To call this the greatest soccer novel ever written would imply that I’ve read any others, but people say it, and I can’t believe it’s not true. Peace, otherwise a crime novelist, took a bizarre episode in English football history, when the blustery manager Brian Clough took over his bitter rival, Leeds United, for a disastrous month and a half in 1974, and turned it into a strangely compelling drama about the repetitive, obsessive drive behind athletic success and failure. Imagine, U.S. sports fans, James Ellroy writing a novel about Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner, and then imagine you know nothing about Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner. It’s fantastic.
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA