REVIEW: Making The Arsenal
Making The Arsenal by Tony Attwood
Published by Hamilton House
Writing a football novel is a risky business; few are readable, littered with cliches. Even fewer are believable. A risky business then taking on the formative years of Arsenal Football Club. Thankfully this one is that rarest of books, a football novel that is well-written and thought provoking, something which you might expect from the author of Untold Arsenal.
One of the reasons that the book works well is the unusual angle chosen. Whilst based in fact, the story is contextualised with the main political events of the time brought into play. Covering the twelve months from January 1910 to January 1911, the protagonist is Jacko Jones, a journalist. Our hero is on the trail of Sir Henry Norris’ motivations for eventual takeover of The Arsenal, the twists and turns of the move, opposition and nefarious deeds captured.
The chapters are on a monthly basis, the story broken down further, almost diarised on a daily basis. The language keeps in with the times without becoming stylised. Try as I might I could not find a “Cor blimey Guv! You’re a toff and make no mistake“. Perhaps that is the greatest success of the author; the book captures a sense of the time in which it is based.
The research is thorough. A work of fiction based on fact is a matter of interpretation. On this basis, the story is a success, avoiding the pitfalls of making illogical leaps of assumption or leaving the reader wondering how a theory was reached without having gaping chasms in the deductions applied.
As for the story, we know the ending in Arsenal terms but for the actual book, I wholeheartedly commend you to purchase a copy, which you can do by clicking here