Vertigo: One Football Fan's Fear of Success

John Crace

Vertigo: One Football Fan's Fear of Success

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs . . . then you're probably not a football fan. Years of underachievement. An heroic sense of injustice. A seemingly infinite capacity for self-destruction. John Crace and Spurs were made for each other. But then the team started to play like possible champions. For most fans, these are the glory moments they dream about. For Crace they just opened a new dimension of anxiety: the fear of success. Crace has supported Spurs for 40 years. His wife thinks he suffers from a psychiatric disorder, but fandom is not only one of the ways he negotiates his relationships, it also helps him make some sense of his life. Vertigo is the story of why fandom that starts out in boyish hope always ends in dark comedy. 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
Vertigo: One Football Fan's Fear of Success

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Sports, Hobbies & Games
Format Paperback
Pages 320
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication September 2011
ISBN 978-1849016537
Publisher Constable
 

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs . . . then you're probably not a football fan. Years of underachievement. An heroic sense of injustice. A seemingly infinite capacity for self-destruction. John Crace and Spurs were made for each other. But then the team started to play like possible champions. For most fans, these are the glory moments they dream about. For Crace they just opened a new dimension of anxiety: the fear of success. Crace has supported Spurs for 40 years. His wife thinks he suffers from a psychiatric disorder, but fandom is not only one of the ways he negotiates his relationships, it also helps him make some sense of his life. Vertigo is the story of why fandom that starts out in boyish hope always ends in dark comedy.

Read an extract from the book | Guardian

Reviews

The Guardian

Danny Kelly

[An] excellent, amusing, occasionally infuriating book ... Vertigo exposes the self-delusion, moral gymnastics and nervous tics that are the lot of any football fan following a team in the modern game. It also vividly, and stoically, describes the plight of those blighted by the black dog. Only one thing prevents the book from being truly lovable, and that is the fact that Crace, in the long spells when he is clear of his clinical depression, is still a bit of a misery. Not to put too fine a point on it, he makes Victor Meldrew, Morrissey and Marvin the Paranoid Android seem like the Marx Brothers.

24/09/2011

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The Sunday Times

Paul Croughton

… while Crace’s accounts of his journeys to away games with his narcoleptic friend Matthew are entertaining, it is the subplots — the effect of Crace’s relationship with his club; his battle with depression for 15 years; the role football plays in his family life — that are more affecting. Most football fans will have pondered the question his daughter asks him: “How come you get so much pleasure out of something that gives you so much pain?”

18/09/2011

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