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Fever Pitch

The book Fever Pitch was made into the movie Fever Pitch.

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Book details for Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch was written by Nick Hornby. The book was published in 1992 by Riverhead Trade. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

Nick Hornby also wrote High Fidelity (1995) and About a Boy (1998).

 

Read More About This Book

In the States, Nick Hornby is best know as the author of High Fidelity and About a Boy, two wickedly funny novels about being thirtysomething and going nowhere fast. In Britain he is revered for his status as a fanatical football writer (sorry, fanatical ... Read More
In the States, Nick Hornby is best know as the author of High Fidelity and About a Boy, two wickedly funny novels about being thirtysomething and going nowhere fast. In Britain he is revered for his status as a fanatical football writer (sorry, fanatical soccer writer), owing to Fever Pitch--which is both an autobiography and a footballing Bible rolled into one. Hornby pinpoints 1968 as his formative year--the year he turned 11, the year his parents separated, and the year his father first took him to watch Arsenal play. The author quickly moved "way beyond fandom" into an extreme obsession that has dominated his life, loves, and relationships. His father had initially hoped that Saturday afternoon matches would draw the two closer together, but instead Hornby became completely besotted with the game at the expense of any conversation: "Football may have provided us with a new medium through which we could communicate, but that was not to say that we used it, or what we chose to say was necessarily positive." Girlfriends also played second fiddle to one ball and 11 men. He fantasizes that even if a girlfriend "went into labor at an impossible moment" he would not be able to help out until after the final whistle.

Fever Pitch is not a typical memoir--there are no chapters, just a series of match reports falling into three time frames (childhood, young adulthood, manhood). While watching the May 2, 1972, Reading v. Arsenal match, it became embarrassingly obvious to the then 15-year-old that his white, suburban, middle-class roots made him a wimp with no sense of identity: "Yorkshire men, Lancastrians, Scots, the Irish, blacks, the rich, the poor, even Americans and Australians have something they can sit in pubs and bars and weep about." But a boy from Maidenhead could only dream of coming from a place with "its own tube station and West Indian community and terrible, insoluble social problems."

Fever Pitch reveals the very special intricacies of British football, which readers new to the game will find astonishing, and which Hornby presents with remarkable humor and honesty--the "unique" chants sung at matches, the cold rain-soaked terraces, giant cans of warm beer, the trains known as football specials carrying fans to and from matches in prisonlike conditions, bottles smashing on the tracks, thousands of policemen waiting in anticipation for the cargo of hooligans. The sport and one team in particular have crept into every aspect of Hornby's life--making him see the world through Arsenal-tinted spectacles. --Naomi Gesinger

Movie details for Fever Pitch

The movie was released in 2005 and directed by David Evans (II). Fever Pitch was produced by Lions Gate. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Luke Aikman, Bea Guard, Neil Pearson, Ruth Gemmell, Colin Firth, Richard Claxton, Ken Stott, Holly Aird, Mark Strong (II), Lorraine Ashbourne, Peter Quince, Charles Cork, Bob Curtiss, Philip Bond, Scott Baker (III), Annette Ekblom, Jackie Hyffes, Joe Reddington, Graham Cull and Mike Ingham.

 

Read More About This Movie

Rumpled, amiable Colin Firth plays a rumpled, amiable English teacher named Paul. He's also an obsessive football (soccer to us Americans) fan who's been avidly following the Arsenal team for 18 years. When he falls into a relationship with a new teacher ... Read More
Rumpled, amiable Colin Firth plays a rumpled, amiable English teacher named Paul. He's also an obsessive football (soccer to us Americans) fan who's been avidly following the Arsenal team for 18 years. When he falls into a relationship with a new teacher named Sarah (played by Ruth Gemmel), his deep attachment to Arsenal proves an obstacle. This sounds like some cheap men-and-women-don't-understand-each-other setup, but instead Fever Pitch not only explores the origins of Paul's football fandom, it actually communicates an infectious sense of what that kind of sports enthusiasm can mean, how it can provide an almost tribal identity. Even better, the movie takes this devotion seriously without ever losing sight of how it can be completely ridiculous at the same time, resulting in some amazing, funny scenes. Gemmel is charming, and Firth is simply superb. He's a great actor who's never quite fit into conventional leading man roles and so tends to play oddballs and redeemable villains, as in Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, and Apartment Zero. He's a perfect fit for this script, written by Nick Hornby (author of High Fidelity and About a Boy) from his novel of the same name. The humor of this movie is all the more engaging because it's grounded in richly developed characters and emotions. Fever Pitch is excellent. Also featuring a hilarious cameo by Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Guinevere). --Bret Fetzer