Red or Dead
Red or Dead
By David Peace
Melville House Publishing, Hardcover, 9781612193687, 720pp.
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
""" T]he stuff of great literature." --"The New York Times "- ""Red or Dead" is a winner." --"The Washington Post"
The place where the swinging sixties started - Liverpool, England, birthplace of the Beatles - wasn't so swinging. Amid industrial blight and a bad economy, the port town's shipping industry was going bust and there was widespread unemployment, with no assistance from a government tightening its belt. Even the Beatles moved to London.
Into these hard times walked Bill Shankly, a former Scottish coal miner who took over the city's perpetually last-place soccer team. He had a straightforward work ethic and a favorite song - a silly pop song done by a local band, "You'll Never Walk Alone." Soon he would have entire stadiums singing along, tens of thousands of people all dressed in the team color red . . . as Liverpool began to win . . .
And soon, too, there was something else those thousands of people would chant as one: Shank-lee, Shank-lee . . .
In "Red or Dead," the acclaimed writer David Peace tells the stirring story of the real-life working-class hero who lifted the spirits of an entire city in turbulent times. But "Red or Dead" is more than a fictional biography of a real man, and more than a thrilling novel about sports. It is an epic novel that transcends those categories, until there's nothing left to call it but - as many of the world's leading newspapers already have - a masterpiece.
“Truly brave and utterly heroic . . . I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like Red or Dead before. Not ever.”
—The Goldsmith's Prize shortlist citation
“I want to go out and knock on doors like a Jehovah’s Witness and read this book to people.”
“A magnificent literary achievement . . . Profoundly powerful.”
“An epic that has more in common with Beowulf or The Iliad than with the conventional sports novel.”
—The Times of London
“The writing is honed, sculpted, poetic . . . It doesn’t matter if you don’t follow the game, this is also a profound investigation of the tension between aspiration and the constraints of time, the very essence of the human condition.”
“A book about the choices by which we live and die, the moments that make us feel alive, and those that choke our souls. It is a masterpiece. Make no mistake of that. A masterpiece.”
“An extraordinary piece of writing.”
“A story of triumph . . . one that might be quoted for decades.”