Monday, November 05, 2007

Keith Duggan's House of Pain

At last! A book about the sorrowful mysteries of Mayo's recent footballing history, one with a wholly appropriate title too. Keith Duggan is, IMHO, by some distance the best writer there is right now on gaelic football (far better than that much-hyped, overbearing buffoon, Tom Humphries). Over the years Keith has shown that he understands perfectly what it means to be a Mayo supporter and has written numerous memorable pieces about us. I recall with particular fondness the one where he compared us and our plight to that of the Native Americans and also his rallying call after the 2004 final (which the Irish Times reprinted after the 2006 walloping) where he warned fans from other counties that we didn't need their sympathy and would be back beating many of them again soon. Amidst all the other wise-after-the-event pieces ripping us to shreds, Keith's thoughtful take on our defeat was just what we needed.

He just gets the whole Mayo thing and so I can think of nobody better placed to write a book about Mayo's unrequited pursuit of Sam. Which he's only gone and done. The House of Pain: Through the Rooms of Mayo Football is now on sale, published by Mainstream Publishing. I haven't read it yet, I haven't even bought it. In fact, I've only in the past hour discovered that it existed. But I will. Buy it. Read it. And review it here. Only now I've work to do but I'll probably nip into town later to pick up a copy. In the meantime, here's an extract concerning the 2006 final.


An SpailpĂ­n said...

I read it Willie, and it's excellent. Really, really good. A labour of love by a man who isn't even a Mayoman. Everyone ought to get a copy.

Willie Joe said...

I got it this morning - it looks the business alright and I can't wait to get stuck into it. You were quick off the mark with your excellent review of it!

FranO'Malley said...

Got the book yesterday and finished reading it in the small hours of this morning. Excellently written and a truly great exposition of the the vicissitudes of Mayo football over the decades.

The very last sentence has echoes of the closing words spoken by Ted Kennedy in his keynote speech to the Democratic Convention in 1980 and it would surely be apt to quote the full sentence as this will have special resonance for Mayo people: "...(the cause endures), the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."