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Firstly, I should probably come clean. I have a piece in this book so you can probably guess that I am about to sing its praises. But, frankly, if it were not very good (not just my bit) then I wouldn’t be writing a review on it. So, spoiler alert, this book is bloody brilliant.
Alex Stewart’s beautifully crafted introduction sets the tone. He has done a marvellous job and collating different pieces from across the FM world. This is not an anthology of people’s save stories, it goes way further. We feel the raw emotion that the game brings out, we learn how and why some of us got into playing this damn game in the first place. There are parts that will help you be better at the game, parts that make you feel relieved that there are people that are actually worse than you at the game. Most of all, you will feel each and every writer talk about their connection to FM in a true, authentic manner that goes some way to explain why this game now transcends generations.
“The Men Who Stare at Goals” is the first anthology. I really hope it is not that last because in the crowded space of FM writing, which David Black brilliantly explores in his contribution, there is most certainly space for this. And like Dennis Bergkamp once said, “the genius is in the finding of the space.” At least, I think Dennis once said it. It sounds like the kind of thing he would have said.
The book is now available – if you do nothing else in the depressing month of January, buy this and give it pride of place alongside anything else FM related you have purchased in your life.