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Among the Thugs

por Bill Buford

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8642719,315 (3.93)21
They have names like Barmy Bernie, Daft Donald, and Steamin' Sammy. They like lager (in huge quantities), the Queen, football clubs (especially Manchester United), and themselves. Their dislike encompasses the rest of the known universe, and England's soccer thugs express it in ways that range from mere vandalism to riots that terrorize entire cities. Now Bill Buford, editor of the prestigious journal Granta, enters this alternate society and records both its savageries and its sinister allure with the social imagination of a George Orwell and the raw personal engagement of a Hunter Thompson.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 27 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Very interesting despite some flaws. It would have been helpful for context if Buford had shown how the firms are a minority of the supporters. The most popular sport in the world is followed by all classes, ages, ect. Some of the descriptions make it sound as if only thugs are attracted to soccer.

The account of rioting violence in Italy at the beginning and end of the novel was by far the most fascinating for me. The power of the crowd and the desire for an "us against them" struggle is mysterious and seductive.

I would love to see an updated chapter/afterwards that reflects on how this phenomenon has changed since publication. ( )
  ProfH | Sep 7, 2020 |
Reading this after seeing it on Asa's list and my Mom's bookshelf. Not for the faint of heart! Be warned! This alternates between high comedy and horrifying violence: a literal "riot"! But what I liked best about this book though was the narrator. Where gonzo journalism usually tends to be excessively self-aware, either in the American tradition (I was driving THIS and fucked up on THAT) or the British tradition (forgive my mincing but oh me, oh my!) this book is written by a BUDDY. You're always right there with him: too drunk to keep up, fists clenched for no reasons, grossed out and slightly terrified by your new "friends", etc. Excellent, excellent book: a hoot, a riot, a real roller coaster! ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
So good! Even if you don't care at all about soccer or british people or hooliganism or incredible feats of drunkenness, this book is worth it. A very fast, fun read. Gets into some really interesting stuff regarding crowd psychology and the violence of group-think.

A guy sucks an another guy's eye-ball out of it's socket for no reason! ( )
  Jetztzeit | May 15, 2020 |
This is such a great book- the fruits of years of ethnographic research. Every few years, an incident happens in English football which makes people question the culture- is it racist, violent etc. This book describes a time that was on a whole different order of magnitude. The level of tribalism, and the thirst for violence was something largely forgotten or never even known of by most of us in the modern day. One of the great pieces of sociological research in recent decades, certainly one of the best I have read.. ( )
  Charlie_Miller | Dec 3, 2019 |
This is a powerful exposé of the crowd violence that prominently infected English football in the latter part of the 20th century. But as shown by the epigraphs preceding each chapter, the problem traces far back, even to the 19th century.

Author Bill Buford infiltrated the ranks of these groups of thugs to present truly horrifying eyewitness accounts of their savagery and destructiveness, and the intense exhilaration it provides for them. He analyzes the personalities and circumstances that draw people to this behavior; the disaffected, the aimless, the discontented, those with the need to be be part of something exclusive thereby giving a sense of belonging.

Buford's decription of the mob as a coordinated, structured unit is fascinating: its movements akin to a single organism, shifting and reashaping, splitting apart as necessary while on the march and then reforming when necessary. The narrative descriptions of the incidents are quite graphic and sometimes difficult to get through.

The final chapter describes the author's experience in the midst of the stampeding violence at the 1990 World Cup in Sardinia. The stark, abrupt ending - spillover vandalism, arson, and murder back in the suburbs of south London - is an effective last jolt. ( )
  ghr4 | Feb 10, 2018 |
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They have names like Barmy Bernie, Daft Donald, and Steamin' Sammy. They like lager (in huge quantities), the Queen, football clubs (especially Manchester United), and themselves. Their dislike encompasses the rest of the known universe, and England's soccer thugs express it in ways that range from mere vandalism to riots that terrorize entire cities. Now Bill Buford, editor of the prestigious journal Granta, enters this alternate society and records both its savageries and its sinister allure with the social imagination of a George Orwell and the raw personal engagement of a Hunter Thompson.

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