David Peace’s fictional portrait of the legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly is so hypnotic that even the football-averse might enjoy itOn 10 August 1974, Leeds United played Liverpool in the Charity Shield, a traditional fixture between the leading sides of the previous season. The match, although officially classified as a “friendly”, was notable for an on-pitch brawl between the players Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan and for a coincidence of managerial changeovers: Brian Clough was leading Leeds out for the first time, while Bill Shankly was walking at the head of the Liverpool side on a final occasion, having retired after turning a previously under-achieving team into the winners of six top-level trophies.Improbably, both managers – and that match – have now featured in separate major novels by the same author. David Peace’s The Damned Utd (2006) dramatised Clough’s calamitous 44-day spell at Leeds, while Peace’s latest novel, Red or Dead, fictionalises Shankly’s 15 years at Liverpool.As statistics suggest that the bulk of football supporters are male and the majority of fiction readers female, Peace’s keenness to write novels about football suggests an author unusually immune to calculations of marketing and target audiences. Football, though, for Peace is merely part …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books