Paradise Road

27 November 2012 08:28
Christmas time brings out the books for those diffcult to buy for relations

Another book to consider for the football fan in your life as a Christmas present. Well perhaps only the Celtic fan in your life. Make that the Celtic fan who has flights of philosophical fancy regarding the political implications of the IMF when in the middle of a confrontation of protesters and police in Prague. Paradise Road by Stephen O’Donnell is about Kevin McGarry who, after losing out on his chance to play professionally, turns his attention to his team, Celtic, and the book follows some of his adventures at home and aboard. It is a strange read with lack of details (or indeed player names in some of the games described) and a lack of constituency in the vocabulary of the main character with swift changes between supposed broad Glaswegian to perfect English. Initially I thought the book was going to be written in the vernacular of the average fan but mid chapters things changed backwards and foreword. There is also little evidence between the covers that the main protagonist was, as the cover blurb suggests ‘as a youngster was one of the most talented footballers of his generation in Scotland’. This appears to have been dealt with in what I recall as two pages. There does not seem to be a flow to the book and it was not one that I felt the urge to pick up again and complete let alone finish is one sitting. There did not seem to be anything in the book that made me care about any of the characters McGarry met on his forays to grounds and bars. I have always enjoyed the craic when going to the football which can be compensation for the quality of the fayre presented on the pitch in front of us. The author did not appear to have an ear for the banter I associate with following football. However, it may just be me. Perhaps I just come from the wrong side of the country.Paradise Road by Stephen O’Donnell is published by Ringwood Publishing of Glasgow price £9.99

Source: ScottishFitba


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