Tuesday, 29 January 2008

A fevered review

Nick Hornby and I have a few things in common: we both love football; we both have an appreciation for music; and most obviously we have the both the same first initial. Why the comparison? The reason being I have just finished reading Hornby's Fever Pitch, an autobiographical account of his obsession with Arsenal from his first game until 1992, when the book comes to an end. This book came highly recommended from fellow football fans and I read it not long after another Hornby book, 31 Songs.

Fever Pitch is an excellent read and extremely well written (as you would expect from a writer of Hornby's calibre) as Hornby details the growth of his obsession with all things Arsenal and its subsequent impact on his life. The book obviously appeals to most football fans as they can see part of themselves in Hornby's writings. Also because of the way it is written the book has also appealed to non-football obsessives, my girlfriend included, because they see in Hornby some of the traits that they see in their husbands, wives, girlfriends and boyfriends. The book is of course a little out of date as it was written back in 1992. I wonder if Hornby still has that obsession for Arsenal, a team I abhorred during the 1990s but now for which I have a grudging respect for their style of play under Arsene Wenger.

Reading Fever Pitch also makes one analyse or question their own football obsession or interest. I like to think that my interest is not as obsessive as that of Hornby's and that my life doesn't revolve around football or a particular team.
My girlfriend probably begs to differ and often complains about how much time I spend talking about football, reading about football, blogging about football and trawling forums about football. I like to remind her that I did give up going to one home game this season (my first ever) for her birthday but that apparently doesn't cut much shrift as I didn't give it up that easily. And whereas, Hornby devotes all his interest to one team and little else, my interest spreads to all aspects of football, both at club and international level and inside and outside of Australia. It will be interesting to see how my interest level changes in the years to come as I get older and my lifestyle changes.

If you haven't read Fever Pitch yet its well worth checking out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The movie of the same name was quite good, and is well worth a look at if it can still be found.

2 February 2008 at 00:56  
Blogger john said...

Hi Neil
'Hornby devotes all his interest to one team and little else,'

Didn't he support a non-leaguer in Cambridge as well?

24 February 2008 at 09:31  
Blogger Neil said...


That's correct. I think he supported Cambridge United, who were at the time a league team, but are now in the Conference.

24 February 2008 at 10:29  

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