Reception to Bring Me the Head…

Posted: May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s been a hectic few months…

I’ve been meaning to post about the reception to the new novel for a while but have been busy doing events up and down the country, from Ullapool in the Scottish highlands to back home in Manchester to right down in Bath. Meanwhile, the reviews have been coming in, and I’ve been doing some media stuff too – most of which is documented below. So: first. The reviews. And if you’re wondering about why there are no bad ones included here. it’s because so far there haven’t been any!

“A fine, bittersweet novel…Glass’s narrative is beautifully controlled, full of temporal hops and deft shifts in register.” Independent on Sunday

“Credible and compelling – Glass’s novel might even touch the heart of the most ardent Man City fan.” The Observer

“A complex and moving portrayal of obsession, football and heroes with boots of clay.” Will Self

“Rodge Glass’s novel is a gripping rollercoaster ride through the nature of obsession and the unregarded lives of football failures.” Daily Mail

“Compelling, authentic, pacy. Glass skillfully constructs a tale of how a moment can change a life, how the road less travelled can end with a stumble into the gutter…a novel that talks convincingly of football but whispers persuasively of much else.” The Herald

“For every dream career there are thousands of boys whose dreams are painfully broken. This less-often considered reality is dissected here without losing sight of the love of the game.” Pat Nevin

“The attention to detail is one of the strengths of this moving, snappily-written book…Glass is clearly inhabiting the same territory David Peace so artfully trod with The Damned United as he seeks to interweave a fictional story with actual events… mesmerizing and exhilarating.” The Scotsman

“Absolutely astonishing…nothing short of exceptional.” Liam Bradford, Radio Manchester

“Glass has a unique idea: an unhinged, obsessive failure from the United Class of ’92 blames Giggs for his demise and plots vengeance… deserves a look for its freshness” FourFourTwo

“Not since April 1999, when he dribbled twice round the entire Arsenal team and scored the winner in the FA Cup semi final, has Ryan Giggs’ head been so valuable. The story feels real, the wit is the real thing and I’d really urge everyone to follow Mikey Wilson’s voyage of self discovery.” Graham Hunter, Sky Sports and BBC journalist, author of Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World

“Drawing on an impressive fund of United trivia, Glass views a great team from the perspective of the (fictional) runt of the litter” The Guardian

“Through the characters of men for whom football is a vernacular of the heart, a tradition that offers a reliability absent from the rest of life, Glass explores aspects of the male persona in contemporary British society. He draws out the importance of group identification and hierarchy and what happens when an individual loses their sense of place, how violence becomes a ready option when personal feelings can’t be articulated. He looks at the demands and expectations placed on men….Glass is spot on with the sort of detail that will convince football fans of whatever persuasion. You can practically smell the Bovril at half time. He captures the nostalgia for the days when the big name players played for love of the sport, before money turned the game into something not quite as beautiful as it once was. And through Mike he shows football fandom as a glorious tribal cult that in the end is no substitute for life lived to the full.” Scottish Review of Books

“You don’t need too many fingers to count the times fiction and football come together with any outstanding results: David Peace’s Damned United; Irvine Welsh’s often overlooked Marabou Stork Nightmares; and most recently, Alan Bissett’s Pack Men. To this canon, not quote a first eleven, more an aspiring five a side team, can be added Rodge Glass’s new novel Bring Me the Head of Ryan Giggs….Glass uses moments from recent history, moments from our popular collective consciousness as his creative starting point, proving that literature is still hugely relevant, and agile enough to respond to our contemporary world.” Gutter Magazine

MEDIA – RADIO, TV, INTERVIEWS:

In the last two months, I’ve appeared on Open Book on Radio 4 with Mariella Frostrup, Men’s Hour on Radio 5 Live with Tim Samuels and Good Morning Scotland on BBC Radio Scotland, as well as being seen on The One Show on BBC One (9/5/12, talking about Alasdair Gray) and recording a reading from the book for STV. Also, a series of interviews have either run or will be running soon, including for STV, City Life / Manchester Evening News, Metro, the Jewish Telegraph, Big Issue and more. In the last few months I’ve also written blogs for The Guardian on both sport and religion. Links to available interviews and podcasts below…

STV interview and filmed reading:

http://local.stv.tv/glasgow/magazine/97952-rodge-glass-on-football-writing-and-the-scandal-which-changed-his-new-book/

Manchester Evening News interview (also run in the Metro):

http://www.citylife.co.uk/news_and_reviews/news/10020470_rodge_glass_talks_about_his_new_football_novel

Manchester Confidential interview:

http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/Culture/Arts/Bring-Me-The-Head-Of-Ryan-Giggs

Guardian blogs:

(on Mario Balotelli)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/11/mario-balotelli-mancini-fans-love

(on anti-semitic attacks in Manchester)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/03/manchester-antisemitic-attacks?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

BBC Radio 5 Live Men’s Hour:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/menshour#playepisode1

BBC Radio 4 Open Book:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dhdd9#synopsis

As for appearances, I’ll be updating the Events page of this site properly soon, but in the meantime here’s a summary of the main ones confirmed so far for 2012:

Notable upcoming appearances –

Hay-on-Wye Festival (7 June)

London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre (7 July)

Latitude Festival, Suffolk (14 July)

Edinburgh International Book Festival (20 August)

Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival (25 August)

Shetland Wordarts Festival (7 September)

Manchester Literature Festival (13 October)

Dundee Literary Festival (28 October)

Phew.

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