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BOOK OF THE MONTH: THE DAMNED UTD by David Peace. Join David for live webchat on Tuesday 29th June 12.30 - 1.30

(52 Posts)
TillyBookClub Wed 02-Jun-10 21:02:45

Message withdrawn

Enormarse Tue 29-Jun-10 19:05:13


MayorNaze Tue 29-Jun-10 13:52:02

Thank you

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 13:35:45

Thank you Rachel. And thank you to everyone who took the time to read the book and / or to post a question. Thanks again, David

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Jun-10 13:33:55

We're at the end of the hour so thanks to all who joined in the discussion and a big thanks to David for joining us.

mackerel Tue 29-Jun-10 13:31:22

That sounds intriguing - and a far cry from Yorkshire in the 1970s. I shall look forward to reading it. Thankyou for coming on Mumsnet - a refreshing change from the norm.

kittykitty Tue 29-Jun-10 13:28:53

Enjoyed the first one - although I think it could have done with better editing. It does get a bit pacier after that first third!

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 13:28:47

Hi again Mackerel. Yes, I'm working on the third book of my "Tokyo Trilogy". It is based on the unexplained death of the President of the Japanese Railways in 1949.

mackerel Tue 29-Jun-10 13:26:49

Thanks David. Usually if I am intending to read a book I prefer not to watch it on screen beforehand. However,I thought the dramatisation was excellent - so dark. complex and sinister. Can I ask if you are working on anything at the moment?

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 13:25:25

Hi again KittyKitty. I feel a bit ashamed to say that I couldn't get past the first 50 pages of the first SL book. Are you a fan? Should I try again?

kittykitty Tue 29-Jun-10 13:22:42

Good answer!

Can I also ask, as a crime writer, what you think of Steig Larsson? Have you read any of his books?

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 13:21:54

Hello Mackerel; I am glad to hear your husband enjoyed the Damned Utd. Thank you. I was really pleased with the adaptations of the Red Riding books. I was very, very lucky to have such talented people working on it; the screenwriter, the directors, the actors and the entire crew were brilliant.

MayorNaze Tue 29-Jun-10 13:21:11

i thought the swearing and drinking were quite a natural characterisation tool tbh, i didn't reall find myself thinking gosh what a foulmouthed alcoholic.

when dh saw me reading the book he did say you should just watch the film but i didn't!! i am hardcore wink

MavisEnderby Tue 29-Jun-10 13:18:41

Thank you

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 13:18:36

Hello again MrsDinky; the book has been translated into French, Italian, Norwegian and Greek. However, it hasn't done as well as it did in the UK.

mackerel Tue 29-Jun-10 13:17:28

I have to confess to not having read The Damned United but saw the film. My husband has read it and enjoyed it. I have just started your Red Riding Quartet and I wonder how you felt about the adaptation on television.

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 13:16:28

Hello Mavis and thanks for your questions; I was - and still am - very sad that Mrs. Clough took such a strong exception to the book. Mr. Clough's swearing and drinking was something that I thought was well-known and documented in other books. I also don't think it is the main preoccupation of my book. But, as I say, I am very sorry that she was so upset by it. I am glad you enjoyed the film; it's a good deal lighter than the book and I think it is probably a lot easier to understand for non-football fans (and I also think the performances are excellent). I do think Mr. Clough would have been a great England manager, particularly if it had happened after Forest had retained the European Cup. But I doubt he would have enjoyed or fared well in these times. But we could certianly do with him now.

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 13:06:40

Hello dinosaur, and thanks for your kind words; good to know I wasn't the only person who felt that way. I actually support Huddersfield Town. But I don't hate Leeds Utd; they are too fascinating to dislike (and also most of my mates are season ticket holders).

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 13:03:58

Hi LittleSarah and thanks for your questions. I was born and raised in West Yorkshire and grew up "surrounded" by Leeds Utd (even though I support Huddersfield Town). And so the original idea was for the book to be a fictional history of Leeds Utd, not Brian Clough. However, the more I researched (and I did a lot of research using all the non-fiction books and the newspapers from the time), the more Brian Clough took over the book. I was fascinated by how he overcame the end of his playing career, how he took Derby to the first division title, how he then lost the Derby job, and why he took the Leeds job. And those 44 days just seemed to have so many unanswered questions. A lot of mystery. But I would say, don't be put off by the research and just let your imagination feed off what the research brings you (if that makes sense).

MrsDinky Tue 29-Jun-10 13:01:46

Thanks David. I am the same age as you, and have alway been interested in football, but memories of the game in the 70s are a bit vague. My grandmother (from the West Riding area) was a huge Brian Clough fan, this was partly what inspired me to read this book.

I have not seen the film, but probably would not have heard of the book otherwise, possibly the film propelled the book towards a broader audience than was anticapted.

Has the book sold well outside the UK? I would have thought it would be difficult to translate successfully, both from the cultural and language perspectives.

MavisEnderby Tue 29-Jun-10 12:58:57

Hello Mr Peace,can you answer the q's I posted prior to the chat.

Thank you very much


dinosaur Tue 29-Jun-10 12:56:24

Hello David,

Another fan of The Damned United here. Were you/are you a Leeds fan? I moved to Yorkshire from Ireland in the mid-70s and have to admit that I loathed it, and Leeds Utd in particular epitomised to my nine-year-old self all that was worst about the place. So being an awkward sod (ok, and perhaps a bit of a glory-hunter) I spent the next few years supporting Liverpool.

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 12:54:16

Hello MrsDinky and thanks for your very kind words about the book and your question. I think you have a fair point about all the characters. To be honest, though, I never imagined many people outside of the "football world" would ever read the book. But I know in the French edition they did include a "cast list" at the start with some brief biographical info.

DavidPeace Tue 29-Jun-10 12:51:27

Hello Kittykitty and thanks for your question. I actually watched the game in a bar in France which somehow seemed to make it all the more humiliating. At least the French were dramatic in their exit. So I think at half-time, the English players should have refused to come back out until the disallowed goal had been allowed. Because football - and especially English football - desperately needs some kind of revolution. That performance just demonstrated how bankrupt the English game is - literally and tactically. Perhaps a British team - as opposed to English - would be the answer ...

MayorNaze Tue 29-Jun-10 12:49:31

thank you

i also liked the theme of repetition but also how the stream of conciousness was v frequently a complete contrast to the actual scene/spoken dialogue. it really heightened the atmosphere of him being unwelcome/not fitting in/the players reluctance to accept him etc

LittleSarah Tue 29-Jun-10 12:47:39

Hi David

Just wondering, how much research did you do for the book, and how long did it take? I'd love to write something with a historical foundation but am daunted by the amount of research involved?

And, in case it hasn't already been asked, why Clough? And why that particular period (although clearly very interesting!)?

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