picked up a used copy for a buck at a library book sale. I started reading it during the last couple of weeks of my employment at the company where I'd worked for 19 years. So, it was a pretty heavy time. And during that last week.... I lost the book. Could not find it anywhere. Wasn't at the office; I'd packed up the office. But it wasn't at home. Did I leave it somewhere? That would be very unlike me. It would have to turn OK, OK, it took me five months to read this book. Wait, I can explain. I picked up a used copy for a buck at a library book sale. I started reading it during the last couple of weeks of my employment at the company where I'd worked for 19 years. So, it was a pretty heavy time. And during that last week.... I lost the book. Could not find it anywhere. Wasn't at the office; I'd packed up the office. But it wasn't at home. Did I leave it somewhere? That would be very unlike me. It would have to turn up. Or I could buy another copy? That seemed wrong; I'd only paid a dollar for it. But more importantly, it was, I don't know, symbolic. This was a major period of change for me and I want my mommy, uh, I mean, my BOOK. A week later, it turned up in the apartment. Whew. We need some stability in our lives, after all. And then, well, I had plenty of time to read, right? With the not-having-a-regular-job and all. I'm like Burgess Meredith on the Twilight Zone. Except, malaise was my broken glasses. Malaise and no routine. Because I would read a lot waiting for the train on my commute. And on the train. And now I wasn't taking the train so much. And then a friend asked me to read his book, so that took precedence. And then I wanted to review a book for a friend's website so I read that. And then I was editing a book so I read that.... And maybe just maybe, Dr. Freud, part of me didn't want to finish Fever Pitch, as it was a connection to the old place. Well... I finished it! In the New York Department of Labor office, for those who enjoy irony. Oh, have I not reviewed the book yet? OK, there's a little more backstory required, sorry. High Fidelity changed my life. Top 5 all-time books, you might say. My friend Nancy gave me a copy when I was fairly down in the dumps and I will always appreciate that gesture. So of course I read About a Boy. And it... wasn't as good. It was good, just not... as good. And I meant to read How to be Good but... didn't. Songbook, I read Songbook, another gift, that was solid, but didn't capture the High Fidelity magic. Juliet, Naked--that sounded like it might be a "return to form." But, I didn't get around to it either. So when I saw that copy of Fever Pitch, I snapped it up. Always meant to read that one. It would be like going back to an early album by a favorite musician who's now lost a step or two. Back to the hungry, early, passionate days. I hadn't seen the Fever Pitch movie. The High Fidelity movie was terrific, I thought. (A very good job of Americanizing the story, in my opinion.) About a Boy was... eh. But Fever Pitch I was not going to see. Why? It was about the Red Sox! I hate the Red Sox. I'm not going to read a see a movie about them. (Though I did read John Updike's Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu, and it was absolutely perfect.) Which is why the Fever Pitch book was ideal. It's not about the Red Sox. It's about Arsenal and soccer. Perfect! I mean, I like soccer--played it from 2nd through 7th grades. And i follow it a little. But... I don't have a rooting interest. So I could just enjoy the book for what it is. The equivalent of me watching a game between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros. And it is a really good book. Not quite High Fidelity good, but, you can see it. The obsessive nature. The over-thinking. The sensitivity. The humor. The format is very clever: each "chapter" is a different game, excuse me, match, and we learn where he was (literally, but also, in his life). So there's family and school and lovers and jobs and triumphs and failures and celebrations and tragedies. And the game is always there for him. There's a brief window where he thinks the game will no longer be so important to him but--to our relief--it quickly passes. Hornby really provides great insight into what it means to be a fan. (A much better look than that Joe Queenan thing I read many years back.) And along the way makes some great points, about economic classes, racism, hooliganism, fan safety, incorporating a lover into your obsessions, and more. Saddam Hussein even makes an appearance. We see Hornby go from boy to man, and the book ends with him just on the cusp of traditional "adulthood." (By the 1996 paperback edition I was reading of the 1992 book, he had a wife and a son.) I wonder how the last 20 years have gone. I like to think he's still at all the home matches, even if it's not at Highbury.

  17. 4 out of 5

    MacK

    I was happy to find in Hornby 's work a memoir for a thinking sports fan (something I aspire to be on two other websites). It's a great guide for academics who want to see exactly what drives an otherwise sane man to spend a large portion of his weekend (not to mention his salary) supporting a collection of athletes who don't really know that he exists. Hornsby's passion sears the pages, his concern and elation for formations and strategies of his beloved Arsenal eleven are apparent from the fir I was happy to find in Hornby 's work a memoir for a thinking sports fan (something I aspire to be on two other websites). It's a great guide for academics who want to see exactly what drives an otherwise sane man to spend a large portion of his weekend (not to mention his salary) supporting a collection of athletes who don't really know that he exists. Hornsby's passion sears the pages, his concern and elation for formations and strategies of his beloved Arsenal eleven are apparent from the first word to the last. It shows how, in a city as teeming and varied as London, you can still create an identity through a community, even if it's just one that wears the same jersey as you on match days. Unfortunately for Hornby, and--I imagine--many other fans, the sporting community of twenty years ago has changed. Arsenal no longer play at Hornsby's beloved Highbury, but at a gargantuan beast of a place called "Air Emirates Stadium" a mile away. The old 1-0 grind out Gunners that Hornsby found an affection for have been replaced by a whirling collection of international stars (I recall Indian students complaining that the numerous French players on Arsenal made it less of an English team than a French one). Hornsby's sincere admiration for fans of less dominant teams (your Nottingham Forests, Cambridge Uniteds and Wolverhamptons) is positively quaint in an age when, walking into sports shops throughout the country I could only see jerseys for Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. Hornby's book, though academically intriguing is limited by the greatest limitation a sports fan has: sometimes the rest of the world thinks you're speaking an alien language. Even I, a would be serious futbol fan, was utterly clueless about who on earth he was referring to for most of the book (just as Hornsby would be dumbfounded if I spent pages debating the relative worth of Brendan Harris versus Al Newman--give yourself credit if you know either of those two men). Sports fans thrive on sharing their community with others, but when writing about it, we risk shuttering the doors against anyone who's not already part of the community. Worse still, those of us who relish the chance to discuss our community's past are often held captive as time marches on and the community around us changes too. When that happens (as it does with Fever Pitch) you're robbed of connecting the past to the present and learning what it all means and how it all relates. I'm a fan, of English literature, and English culture, and English sports. But that doesn't mean I understand what it is to be English as intimately and personally as those who actually are English. A little help from a smart writer like Mr. Hornby, will always be appreciated. A little more help will always be required.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gaurav Vartak

    Obsession can be a tricky thing. It can compel us to achieve great heights or push us into the darkest depths of depression. Nick Hornby’s obsession is Football (NOT Soccer); Arsenal Football Club to be precise. And the obsession is so deeply ingrained that during a phase in his life, he believed that the only way for him to overcome a career and life ending depression is if Arsenal starts playing well again. Such is the premise against which the book is set. In Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby takes us Obsession can be a tricky thing. It can compel us to achieve great heights or push us into the darkest depths of depression. Nick Hornby’s obsession is Football (NOT Soccer); Arsenal Football Club to be precise. And the obsession is so deeply ingrained that during a phase in his life, he believed that the only way for him to overcome a career and life ending depression is if Arsenal starts playing well again. Such is the premise against which the book is set. In Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby takes us through his first encounter with Arsenal in 1968, to Arsenal’s astonishing season-ending-title-deciding match against Liverpool in 1989. One of the points that he’s made at the beginning of the book is that a true Football fan won’t remember his/her life in term of years (1968, 1969, etc.) but rather in terms of Football seasons (68/69, 69/70, etc.) nor would he remember some of the memorable events (both in personal life or world history) through the dates that they occurred, but some big match that took place around that event. And thus it is that, in a book where he describes his life with respect to Football; and how it affected the course of certain events in his life, each chapter in the book begins with a match details as sub-heading (for example: Liverpool vs Arsenal, 26.5.89) and then goes on to describe the other details surrounding the match. Normally, I am not a big fan of autobiographies, and though this may come around as one, it is not exactly so. It’s a crisply written book describing a fan’s view of Football and Arsenal. And though the book is about Football and Arsenal (about 85 % of it), it is still a book that can be read by most sports fans and thoroughly enjoyed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    I am not a football fan, and had to skip over many of Hornby's descriptions of so-and-so using this foot to score the second goal in that game which was part of that one season. But the fact that Hornby felt compelled to include these details, and that he had them stored away in his brain, is part of the story. Fever Pitch does an excellent job of describing what it means for Hornby to be an obsessed fan. He does not take the long view, he is not detached, and his analysis comes in bits and chunk I am not a football fan, and had to skip over many of Hornby's descriptions of so-and-so using this foot to score the second goal in that game which was part of that one season. But the fact that Hornby felt compelled to include these details, and that he had them stored away in his brain, is part of the story. Fever Pitch does an excellent job of describing what it means for Hornby to be an obsessed fan. He does not take the long view, he is not detached, and his analysis comes in bits and chunks between descriptions of particular plays. He's a gifted writer, but he's also obsessed with football. Seriously. Obsessed. So if we as readers can take the long view, and be detached, then we are able to piece together the story of Hornby's development from a 12-year old whose parents are divorcing to a thirty-something who would rather miss a friend's wedding than miss a home game. It's a fascinating story, but we have to be willing to enter the crazy with him a bit, and go along for the ride. I didn't learn anything about football, but I learned a lot about fandom and obsession.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicole van der Elst

    This book reminded me of my first football match in the mid-nineties when I was around 9 or 10. Retrospectively, this match was the beginning of increasing violence between the two opposing sides, but I was only mesmerized by the fact that I was actually being present and soaked up the atmosphere. I could understand why Hornby decided to include certain matches who weren't memorable for their results but meant something to him at that time, because I felt the same way back then. I'm still interes This book reminded me of my first football match in the mid-nineties when I was around 9 or 10. Retrospectively, this match was the beginning of increasing violence between the two opposing sides, but I was only mesmerized by the fact that I was actually being present and soaked up the atmosphere. I could understand why Hornby decided to include certain matches who weren't memorable for their results but meant something to him at that time, because I felt the same way back then. I'm still interested in the game and keep on eye on the club, but in some ways I think my love of football in my early years was the start of a later obsession; a particular pop band. As long as they were in the industry, I kind of adjusted my year to their timetable. I loved Hornby's wit, and descriptions of the high's and low's of being a fan. I think that everyone who's ever felt passionate about anything, can recall a situation where other people simply didn't get your heartfelt dedication but had to live with it. In my both my love of football and the kind of 'positive obsession' for something, Fever Pitch was an ideal read for me!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I am a huge Nick Hornby fan. I love his sense of humor and get a warm cozy feeling whenever I read his writing. So, I decided to pick up this book, which is a bit of a memoir focused on Hornby's obsession with football (or soccer, depending on the country). This was like a sports version of The Orchid Thief. I am not a fan of soccer, don't know the players or the teams. Yet, I enjoyed this book. Sometimes he gets a little heavy on the game details, but he tells enough stories about his childhood I am a huge Nick Hornby fan. I love his sense of humor and get a warm cozy feeling whenever I read his writing. So, I decided to pick up this book, which is a bit of a memoir focused on Hornby's obsession with football (or soccer, depending on the country). This was like a sports version of The Orchid Thief. I am not a fan of soccer, don't know the players or the teams. Yet, I enjoyed this book. Sometimes he gets a little heavy on the game details, but he tells enough stories about his childhood and uses soccer as a metaphor for enough things in life that this held my interest. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves soccer (Arenal is Hornby's team) or Hornby in general. It's also a frightening glimpse into the nature of obsessions. Not a must-read, but also not a bad way to pass the time.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Maccann

    A tale of addiction and obsession, albeit not one we'd readily think of. A very funny insight into the delusion that is being a football supporter... no, a football fanatic, where the author lays bare all his highs, lows and personal insights while following Arsenal FC. Arguably it's essential reading for anyone who knows a friend, family member or lover with a passion for sport & they just can't understand the rationale behind their compulsion. It's certainly a "warts and all" portrayal, as whi A tale of addiction and obsession, albeit not one we'd readily think of. A very funny insight into the delusion that is being a football supporter... no, a football fanatic, where the author lays bare all his highs, lows and personal insights while following Arsenal FC. Arguably it's essential reading for anyone who knows a friend, family member or lover with a passion for sport & they just can't understand the rationale behind their compulsion. It's certainly a "warts and all" portrayal, as while the prose is often very witty and self-deprecating, you can see the underlining remorse (if that's not too strong a word to use) the author feels; that perhaps his obsession hasn't always been a positive in his life.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sergiy Svitlooky

    Hornby managed to describe with passion and grace a period in the Arsenal history when the team was not a valuable target for support. He listed point by point how it feels like to be supporting a mediocre team and keep loyalty to it waiting for a good day. The Hillsborough part is absolutely mind blowing. Every page is saturated with horror and pain of what football can bring apart from joy. The book ends with a pessimistic note and the author did not not know that Arsenal would have its moments Hornby managed to describe with passion and grace a period in the Arsenal history when the team was not a valuable target for support. He listed point by point how it feels like to be supporting a mediocre team and keep loyalty to it waiting for a good day. The Hillsborough part is absolutely mind blowing. Every page is saturated with horror and pain of what football can bring apart from joy. The book ends with a pessimistic note and the author did not not know that Arsenal would have its moments of fame later. However, today when it's 8 years since Arsenal won the last trophy, I feel the same. Absolutely astonishing experience, must read if you are the Arsenal fan.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Abhinav

    'Fever Pitch' by Nick Hornby isn't just a memoir - it's a part love-story, part hate-story & part never-ending obsession. This book probably explains almost all the reasons why you started supporting a football club. Even if it inflicted upon you a lot of pain at times. Loved how Hornby tends to remember important past incidents in his life through the dates of the games Arsenal played around the same time. Believe me, I liked this book immensely. But will I regard it as a classic of football lit 'Fever Pitch' by Nick Hornby isn't just a memoir - it's a part love-story, part hate-story & part never-ending obsession. This book probably explains almost all the reasons why you started supporting a football club. Even if it inflicted upon you a lot of pain at times. Loved how Hornby tends to remember important past incidents in his life through the dates of the games Arsenal played around the same time. Believe me, I liked this book immensely. But will I regard it as a classic of football lit? Probably not. Nonetheless, it's a great read. 'Fever Pitch' is for Gooners to treasure & others to revere. Every football fan will rediscover himself by reading this. Highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephan van der Linde

    Even though this book is about a football-club I like (Arsenal), Hornby describes the years 1968 till 1991. In those years Arsenal had not the name and fame it has now. Hornby, a big "Gunners"-fan visited as child his first Arsenal-game and never skipped a game since. Hornby describes all the highlights en disappointments through the years. While reading you start to understand his love for Arsenal. I think the first 100 pages are kind of boring and the second part is better, but this book is serio Even though this book is about a football-club I like (Arsenal), Hornby describes the years 1968 till 1991. In those years Arsenal had not the name and fame it has now. Hornby, a big "Gunners"-fan visited as child his first Arsenal-game and never skipped a game since. Hornby describes all the highlights en disappointments through the years. While reading you start to understand his love for Arsenal. I think the first 100 pages are kind of boring and the second part is better, but this book is serious. Nothing like his other works.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dipali

    As an Arsenal and football (it's football okay? Not soccer!) fan, there's no way I wouldn't love this. Nick Hornby nails the thoughts, rituals and mindset of a football fanatic (and gooner) perfectly. I really enjoyed this book and Hornby's voice. I would really love to see a follow-up though. I'd love to know how he felt during the Invincibles and the following trophy drought. And what he thinks of Henry and Bergkamp and Ozil and Sanchez. Basically I want to know everything he thinks of Arsenal As an Arsenal and football (it's football okay? Not soccer!) fan, there's no way I wouldn't love this. Nick Hornby nails the thoughts, rituals and mindset of a football fanatic (and gooner) perfectly. I really enjoyed this book and Hornby's voice. I would really love to see a follow-up though. I'd love to know how he felt during the Invincibles and the following trophy drought. And what he thinks of Henry and Bergkamp and Ozil and Sanchez. Basically I want to know everything he thinks of Arsenal!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Clay

    Nick Hornby... what can you say about this guy? He's really a brilliant narrator. Sometimes he's talking nonsense and you don't agree at all, but you still enjoy reading it. The way he sees things is just so funny! I'll be honest and let you know that A Long Way Down and High Fidelity were much better. Fever Pitch is a very good book nevertheless.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I admit it, I really liked it. I don't know whether I would have done if I hadn't been an ardent football supporter of my local club through my teenage years (yes it is possible to be a horse riding girl who is also into football). It gets 3 stars for the book it is and another because I'm glad it launched Hornby's career.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rishi Prakash

    I got this much elusive book from an online store which keeps old books, big thanks to my dear friend who helped me here :-) This book is a perfect depiction of a fan's obsession with his/her beloved team! It is a real funny autobiography in which the writer's life is measured not in years, but in seasons - not by the Gregorian calendar, but by the Gunners(Arsenal Football Club) fixture list. I've read no better account of what being a fan really means :-) The best part in the book is the "connec I got this much elusive book from an online store which keeps old books, big thanks to my dear friend who helped me here :-) This book is a perfect depiction of a fan's obsession with his/her beloved team! It is a real funny autobiography in which the writer's life is measured not in years, but in seasons - not by the Gregorian calendar, but by the Gunners(Arsenal Football Club) fixture list. I've read no better account of what being a fan really means :-) The best part in the book is the "connection". All fans and supporters of any team or club will identify with every tiny experience and emotion described by Hornby – the lack of control over something we invest so much of ourselves in, the strong sense of belonging with an institution whose fortune and performance makes us sad and happy and bounds us with millions of strangers who are fans just like us!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    I am always so conflicted when I rate a book that I needed to read for university and never would have picked up on my own. This book is exclusively about football and sadly, I could not care less about football. I will admit I enjoyed the parts where the author talked about what being a fan of a football club (Arsenal in this case) means, and how it can take over your entire life in both a good and a bad way.

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