Walking on Sunshine Book Review

Walking on Sunshine: Swansea City 2010/11Looking for a Christmas present for someone you know is a Swans fan? Then look no further than here! Swans fan and author Keith Haynes has written a new book called Walking on Sunshine. The book talks about the Swans rise to the Premier League and Keith gives some thoughts on how it has happened and provides some of his funny anecdotes and comments on player and managers during our rise through the leagues!

Keith Haynes the book Author will be signing copies of his new Swans Book ‘Walking on Sunshine’ before the Aston Villa game on Sunday 27th November from 11-1pm.

We will be doing a competition on SCFC2 to win a copy of Keith’s new book next week but if from reading Medwyn’s review below, you want to get a copy before the Sunday then you can buy the book by clicking on the link below.

‘Walking on Sunshine: Swansea City 2010/11’ – Keith Haynes

Let’s be clear from the start, this book should carry a warning to the discerning reader. It’s passionate, candid, frank and at times opinionated and egotistical but it’s certainly never dull and never less than interesting. Keith Haynes tells it how it is in his eyes and in the eyes of many and whether you agree with him or not in some of his views this is one of the few books on following football and supporting a team that tells it as it really is and actually does it justice. It’s an essay on the irrational and extreme feelings and emotions, the near obsessional ruminations and very peculiar thought processes that distinguishes the DNA of the real football fan from their soulless, plastic, prawn sandwich munching distant cousin. I very nearly said Premier League following counterpart there but then thought again J.

What I love about this book is that it doesn’t so much as invite or gently encourage or even cajole you along as to drag you inescapably through a roller coaster of a journey that has always been the deal in following the Swans. Whilst you already know the various nooks and crevasses that made up the 2010/11 season this book completely succeeds in transporting you back and does it so absorbingly and compellingly that you very nearly forget that this is fact and not fiction. It really does bring it all flooding back and then some!

If you’re reading this review and thinking I’m a mate of Keith’s, think again, I’ve never met the guy. When I started reading the book I wasn’t really in the mood to read another football book having read four in quick succession. The book begins with Keith’s views on some of the main protagonists’ in the Swansea City story and he doesn’t leave the reader in any doubt as to his thoughts and opinions! Some will find them bullish and forthright or even plain egotistical and opinionated but few will find them anything less than interesting, amusing and often in the eventual telling perceptive and true. Here are just a few to wet your appetites…

On the players,

Of Leon Britton’s move to Sheffield United, “…Leon will live very quickly to regret this move”

Likewise Fede Bessone’s move to Leeds, “Bessone won’t succeed at Leeds, he wasn’t great last season (2009/10)…I get the feeling he will fall flat on his face like so many others before him”.

And my personal favourite on Andrea Orlandi, “In the case of Andrea Orlandi I see a player who came to us with a pedigree of not achieving a great deal, irrespective of the clubs he has played for, including Barcelona. If I had my way today Andrea Orlandi would be down the road. The Swansea boot extending to the far reaches of his well manicured backside…” Suffice as to say then if Andrea does make it to ten seasons with the Swans Keith won’t be heading up his Testimonial year committee…Then again, neither will I, and that for me is the thing about this book, agree or disagree with him it’s his view clear and simple and what makes it so much more interesting is that it’s on Andrea Orlandi and not Wayne Rooney or John Terry – it’s real.

Or on footballing Chairmen and Boards…

Huw Jenkins talking to the Media, “At first he wasn’t very good at it”

On Milan Mandric (and Paulo Sousa) – “Well Milan, me old mucker, my car is warmed up, I have a few hours to kill, would you like me to drop him off at Leicester Forest East Services”? Now who can say that they weren’t feeling and thinking likewise at that moment in time? In fact my wife’s from Leicester and a Foxes fan to boot and this echoes the conversation in our house once I’d quickly got over the mock indignation of a so called bigger club pinching our manager. Apparently Paulo still lives in Leicester – a passion for the National Space Centre, flat countryside and curries clearly getting the better of a return to the bright lights of Milan or Lisbon…Incidentally, my wife slaughtered me for putting this in saying my views on Leicester have got nothing to do with the book, well it has a little, but that’s football we all have opinions and it’s a great excuse to air them directly football related – or not!

Another unexpected treat is the way that Keith brings alive the actual matches. On the Play-Off Semi Final, versus Forest at the Liberty he conjures up brilliantly the atmosphere, tension and the meaning of these Premiership Play-Off games to a to city such as Swansea:

“Tonight the industrial fumes, the rising pain and hellfire past that is Swansea and its people will flourish and bring down the statues, smash down the pretentious, and live forever as heroes in this newly shaped history. It is now Jacks, it is time. Without fear and without favour this game is on”.

Poetic, over the top and emotional? I think so, but that’s what so often defines Wales as a country and the Welsh as a people (certainly from a sporting perspective) and from reading this book perhaps it also possibly tells us a little about Keith Haynes. Either way, as Vincent Jones once said at the end of a film, “it’s been emotional”…

This is a great book and a top read for Swans fans or genuine football fans of any persuasion. It’s well written, energetic and has a sense of “hwyl” about it, which is makes it uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable. Nice one Keith.

This book review was written by Medwyn Williams