Winner of The Times British Sports Book Award 2014. A fascinating insight into the enclosed world of football scouts in the UK A teenaged boy plays football in a suburban park. His name is Raheem Sterling. The call is made: “Get down here quick. This is something special”. Another boy is 8, going on 28. His name is Jack Wilshere. The referee, an Arsenal scout, spirits him away from Luton Town. A young goalkeeper struggles on loan at Cheltenham Town in League Two. His name is Jack Butland. Within months he will be playing for England. Welcome to football’s hidden tribe. Scouts are everywhere yet nowhere, faceless and nameless, despite making the informed decisions worth millions. Award-winning sportswriter Michael Calvin opens up their hidden world, examining their disconnected lifestyles, petty betrayals and unconsidered professionalism of men who spend long, lonely hours on the road.
Includes 7 free chapters of HELLBENT, the latest in the international bestselling Orphan X series. Spoken about only in whispers, the Nowhere Man can only be reached by the truly desperate, he can —He will do anything to save them. Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man. But his new life is interrupted when a surprise attack comes from an unlikely angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, he finds himself heavily guarded and cut off from everything he knows. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with—or that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on earth. Continuing his electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak, Gregg Hurwitz delivers a blistering, compelling new novel in the series launched with the instant international bestseller, Orphan X.
“Brilliantly conceived and plotted ... Read this book. You’ll thank me later.” -- David Baldacci Includes 7 free chapters of HELLBENT, the latest in the international bestselling Orphan X series. Who is Orphan X? The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It’s said that when he’s reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them. But he’s not merely a legend. “Excellent...A smart, stylish, state-of-the-art thriller...might give Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books a run for their money.”—The Washington Post Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He’s also a man with a dangerous past. Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as an Orphan, an off-the-books black box program designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence asset: An assassin. Evan was Orphan X—until he broke with the program and used everything he learned to disappear. But now someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training who will exploit Evan’s secret new identity as the Nowhere Man to eliminate him. “Hurwitz melds nonstop action and high-tech gadgetry...in this excellent series opener.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
In this stylistically adventurous, brilliantly funny tour de force-the most highly acclaimed debut since Nathan Englander's-Aleksander Hemon writes of love and war, Sarajevo and America, with a skill and imagination that are breathtaking. A love affair is experienced in the blink of an eye as the Archduke Ferdinand watches his wife succumb to an assassin's bullet. An exiled writer, working in a sandwich shop in Chicago, adjusts to the absurdities of his life. Love letters from war torn Sarajevo navigate the art of getting from point A to point B without being shot. With a surefooted sense of detail and life-saving humor, Aleksandar Hemon examines the overwhelming events of history and the effect they have on individual lives. These heartrending stories bear the unmistakable mark of an important new international writer. From the Trade Paperback edition.
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2015* A man punches the wall in a strategic show of anger. Another complains he has become a stranger to those he loves. A third relies on “my three a day: coffee, Nurofen and a bottle of wine.” Yet another admits he is an oddity, who would prefer to be working in cricket. A fifth describes his professional life as “a circus”. These are football managers, live and uncut. Arsene Wenger likens the job to “living on a volcano: any day may be your last”. He speaks with the authority of being the longest serving manager in the English game, having been at Arsenal for 17 years. The average lifespan of a Football League manager is 17 months. Fifty three managers, across all four Divisions, were sacked, or resigned, in the 2012-13 season. There were fifty seven managerial changes in the 2013-14 season. What makes these men tick? They are familiar figures, who rarely offer anything more than a glimpse into their personal and professional lives. What shapes them? How and why do they do their job? Award-winning writer Michael Calvin provides the answers. Insecurity is a unifying factor, but managers at different levels face different sets of problems. Depending on their status, they are dealing with multi-millionaires, or mortgage slaves. Living on the Volcano charts the progress of more than 20 managers, in different circumstances and in different phases of their career. Some, like Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez, are at the peak of their profession. Others, like Chris Hughton, Brian McDermott and Gary Waddock, have been sacked, and are seeking a way back into the game. They offer a unique insight into a trade which is prone to superficial judgement and savage swings in fortune. Management requires ruthlessness and empathy, idealism and cunning. Stories overlap, experiences intermingle, and myths are exposed.
SCIENCE IS THE NEW ROCK 'N' ROLL! So said Dade Ellis, Simon Grimshaw, Emerson Strange, and Thomas Walker at the dawn of a new age of enlightenment that ushered in a boom in scientific advancement. As the research supergroup World Corp., they became the most celebrated scientists of all time. They changed the world--and we loved them for it. But where did it all go wrong? And when progress is made at any and all cost, who ultimately pays the price? Collects NOWHERE MEN #1-6
Shortlisted for the British Sports Book Awards 2018 “What’s your dream, son?” A six year-old boy, head bowed, mumbles the eternal answer: “Be a footballer....” Steadman Scott, football’s most unlikely talent scout, smiles indulgently, and takes him in from the street. He knows the odds. Only 180 of the 1.5 million boys who play organised youth football in England will become a Premier League pro. That’s a success rate of 0.012 per cent. How and why do the favoured few make it? What separates the good from the great? Who should they trust – the coach, the agent or their parents? Michael Calvin provides the answers on a journey from non-league grounds to hermetically sealed Premier League palaces, via gang-controlled sink estates and the England team’s inner sanctum. He interviews decision makers, behavioural specialists, football agents and leading coaches. He shares the hopes and fears of players and their parents. He exposes bullying and a black economy in which children are commodities, but remains true to the dream.
The Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided The Beatles-from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to unprecedented international stardom. Yet more than merely the story of "The Man Who Made The Beatles," The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Brian himself died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two, having helped The Beatles prove through "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" that pop music could be an inspirational art form. He was homosexual when it was a felony to be so in the United Kingdom, Jewish at a time of anti-Semitism, and from Liverpool when it was considered just a dingy port town. From the Hardcover edition.
A magnificent new collection of stories by “the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse” (Susan Sontag) In The World Goes On, a narrator first speaks directly, then tells eleven unforgettable stories, and then bids farewell (“for here I would leave this earth and these stars, because I would take nothing with me”). As László Krasznahoraki himself explains: “Each text is about drawing our attention away from this world, speeding our body toward annihilation, and immersing ourselves in a current of thought or a narrative…” A Hungarian interpreter obsessed with waterfalls, at the edge of the abyss in his own mind, wanders the chaotic streets of Shanghai. A traveler, reeling from the sights and sounds of Varanasi, encounters a giant of a man on the banks of the Ganges ranting on the nature of a single drop of water. A child laborer in a Portuguese marble quarry wanders off from work one day into a surreal realm utterly alien from his daily toils. The World Goes On is another amazing masterpiece by the winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. “The excitement of his writing,” Adam Thirwell proclaimed in the New York Review of Books, “is that he has come up with this own original forms—there is nothing else like it in contemporary literature.”
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD Award-winning author of The Nowhere Men, Living on the Volcano and No Hunger in Paradise returns with his magnum opus on the state of modern football First he revealed the extraordinary lives of football scouts in The Nowhere Men. Next he unearthed the pressures on football managers in Living on the Volcano. Then he chronicled the hardships of young players striving to make it in No Hunger in Paradise. Now in State of Play, in what marks the pinnacle of a career investigating the human stories of football, award-winning writer Michael Calvin turns his eye to the biggest story of all - the game itself. From mental health to money, concussion to Champions league, fan-owners to oligarchs, women's football to world cups, Calvin gets under the skin of the beautiful game, and reveals why it is truly the game of our lives. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with leading figures around the world, from Arsene Wenger to Steven Gerrard, Calvin reveals the winners, the losers, the politics, the pleasure, the hope, and the despair of the world's most popular sport.
DIV ‘Football matters, as poetry does to some people and alcohol does to others… Football is inherent in the people… There is more eccentricity in deliberately disregarding it than in devoting a life to it. The way we play the game, organize it and reward it reflects the kind of community we are’ Written just two years after England’s ’66 triumph when the national game was at its zenith, Arthur Hopcraft’s The Football Man is repeatedly quoted as the best book ever written about the sport. This definitive, magisterial study of football and society profiles includes interviews with all-time greats like Bobby Charlton, George Best, Alf Ramsay, Stanley Matthews, Matt Busby and Nat Lofthouse. It is a snapshot of a pivotal era in sporting history; changes and decisions were made in the sixties that would create the game we know today. For many who are disenchanted with the modern game – the grip of businesses and corporations, the dominance of advertising, the extortionate ticket prices and inaccessible matches, the fickleness of teenage millionaires – The Football Man takes the reader back to the heart and soul of the national game when pitches were muddy and the players were footballers not brands. Voted in May 2005 as one of Observer’s top sports books of all time, this is a long-awaited reissue of the classic football ‘bible’. ‘Masterpiece among sports books’ Guardian ‘It remains one of my favourite football reads’ Graham Taylor /div
A young man in Birmingham, in the sixties, escapes the humdrum mundanity of life through fantasies, tries to find himself, and finally escapes his dead-end lifestyle by gaining a place at a university.
Who is THE NOWHERE MAN? Marty Frost is a man with a past. Several of them! A small-time conman with a long list of aliases. He specializes in charming and romancing the idle rich, particularly bored housewives with large expense accounts. But when he meets Christina Scott, he gets more than he bargained for. Christina’s husband is a vengeful man and when he discovers their affair events rapidly spiral out of control. Now Marty is on the run, desperate to stay out of James Scott’s clutches and to stay in one piece. Escaping London, Marty survives a devastating train crash. Switching identities with a victim of the accident, Marty believes he is home free. But Michael Rhodes was himself on the run. A man with a terrible secret to tell and a cabal of powerful, dangerous men on his trail who will stop at nothing to silence him. Now, Marty is Michael and he’s no longer running from a jealous husband—he’s running for his life!
First he revealed the extraordinary lives of football scouts in The Nowhere Men. Next he unearthed the pressures on football managers in Living on the Volcano. Then he chronicled the hardships of young players striving to make it in No Hunger in Paradise. Now in State of Play, in what marks the pinnacle of a career investigating the human stories of football, award-winning writer Michael Calvin turns his eye to the biggest story of all - the game itself. From mental health to money, concussion to Champions league, fan-owners to oligarchs, women's football to world cups, Calvin gets under the skin of the beautiful game, and reveals why it is truly the game of our lives. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with leading figures around the world, from Arsene Wenger to Steven Gerrard, Calvin reveals the winners, the losers, the politics, the pleasure, the hope, and the despair of the world's most popular sport.
How does a decorated Navy SEAL --- DEVGRU or SEAL Team 6 --- "Elite of the Elite" --- go from American hero to serial killer? And when he does, utilizing his uncanny skills, who can stop him? "The Nowhere Man" tells the story of U.S. Lieutenant Commander Kent Taylor, deployed on a mission by his country, only to end up gravely injured, abandoned and incarcerated in a foreign prison camp. Taylor escapes and makes it back to the United States where he learns that, during his absence, his pregnant wife, his young son and his wife's parents have all died in what appears to be an accidental house fire. Tormented by guilt that he was not there to save his family members, overwhelmed by the depth of his grief and anguish, Taylor begins investigating what occurred on that tragic night. What he uncovers shakes him to the core. The deaths were not accidental. His loved ones were murdered as part of a cover-up that includes people in power in the very government for which he has risked his life time and again. With no one to turn to, no one he believes he can trust, no other foreseeable path to justice, Taylor takes it upon himself to avenge their deaths by striking out against those whom he believes are responsible. As the number of his victims increases, a team of law enforcement officers, under the leadership of the F.B.I., finds itself completely baffled by the skills of an assassin so incredibly adept and illusive that the media have dubbed him "The Ghost Assassin." Special Agent Bill Gladding, a highly respected and experienced federal agent, thought he had seen it all before taking the lead in the search for this killer. What he learns about Kent Taylor challenges him in new and unique ways. Neither of these men expected to end up on this path, but one way or another, they are going to see it through to the end. And the end may be the most astonishing thing of all!
An authorized portrait of the first astronaut to set foot on the moon sheds light on other aspects of his career, from the honors he received as a naval aviator to the price he and his family paid for his professional dedication.
Life, Death and Football: A Year on the Frontline with a Proper Club
Author: Michael Calvin
Publisher: Random House
Category: Sports & Recreation
From the award-winning author of NO HUNGER IN PARADISE Outside the global spotlight, footballers don't drive Aston Martins or pose for underwear ads. This is war. This is life. This is football. Michael Calvin turned up for the first day of pre-season training at Millwall FC. 333 days later, he sat among the subs at Wembley. Over the course of a season, he witnessed the intimate everyday life of a football club far from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, and the unique characters that come together every day on the field. These are dedicated, hard-working family men, close to their roots, 'playing for the people who hate their jobs, who'd love our lives.' Forget about the over-hyped circus of the Premier League. This is the beautiful game in all its raucous glory: essential reading for anyone whom football is a way of life.