It’s the time of year once again in football where clubs play pointless games in far flung lands to make exorbitant amounts of money and a number of highly paid footballers kick up a fuss over not being paid enough and move clubs. Basically, it’s the down period for football as we have to wait a whole month for competitive action to really kick off so now is as good as ever to delve into books around football. There are plenty to choose from but if, like many football fans, you loved last season’s Premier League action then Chris Darwen’s new book “Tales From The Top Flight” may just be right up your street.
The book is a collection of Darwen’s columns for the Costa Blanca People of the same name that appeared throughout the past season and it definitely reads like a series of columns that have been collated. That’s not actually a bad thing as the real hook of this book is that the real stories of the season are not looked upon with rose-tinted glasses and hyperbole. There is a real-time feel to TFTTF that gives it a narrative which for me keeps it engaging.
One thing not to expect however is any great detail or in-depth analysis. This is a short, snappy read; a book you can polish off in just over an hour if you have a long journey or wait ahead. And that right there is the appeal – TFTTF does not bog you down in the nuances of the Leicester title charge nor does it seek to provide you with overwhelming detail. This is a book built on analogies and personality and that is where it excels.
Darwen’s challenge was to make his columns easy to read and entertaining at the same time. If you have read his other work such as the Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager series, you will know that he is very capable of doing so. And he certainly has done here with a book that feels like you’re listening to your pal talk about the latest goings on in the football. You can see where predictions die and when the unpredictability of football kicks in every new week. It’s an entertaining jaunt through an ever-changing season.
So, is the book worth getting? It depends. If you want an in-depth, detailed book on the previous season then there will be a number of other choices for you. “Tales From The Top Flight” does not claim to be that book and will disappoint you if you think it is. Darwen has made this book an easy, entertaining read that does not take up too much of your time or money. Take it on a long journey and you’ll be entertained while time flies by and what more could you really want.
VERDICT: Short, snappy, easy to read and cheap – perfect for a long journey. Worth checking out.