Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Book Review: Gerrard - My Autobiography

{Image from Amazon.com}

No, not my usual sort of book either, but we were on holiday and M (and all his family) are Liverpool fans, so I picked it up for a brief look and a few hours later had finished the book. And that was how I came to know the names of the last three Liverpool managers and the reasons why Stevie G has played poorly in each of the last tournaments for England.

To be honest, the most overwhelming thing I felt for the book was pity for Gerrard's wife, Alex. Perhaps it was his lack of language skills and therefore ability to express how he really feels about her, but saying that she is a close friend, he loves her and he loves Liverpool Football Club (same sentence) and that she has a small career but is not a model but a Mum did not do anything to endear him to me.

I didn't have high expectations when I started the book but they were pretty damn low when I finished. Gerrard has an explanation for everything and seems to be a rather angry man, blaming everything but himself for his poor playing, performances or tackling issues. And yet, I didn't really feel that I gained much of an insight into his life. Yes, I discovered some interesting facts that I didn't know about the organisation of the F.A and players and clubs but I am sure that those won't be new to anyone who follows football 'properly'. Yes, there was information about some of his early years but a quick search on the Internet revealed almost as much information. There were pages and pages of drivel about formations and tackles and passes but a quick poll of my male friends interested in football revealed that they knew most of that information anyway, despite having not read the book. In short, there may have been several hundred pages but there was very little in the way of actual content.

In fact, perhaps the most intriguing part of the book was the index, which is something I have rarely seen in an autobiography. Still, useful if you are a footballer and can't be bothered/can't read the whole thing and just want to see what Gerrard wrote about you, if anything...

Yet not all is lost, I am going to try and read another autobiography or two of similar aged/standard players to put Gerrard's work into context. But as I had to give up on David Beckham's book 2/3 of the way through out of sheer boredom, do not hold your breath for the reviews.


Kristy said...

"...I had to give up on David Beckham's book 2/3 of the way through out of sheer boredom..."

Ha! Oh, that cracks me up. I can't say I'm surprised.

Who else's are you contemplating reading?

The Cwtch said...

:o) I have to admit it's not on my 'to read list' but I shall be sure to avoid it!! His poor wife! I am reading a biography called The Bolter by Frances Osborne which is v interesting.

Rachel said...

Kristy - Carragher's has been suggested as a good comparison. I might give David's another bash. Maybe. Have you seen his blog?

Hannah - It wasn't on mine either, but M's Mum gave it to his Dad in his stocking at Christmas and it was brought on hols, so I ended up reading it. The comparisons between that and the other autobiography I read were endless (Dreams From My Father)!

Who is The Bolter about?

jermac said...

I like to read autobiographies at the end of people's careers, haven't really got into the idea of reading these mid (early) life autobiographies.

That said I am a fan of Gerrard's though have to say your review has tarnished that a bit, not helped by his impending court case.

These guys should really stick to what they do best, kick balls, until they can't anymore, then maybe they can tell us about it.

Rachel said...

I was always a Gerrard fan too Jermac. so sorry if I tarnished this for you. Although I wasn't expecting him to articulate himself very well, I was surprised by the way he came across.

Was watching Liverpool/Everton last night with M and when Gerrard was substituted it did make me think of him a new light, knowing how furious he would have been, even though he was injured.

I don't know much about the circumstances surrounding the evening resulting in the court case as everyone has read something different, but knowing that he has found himself in difficult situations before by going out drinking in Southport, you would have thought he'd have learnt to be more careful.

And yes, I agree, it is odd publishing an autiobiography part way through a career. But perhaps no-one would be interested once it's over?

The Recessionista said...

Oh dear I quite liked it but it was poorly written (I thought they used a Ghost writer).

Rachel said...

At the front it said (I paraphrase as I cannot remember the exact words) 'as told to X of Daily Telegraph & Y of another newspaper', the gist being it was SG's words but actually written down and put together by someone else.

Kristy said...

I have seen David's blog, but not in months. Though with the rumored deal with AC Milan, I'm suddenly interested in him again. Probably just for the drama.