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108 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars For Any Obessed Fan
I read this book when living in England - and though I knew little about Arsenal and even less about the games and players Hornby describes - I understood it completely. Its not really a book about Arsenal, or even football per se, but more about the bond with "our" team, and how that is reflected in our other "real world" relationships. No matter...
Published on April 17 2003 by Gregory P Ramshaw

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars You'd better LOVE BritishFootball (soccer) to like this book
I think Nick Hornby is an excellent writer, but this book just didn't keep me interested like all his others. Probably because I don't know much at all about football (soccer) clubs in England. I imagine if you are an Arsenal fan, or any other club that plays them, then you'll love this book. If you don't know who Arsenal is, then you're going to be stuck reading a ton...
Published on May 8 2003 by Evan Rapoport


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5.0 out of 5 stars For Any Obessed Fan, April 17 2003
By 
Gregory P Ramshaw (Edmonton, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
I read this book when living in England - and though I knew little about Arsenal and even less about the games and players Hornby describes - I understood it completely. Its not really a book about Arsenal, or even football per se, but more about the bond with "our" team, and how that is reflected in our other "real world" relationships. No matter where we are or who we are with, the team seems to always be there in the background to bear witness.
A wonderful read - no matter which team is your obession.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 104 degrees, Aug. 4 2007
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
FEVER PITCH will not resonate with everyone, the same way Palahniuk's LULLABY won't and the likes of McCrae's KATZENAJAMMER will not fall into the category of "must haves." But, it is an interesting book and you don't have to have a vested interest in football (European--Soccer, really) to enjoy this title. Set in memoir style, FEVER PITCH is a quizzical look at fanaticism with one sport, and how it affect the lives of people. Hornby's insights are keen, and the lets us in on a world that ranges from shallowness to great depth. Better known for his HIGH FIDELITY, Hornby nevertheless hits a high mark with this book. This book explores the way the game brings people together and at other times, tears them apart. The most riveting aspect of this title is the way Hornby shows us how the "game" is woven so into his own life. If you enjoyed his ABOUT A BOY or the ribald and fun KATZENJAMMER (McCrae), the this book will not disappoint with its insight into the world of sports.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oi! A Confessional of Passion and Frenzy by Hornby, June 14 2005
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
FEVER PITCH is basically a tribute to English football. Hornby (as a real-life Arsenal fan) has a unique talent here in weaving a story out of autobiographical moments with a slight narrative where the glory and obsessive nature of football is eeked out on every page. Within this you can quickly deduce that the thing always and forever on a football fan's mind is HIS fixture list and everything else (friends, family, love and moments) is second best. Each year, each month, each season of the narrator's life can be calculated and described by footballing moments - such is the craze, the frenzy, the desperation for his team and the beautiful game.
For those who may feel too 'footballed-out' by this review -you can always try the film version. This little ditty, starring the wonderful Colin Firth, is a far more sensitive football-account than the book. Firth plays a football-crazed yet vulnerable man who even seems troubled by his obsession.The film also mingles in an aspect of love (something that is not heavily referenced in the book) and loss where a girlfriend becomes an outsider on match day - thus appealing to women probably the world over who ultimately always stand on the periphery of the game.
I would recommend the book to anybody. Although completely devoted to football it's still a great account and shows some great (autobiographical) work by Hornby. He did the same for music in HIGH FIDELITY -- read that one as well rather than see the film. In addition to FEVER PITCH, I need to mention another little book called THE LOSERS' CLUB: COMPLETE RESTORED EDITION by Richard Perez (which bears more than a passing resemblance to HIGH FIDELITY -- spontaneity and passion (not to mention HUMOR) count for a lot and these books have it spades.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is one of the best football books, Feb. 15 2004
By 
Jason Lin (Taipei, Taiwan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is one of the best football books around. But it is about much more than football, it gives a rare glimpse into the psyche of the British football fan. In his book, football is a metaphor for all aspects of life, romance, family, and career. Hornby¡s amusing narratives perfectly encapsulate the unique relationship a football fan has with their favorite team. Even as a Manchester United fan I find it fascinating to read about his obsession with and dedication to Arsenal.
At the most superficial level, this book provides a very detail account of Arsenal from the late 60s through the beginning of the 90s, and the increasingly violent behavior by football fans during the late 70s and early 80s, and the negative impact it had on his feelings for the games.
Hornby describes vividly how his life was related to Arsenal's achievements. When Arsenal was doing good, Hornby was doing good. When Arsenal was having an off-season, Hornby fell into depression. It is interesting to observe the development of Hornby's obsession, because it can happen to anyone. With the backdrop of his often witty accounts of Arsenal games, Hornby talks about how his life evolves with his family, his girlfriend, and his students. Football is like a common world language, and Hornby uses it to interact with his students. And watching football with his father was one the highlights of his childhood.
Every game has an analogy in life for the football fan. For Hornby, a tight game ending in defeat is a painful reminder of a break with his girlfriend.
While this obsession with football is almost innate, sometimes Hornby felt immature, especially when he was unable to control his overwhelming passion for the game in front of his students.
In humorous pros Hornby highlights how football and life come together on the pitch and is definitely worthy of reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, Jan. 11 2004
By 
Sean McKenzie (Gallup, NM United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
read the first page and you're hooked-a wonderful time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars black and white and read all over, Dec 14 2003
By 
Judge Knott "judge_knott" (Upper West Side, NY, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
This is a cool book, and a very good book, but a tiny little "je ne sais quoi" keeps me from giving it that last and final fifth star.
To summarize the book superficially in a sentence, it's an autobiographical retelling, in a very witty first-person voice, of the author's (London journalist Nick Hornby) lifelong love of soccer and his passion for the English pro soccer team Arsenal (which plays in London). Thrown in are side stories about his boyhood, his relationship with his parents, and his posse of friends, love interests, and workmates who either do or don't share his love of the sport.
One problem for North Americans is that this is a truly English book, in that it contains tons of references to little villages in England, little UK customs, judgments and descriptions of London neighborhoods, etc., that left me feeling like a Yankee hick who'd never left the trailer park. Indeed, that is my problem and not the author's, but North Americans who don't know English culture well will feel lost at times.
Another problem is that the book, like the TV show "Seinfeld," isn't really about anything. Sure, there's a lot of chatter about soccer, but not in any sort of methodical or educative way. It's basically a willfully disorganized diary about 20 years in the life of a clever, witty Englishman (from about age 10 to about age 30) who allows soccer to dominate his worldview and, alas, his whole life. It comes down to the amusing musings of a 30-something Londoner, which makes the book fascinating but not monumental.
The obsession with soccer is the strength and the weakness of the work. If you want to learn about English pro soccer, you will be disappointed. If you want to learn first-hand, from a very imaginative and clever soul, about what it was like for one particular person to grow up soccer-mad in southeastern England the 1970's and 1980's and how it impacted the rest of his life, then this is the book for you.
I'm a big fan of Nick Hornby, and a better book of his, and a better "starter book" for him, is "High Fidelity."
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2.0 out of 5 stars Painfully, painfully boring, Nov. 13 2003
By 
J. Hyman "citizen_of_balance" (St. Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
This book was extremely pointless. Since each entry is a memory, they are written like them so they don't have an insteresting story-telling narrative. Also, some of the entries were just how the game was played and who won, with absolutely nothing interesting to say. And that for 300 pages, completely redundant. This book has no beginning, middle, or end. Just entry after entry of complete pointlessness. Now, it may be because I am not interested in sports, but this is just a football (soccor) journal and nothing more. Hornby was able to shove in a little bit of angst and childhood problems, but it is not nearly significant enough to keep the reader interested.
Though the book had some very funny parts, it doesn't make up for the ennui I experienced while reading this book. You know, they made a movie out a this.....HOW?!! It barely works as a piece of fiction or reference book...but a movie?! Jesus. I'm sorry but this was one of the most boring books I've ever read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An autobiography of the new pop-culture, Oct. 27 2003
By 
J R Zullo (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
"Fever pitch" is Hornby's first well-known book, a precedent to "High fidelity" and "About a boy". Hornby is one of the two british people that has brought a new meaning to pop-culture; the other is Helen Fielding. Hornby's characters are simple, common people that live unusual situations and relationships along his common lives. In this case, Hornby's character is himself, and the book is about his relationship with London soccer team Arsenal.
To me this book was fun to read because, like Hornby - although in a much, much smaller degree - I am a soccer fanatic, and, like him, my favourite team - Corinthians Paulista - is also one of the most popular and inconstant teams in my country. Hornby writes his book describing how his life was related to Arsenal's achievements. When Arsenal was doing good, Hornby was doing good. When Arsenal was struggling, Hornby was in depression. Of course, there's much more to it than just that, but it is interesting to observe the development of Hornby's obsession, because it can happen to anyone, at any time.
The problem with "Fever pitch" is that, if the reader doesn't like or doesn't know soccer there will be a lot of skipped paragraphs, and maybe the book will be put aside before the end. Even if the reader can see this story as a metaphor, soccer is ever-present and cannot be dissociated from Hornby's life. I liked it and understood it because soccer IS a very present thing in my life. Maybe if it was about cricket, I would not have liked it.
Grade 8.8/10
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD DEPICTION OF SOCCER ADDICTION, NOT MUCH FOR THE NON FAN, July 19 2003
By 
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
This book offers a very good image of the extremes that fans go to for their addiction when it ocmes to soccer. As a soccer fan, I can see a glimpse of myself in the pages, though I am not as radical as the author ever was.
There is much insight into the feelings of soccer fans and their way of thinking. Particularly interesting and true is the feeling that only those that follow the team through the bad times should be allowed to cheer in the good times. Very true in myself included, I am afraid.
However, given the deep focus on soccer, there is not much there for the non soccer fan. Even being a soccer fan, one needs to be quite familiar with English teams and the championships they play in order to fully follow the author. The book have benefitted from an explanatory appendix, but then again, true fans wouldn't need and might find it offensive if there were one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best sports fan book ever, July 11 2003
By 
Richard E. Hourula (Berkeley, CA. United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fever Pitch (Paperback)
Sports fan? You'll like this book.
Soccer fan? You'll really live this book.
English soccer fan? You'll love this book.
Arsenal fan? This will be one of your favorite books ever.
I am all of the above. But I am also a fan of good writing. Nick Hornby has proven (with books such as "High Fidelity " and "About a Boy") that he's an excellent writer. In tackling (pun intended) the sport and team he is obsessed with, Hornby is being faithful to the notion that writer's should deal with topics familiar to them.
"Fever Pitch" is a love story. It is about one person's unconditional love for a sports team. There have been other such books before, but none better. Hornby explores the intersecting of love of team (and living and dying with their results) with the annoying business of the "rest of life." Any sport fan will be able not to just relate to the book, but seem themselves in it. Those familiar with English football (soccer to the heathen) will identify all the more.
Sports fans should read this book for a glimpse at how others see us.
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