A passionate insider’s approach to understanding a game that seems so simple but contains almost inexhaustible complexity....

HOW TO WATCH SOCCER

Watching the beautiful game through the eyes of one who knows.

Gullit has experienced nearly everything there is to experience in the game of soccer, at every level. A former Dutch international player and star for multiple European clubs, including AC Milan and Chelsea, the author was a world and European Player of the Year renowned for his positional flexibility and a manager who brought Chelsea its first major title in more than a quarter century when they won the FA Cup in 1997. For years, he has also been an incisive and respected TV analyst. All of his credentials make him ideally situated to explain how best to understand the world’s most popular sport. Using myriad—though never gratuitous or self-indulgent—examples from his own career as a player and manager, Gullit peers below the surface and encourages readers to do more than simply watch the ball. After a few short autobiographical chapters, all geared toward setting up his varying perspectives on the game, Gullit runs through the many facets of soccer, from the systems, patterns of play, and positions to overarching strategy and nitty-gritty tactics to the various teams and players who make the game so compelling. He is not afraid to dive deep into the minutiae of soccer’s fine points even as he elucidates the big picture, and diagrams helpfully illustrate certain plays or modes of play. Because Gullit originally wrote the book in his native Dutch for a European audience, his perspective and many of his examples come from both the Dutch professional game and the Netherlands national side, but this shouldn’t be a negative for American readers interested in soccer; it grounds him in a particular context.

A passionate insider’s approach to understanding a game that seems so simple but contains almost inexhaustible complexity. Read this for background and then turn to Eduardo Galeano’s poetic Soccer in Sun and Shadow for further illumination.

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-14-313074-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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