DON'T KISS ME
Sample: ''Look Duncan, you're a journalist. One day
you'll write a book about this club. Or, more to the point,
about me. So you may as well know what I'm thinking and save
it up for later when it won't do any harm to anyone.''
The setting: Nottingham, England.
The protagonists: Successful, enigmatic football coach
Brian Clough and sportswriter Duncan Hamilton, during the
years Clough was the manager of Nottingham Forest.
Why it is brilliant: Partly, just because of
Hamilton's writing. He is a master storyteller and makes the
words leap off the page. Partly, because of the main
character. Clough was a genius, a heavy boozer and a master
motivator who worked miracles with an unfashionable football
club, the likes of which will never be seen again.
(Manchester City getting to the top of the Premier League on
a gushing oil well doesn't count.) And, partly, because of
the relationship between author and manager, and the
extraordinary inside look at the media's dealings with Clough
in his prime.
Don't just take my word for it: ''A startlingly vivid,
sometimes painfully unvarnished memoir of Clough's triumphs
and decline.'' - Richard Williams (Guardian).
The aftermath: Clough died in 2004, aged 69, from
liver cancer. Hamilton's book was named William Hill Sports
Book of the Year in 2007. Hamilton then wrote another
cracking sports book on Bodyline cricketer Harold Larwood.