The Chairmans Daughter Ian Plenderleith


Published: July 7th 2012

Kindle Edition

238 pages


The Chairmans Daughter  by  Ian Plenderleith

The Chairmans Daughter by Ian Plenderleith
July 7th 2012 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 238 pages | ISBN: | 8.35 Mb

I often try to write fiction that involves soccer, so I know how hard it can be to convey both the light and the dark aspects of the game in a way that is interesting to the casual reader. In my opinion, Plenderleith does an extemely good job, and I recommend this short novel to both lovers and haters of the sport. Plenderleith himself is hard to categorise: he seems addicted to the game but to hate, or at least despise, most of those who play a central role in it. The imaginary club he focuses on, Lincoln Dynamo, is the fourth team in a small city in the English provinces, and this choice allows him to concentrate on the nitty-gritty of grassroots soccer.

His main character ends up there on a downward trajectory toward the end of his career, but finds a measure of happiness and a measure of success. There are no cardboard characters here, and even those who seem to be stereotypes to begin with acquire a modicum of depth.

Plenderleith is frank about the prevalence of bad behaviour in the game, and even touches on the issue of corruption, albeit of the old-fashioned kind: Lincoln Dynamos season is decided by a suspicious own goal. However, he neatly sidesteps the buying of results not for glory but for money through betting by having his main character claim to be so injury-prone that that none of the betting syndicates destroying modern soccer would try to bribe him (because they could never be sure hed be fit to play in the match they wanted to influence). The way in which Lincoln Dynamos results see-saw between cricket-score victories and abject defeats does not seem credible to me, but Plenderleith makes explaining that phenomenon an integral part of the story.

Plenderleith ends the story in a way that makes a sequel possible. I hope there will be one. Alternatively, several of the minor characters are interesting enough to merit a novel in their own right.

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