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The Damned Utd by David Peace

The Damned Utd (original 2006; edition 2007)

by David Peace

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Title:The Damned Utd
Authors:David Peace
Info:Faber & Faber (2007), Paperback, 346 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Damned Utd by David Peace (2006)


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This is a fictionalized retelling of the life and times of football manager Brian Clough: specifically, his 44 days as manager of Leeds United, interspersed with memories of happier times as manager of Derby County FC. The memories are set off with italics and told alternately with the account of his time at Leeds, so it is fairly easy to follow along. Peace's writing style is much as usual here: repetitions of phrases and the use of unusual formatting (e.g. newspaper column style) and the inclusion of things like league tables help to illustrate the story. I am not sure how well this portrait of Clough compares to real life, but as a character we really come to know him over the course of the book and his struggles become ours. And as someone who recently had to leave a temporary job I really enjoyed, I found that the part about Clough leaving Derby County and not being able to let go easily really hit home.

In comparison with Red or Dead, Peace's other football book, The Damned Utd is an easier read: it is shorter and does not make quite as much use of repeated phrases. It may also be easier to read if you have seen the movie (which was very good as well).

The book also contains a list of sources that Peace consulted or otherwise made use of, which could be of interest if you want to know more or verify Peace's telling. ( )
  rabbitprincess | May 23, 2016 |
Brian Clough's 44-day stay as manager of Leed United, in 1974. Like him or loathe him, he had a way with his players, and was probably the finest manager the England team never had. This was a present from my son-in-law, and inside front cover shows that it was issued as part of World Book Night 2012, having been bought by Steve Ranson from Waterstones, Ipswich. Is the Dewey classification show below correct?
  corracreigh | Jan 24, 2016 |
You chose the right book, if you're interested in football history mixed with fiction.
"Damned United" is about Brain Clough management in English football leagues accompanied with his friend/assistant Peter Taylor.
it's written from Clough's point of view, started with commence of his career in Leeds United club -which was under management of Clough's biggest rival, Don Revie for 13 years- interspersed with some flashbacks that gives you some hints about his successful days in Derby County and how he became BRIAN CLOUGH.

- The Times as "probably the best novel ever written about sport"

( )
  payam-tommy | Mar 13, 2015 |
Even if you don’t know the first thing about English football, David Peace’s novel, about coach Brian Clough’s disastrous 44-day tenure at the helm of league champions Leeds United in 1974, will make you care enough to learn. Clough is a vengeful, monomaniacal, charismatic leader who’s lost his followers, and The Damned Utd, in its repetitious, clipped, rhythmic prose, will plunge you into his head, and into the tormented heart of England just before the rise of Thatcher. Readers with an interest in leftist politics or English sport will have much to look forward to here, but I’d recommend this just as much to anyone who cares about good writing. If you like it, look for Peace’s new 1970s football novel, Red or Dead, about Bill Shankly at Liverpool. ( )
  circumspice | Jul 16, 2014 |
I loved this book. My family were big Derby fans in the 60's/70's and all the football I remember is in here.

( )
  MsStephie | Jul 12, 2014 |
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'The Damned Utd' is a novel that shifts between and across 12 years in the life of a football genius, to tell the story of a world characterised by fear of failure and hunger for success.

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