This is a book of two halves. The ones in the stands. Add in the sheer length and it could exasperate the biggest Liverpool fan. I could say that the second half of the book - which uses entire transcripts of long radio and television interviews including a broadcast conversation between Bill Shankly and then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson - represents lazy editing, merely the author importing his research material wholesale into the novel. However, the reasoning behind this is deliberate - in so much as to highlight Shankly's obsessive nature and attention to detail. Ma è impossibile mantenere questa tensione per quasi 650 pagine. Characters are named, every time.
Having said that, you do need to be able to get into Peace's writing style. Peace is now famous for many things. Bill wrang out the cloth again. Ness gripped his arm, Ness squeezed his hand- I never knew until now, whispered Ness, until today, how much football meant to the people of Liverpool. The book adopts a repetitive style of writing - which is often irritating and painful to get through. The ball swept up into the air.
In England and in Europe. Away from home, away from Anfield. But this book is excruciating. Peace's droning rhythm and repetition begs and even evokes a voice like chocolate, like syrup informing scores and passes and attendance figures as if he were describing an historic battle. Their manager was revered as a god. Red or Dead is a novel by David Peace. Reading it is an astonishing and personal experience and I can understand completely why some feel that it's not for them and that it's too stylistic.
But the important thing is what we take away from that beating, what we learn when we lose. Red or Dead is in the first instance a novel but it is so many things after that, so much more. Anything else — figurative language, fine writing, quiddity, the world outside — simply gets in the way. And they will be different ways. And when Bill Shankly was retired, they spoke quite often on the phone. Peace's achievement in doing this is breathtaking.
In Red Or Dead, David Peace departs from his usual hunting ground to narrate the career of a Scotsman managing Liverpool Football Club. Bill knew it was always easier to give up. Few of the real-life characters came out of The Damned United well, and indeed the book found its way to the libel courts, whereas this story is much more generous and respectful to almost all concerned. It all helps to reinforce Shankly's focus and obsessions. J'ai adoré me retrouver à cette époque, aux débuts du Liverpool Football Club et à ses premiers trophées.
Some have felt bold enough ill-advisedly to try to parody it in their write-ups. Bill wins lots of trophies. David Peace, it scarcely needs saying, is not interested in jumping over either of these aesthetic hurdles, or even in crawling beneath them. There is a mention at one point of sending back a bus with no heating, but that's pretty much the only sop to creature comforts in this long novel. Red or Dead is a good novel. Was there a sense that it was somehow more than a football stadium? His legacy would reveberate through the ages.
There is a house A house with no doors. And Bill walked back round to the bucket. Red or Dead - A novel about Bill Shankly - In 1959, Liverpool Football Club were in the Second Division. In his previous works, David Peace has addressed themes of the British class system, office management, corruption and politics. They are, like all art, shaped by other great art. There is the same dogged intentness, the same incremental inching forward, the same determination to let nothing interpose itself between describer and described. Entering the mind of the man who many regard as a football genius, Peace tells the story of a man characterised by a fear of failure and a hunger for success.
Bill stared out at the players of Liverpool Football Club on the pitch. But in 1974, Bill Shankly shocked Liverpool and football. Shankly's retirement at 60 came as a massive shock when it happened in 1974 to all in football, and Peace does a superb job in getting inside the man's head post announcement. I have certainly saved the longest till last; and although not the best, it was a far more enjoyable and interesting read than I had feared. In the dressing room, the away dressing room.
Fifteen seasons later they were the most consistently successful team in England due to the work of their manager, Bill Shankly. Sat down with his tea. In every one of your faces. This is a point at which the reader's sympathy runs out. It was just way, way too repetitive.
His novels have tended to focus on Yorkshire, albeit with two set in post-war Japan. His book about Bill Shankly. And unlike 'The Damned United', I'm not sure that this is a book that really works if, like me, you don't really care about football. But in his mind he saw Bill on the bench. Bill trained with the team. His football a form of socialism. We get him washing his car in real time.