A book recommendation to take on your holidays, as well as some accompanying tunes for the road.

No seriouly, you need to read something. You need to stop browsing those sub-reddits and YouTube videos. Have a crack at trying to broaden your horizons via a traditional media*

Imagine yourself at the beach at some time in the next couple of months. You are lounging there and in your hand, an actual printed book. Imagine the looks you would get.

*If you really can’t break yourself away from staring at that tablet screen, there is a digital version.


My suggestion for that reading material would be this one: The Night Of The Virgin, a new novel just published. The author, Elliot Turner is a friend of mine and my buddy, my pal, my BRO is… I want to understate this part… an outstanding composer of the written word.

If you follow me on Twitter or regulary read the posts here you’ll have seen the occasional mentions from me about Futfanatico (the semi-humourous blog he also maintains). You yourself would have spotted his name via the Guardian, Blizzard and other such places.

In this very first novel by Elliot he writes a story about Manny, an undocumented immigrant in the USA who dreams what many of us dreamed. To become a professional footballer. But because who he is and where he is, it is a harder achievement to reach. In the book we travel with him, experience the life he has and when… Well you’ll have to buy the book to discover what.

☛ To accompany the book here are some tunes, with some Futfanatico words from Elliot.
Imagine it as an imaginary soundtrack that plays in Manny’s journey.


Band:  The Faint  
Album:  Danse Macabre 

The coach of your team is Jose Mourinho. Your team has recently won the Europa League. They barely won by playing negatively against a Dutch team with 1/5th the wage budget.


Band:  Modest Mouse 
Album:  The Moon & Antarctica 

Your team recently won the FA Cup. Still, part of you has started to imagine a world post Arsene Wenger. You know the split is inevitable and may be necessary, even if a new contract was just signed, but it still blows your mind.


Band:  The Rapture 
Album:  Echoes 

You are an American fan of Chelsea. You are sick of people doubting your loyalties and authenticity. You have been a fan since Oscar and Ramires played for the team (aka “eternity”). You are angry all the time but don’t know why.


Band:  Belle and Sebastian 
Album:  Tigermilk 

You are an American fan of Manchester City. You are also sick of people doubting your loyalties and authenticity. You have only been a fan since Sergio Aguero was signed, but you still really really like the team. You are optimistic but don’t know why.


Band:  Interpol 
Album:  Turn On The Bright Lights 

You like German clubs other than Bayer Munich. You also don’t like Red Bull but aren’t exactly clear why. When Dortmund won a few titles, you also stopped rooting for them. The ideal Bundesteam is on the cusp of Champions League qualification and with young stars soon to be sold to English clubs. Your square-framed glasses are not prescription.


Band:  The Strokes 
Album:  Is This It 

You are a fan of Barcelona even if you can’t name any player on their “Dream Team” other than Pep and refuse to believe that Mark Von Bommel started a Champions League final for the club. When asked about Deco, you think “art.” You need superficially optimistic tunes that on reflection are spiritually and artistically vacant.


Band:  The Avalanches 
Album:  Since I Left You 

Your walk on clouds. Your team just won the 4th place EPL trophy and optimism abounds. You don’t have time for the naysayers who claim Klopp’s gegenpressing wears down a team over a season and breaks a roster after three years. You are just too happy Klopp invented pressing in the first place!


Band:  At The Drive In 
Album:  Relationship of Command 

You are angry and know why: only pro/rel can save US soccer even though many pro/rel systems are easily gamed and most second divisions outside of affluent Western Europe are a joke. Still, you have over 3,000 Twitter followers, you were born around the culture, you grew up in it, and you’re not going anywhere!!!!!

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Check out Elliott’s novel, The Night of the Virgin, called “The Great American soccer novel” by clicking here. Better yet, order a copy from your nearby indie bookstore here.

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