Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sweet Feck All?

For a wee while Sweet FA was all I thought I'd be putting on the blog this week. School's back. I'm really busy. Still late and never and better, apologies for delays and the rest.

I am dilligently looking for football fiction, but I couldn't help feeling this week that I was looking for something in all the wrong places. A bit like the four women who lead the charge to take their football widow bitterness out on their men folk in Siobhan Curham's book Sweet FA.

I have to be honest I was fully expecting it to be absolutely shite. I was looking forward to having something to rip into. Something I could open up and tear a big lump off. But I couldn't. Now, it isn't the best example of football fiction, but it isn't the worst either.

It's in the same league as Karren Brady's woeful lipstick football fiction, but while Brady's books would be fighting with each other to avoid relegation. Curham's book would be in the play-offs for promotion.

'Whoah' I hear you say. And you'd be right too. 'Whoah' is exactly what I said. The book's content and lack of any real football bar it from being Championship material and the glory of a higher division would ultimately allude it, but there is something there. A couple of wee bubbles of questions popped into my mind when I was reading it, besides why I was reading it obviously, and that made it a worthwhile exercise.

On her official site Curham says its about a group of football widows. She writes,"I wanted to write a book that would appeal to all women. I was interested in the notion of a group of women who are feeling neglected and unfulfilled coming together to regain control of their own lives. Sweet FA is not just about seeking revenge, but it is also a story of friendship and the fulfilment of dreams. As Belle, Ginny, Anna and Maz embark upon their campaign of sabotage and retribution they also begin a journey of self-discovery that will change each of their lives forever. Deciding to follow their football-obsessed partners' example they each find a passion of their own to pursue. Belle decides to have an affair, Ginny learns to chill out, Maz attempts to become a fashion designer and Anna finally finds the courage to escape from her abusive relationship."

This is all true, but it's not what I was thinking when I was reading it. I did however let my mind run with the ball at it's feet and I was entertained for a wee while, but honestly I would much rather be reading something else.

Awright, so I should've looked at her site before I read it, but I'm not sorry I read it. Well not as sorry as I thought I would be. It's often funny and sometimes even evocative. Along with the writing, the characters are engaging. See the bit I myopically focussed on was the football-obsessed partners. And there wasn't enough of them. But that was to be expected. It was about the girls. Still it opens the door to a world of football fiction that I hadn't put a great deal of thought into. Footballer's wives and football widows. There's bound to be creeds of material there.

And then that made me think that there must be football widowers, ye know, fellas whose partners are obsessed with football. US all-star Mia Hamm's partner for example might be sick of football, I can't see it right enough but you get the point.

Curham's written a number of other books. They're most likely not for me. Even on the beach I'd prefer to read something with more substance or more football or both. If you're interested most book sellers on the net have them. Or have a look at Siobhan Curham's own site

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