The magic of the cup

27 04 2019

How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup by J L Carr

 

 

‘But is this story believable? Ah, it all depends upon whether you want it to believe it.’ J.L. Carr

 

In their new all-buttercup-yellow-stripe, Steeple Sinderby Wanderers, who usually feel lucky when their pitch is above water-level, are England’s most obscure team. This uncategorizable, surreal and extremely funny novel is the story of how they start the season by ravaging the Fenland League and end it by going all the way to Wembley.

Told through unreliable recollection, florid local newspaper coverage and bizarre committee minutes, How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the F.A. Cup is both entertaining and moving. There will never be players again like Alex Slingsby, Sid ‘the Shooting Star’ Swift and the immortal milkman-turned-goalkeeper, Monkey Tonks.

 

It’s a fantastic yarn about how a team from nowhere wins the FA Cup. A highly entertaining tale which has humour, pathos and really embodies what used to be the magic of the FA Cup. It’s a timeless read and highly recommended. The story, although published in 1975, also reminded me of┬áthe Miracle Of Castel Di Sangro by Joe McGinnis from many years later about how a small team from a tiny town in Abruzzi made it to the top of Serie A in Italy. Wanderers perhaps have a little less of the glamour but they do have all the heart.

 

 

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Another country

28 11 2015

A Month in the Country by J L Carr

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In the summer of 1920 two men, both war survivors meet in the quiet English countryside. One is living in the church, intent upon uncovering and restoring an historical wall painting while the other camps in the next field in search of a lost grave.Out of their meeting comes a deeper communion and a catching up of the old primeval rhythms of life so cruelly disorientated by the Great War.
One of those lost literary gems which seems to resurface occasionally, this slim novella is a poetic pastoral masterpiece. In terms of pace, tone and texture it really is just perfect. Do read it.

5 star








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