Nick Hornby: Fever Pitch (first published by Gollancz 1992)
I had wanted to reread this book before, but now the Euro 2020 provided the perfect milieu for it.
Nick Hornby is currently one of the most successful English writers, but he is also an editor and a screenwriter (for example, he wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn). He may mostly be known for his novel High Fidelity, but Fever Pitch was his first book, which won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award back in the year of its English publication (1992). I’ve already written about another one of his books in the past, which you can read here. By the way, his sister Gill Hornby is also a writer, you will most certainly read about her on the blog as well.
’The natural state of the football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.’
In this book, Nick Hornby speaks honestly about his obsession with football, especially with Arsenal, which has defined his life since he was a child. The book is not a football diary, but as the rhythm of the author’s life is aligned with Arsenal’s schedule, the shadow of football is cast onto every major event of his life. In addition, we can learn what it means to be a football fan and what cheering reveals about us, our culture and our society.
Extremely good book! Those who don’t like football will also like it, as it can also be a study of psychology and sociology, which, moreover, is written with astringent humor. I think it’s a huge thing that someone knows themselves so much.