Fever Pitch

by Nick Hornby

This is a memoir written by a football tragic, Arsenal supporter and very funny writer.

I have learned things from the game. Much of my knowledge of locations in Britain and Europe comes not from school, but from away games or the sports pages, and hooliganism has given me both a taste for sociology and a degree of fieldwork experience. I have learned the value of investing time and emotion in things I cannot control, and of belonging to a community whose aspirations I share completely and uncritically. And on my first visit to Selhurst Park with my friend Frog, I saw a dead body, still my first, and learned a little bit about, well, life itself.

Hornby’s committment to Arsenal is linked to his parent’s separation and his need as a child to hold fast to his father as they supported their team on a Saturday afternoon. He is as funny and compelling in this book as he is in his fiction books (including About a Boy).

Whilst Fever Pitch must have a special appeal for enthusiatic football supporters, lack of knowledge of and interest in ‘the beautiful game’ are not barriers to appreciating this book.

Read a longer excerpt.