I received a copy of Fan from the lovely Sophie at Reviewed The Book – Sophie has an amazing number of reviews on her site and you should take a wander over to http://www.reviewedthebook.co.uk Sophie, thanks for the copy!
I had seen a lot of mentions on Twitter about Fan. The overwhelming opinions I heard stated that it was a great read. References were made to the Hillsborough disaster, Nottingham Forest and the football world of years gone by. As a football fan this sounded like something I had to read and the other bloggers who were showering praise have been seeing me right thus far and making great recommendations. I will also highlight the publisher Arcadia Books who are doing a fantastic job in promoting a title that many people should seek out.
Scroll down my pages and you will soon find that I started Fan some time ago. I have started (and finished) several books since beginning Fan but this one took me quite a bit longer than I expected. This is not because I am a slow reader, nor is it down to my reluctance in writing up my reviews it is because I was not sure how I felt about Fan.
It is a very, very powerful story. It captures a time I was a part of but probably too young to fully understand. I recall several of the key historical events with more clarity than I would like and the depth of detail and accuracy almost gives the story the feeling of reading a diary rather than a work of fiction. HOWEVER….I found it hard to read and I put it down for several weeks about half way through before I felt that I was ready to finish the story.
Let me be clear, it is a great book and I will recommend it to anyone who asks me if they should read it but, it just was not for me. I like my fiction a little less realistic and generally the books that I really get into are sometimes best taken with a pinch of salt.
The central character in Fan is a flawed individual who did not endear himself to this reader. His is story which spans two time lines, there is the memory of growing up as a Forest fan in the 1980’s and this overlaps with the present day as he struggles to maintain a normal life while haunted by the ghosts of his past.
I found that I was looking forward more to the present day parts of the story rather than the historical reminiscing. I wanted to see where the character was going and if he could salvage something from his self-enforced darkness.
I am glad I read this one, not my usual type of story but it will stay with me for a while (which is more than can be said about lots of the more generic titles I have read).