A bit of footy fiction this time around with John O’Farrell’s book, There’s Only Two David Beckhams! How exactly this phrase fits into the story, is up to you to find out. With that said, it’s an interestingly crafted tale that slowly reveals itself until the final few pages of the book where the truth explodes from the page. Roger is a journalist covering World Cup Qatar 2022, the main setting for our story and somehow still on pace to be the site of the real 2022 World Cup, where his investigative skills have brought him to a crucial crossroads torn between the story of his career or the wish of a lifetime.
With a witty voice, John O’Farrell both pokes fun at and celebrates the game we all know and love. O’Farrell exposes the game for what it is on all fronts: wonderful, terrible, uplifting, demoralizing, corrupt, inclusive, a true sporting enigma. Oscillating between the complicated nature of a father-son relationship, the love of something larger than oneself, and man’s constant moral struggle, this book is more than just about football. Who knew football could stir up such meta concepts? In all seriousness, Two David Beckhams is nowhere near a philosophical tome. But it does deliver some feel-good moments, inspires introspection, and leaves the reader with a smile, the worldwide symbol of a book well written.
4.5/5 Jules Rimet trophies! A nice departure from the historical/educational tone that some footy books can take on, this one struck a nice balance and threw a few twists in turns in for good measure!
Delving back into the types of books about football that are more than just about the game. This Love is Not For Cowards is more focused on what sports are for people, what they’re about and the emotional weight we give to “our” teams, than the sport itself. For me, this is the space where the truly human stories often are told. So much of life happens on the periphery of the game, where us everyday citizens intersect with the star-studded world of sports, where glitz meets grit, and this is exactly what This Love is Not For Cowards promises.
In honor of EURO 2016 having overtaken our TV screens, my favorite moment of the tournament so far….hands clasped we pray for olé! Gotta love Iceland, putting Cristiano right where he belongs, in the crybaby corner.