Paradise Road is the story of Kevin McGarry a young man from the West of Scotland, who as a youngster was one of the most talented footballers of his generation in Scotland. Through a combination of injury and disillusionment, Kevin is forced to abandon any thoughts of playing the game he loves, professionally. Instead he settles for following his favourite team, Glasgow Celtic, as a spectator, while at the same time resignedly and with a characteristically wry Scottish sense of humour, trying to eke out a living as a joiner.
It is a story of hopes and dreams, idealism and disillusionment, of growth in the face of adversity and disappointment. Paradise Road examines some of the major themes affecting football today, such as the power and role of the media, standards in the Scottish game and the sectarianism which pervades not only football in Glasgow but also the wider community. More than simply a novel about football or football fandom, the book offers a portrait of the character and experiences of a section of the Irish Catholic community of the West of Scotland, and considers the role of young working-class men in our modern, post-industrial society.
The road Kevin travels towards self discovery, fulfilment and maturity leads him to Prague, enabling a more detached view of the Scotland that formed him and the Europe that beckons him.
In the words of an initial review:
Written in a thoughtful, provocative yet engaging style, Paradise Road is a book that will enthral, challenge and reward in equal measure. It will be a powerful addition to the growing debate on some of the key issues facing contemporary Scotland”
Scotball is the eagerly awaited follow-up to the author’s critically acclaimed debut novel “Paradise Road”. Scotball is a searing examination of the current state of Scottish football and the various social, political and economic forces that combine to strangle its integrity and potential.It will have a wide appeal being of interest to everyone concerned about Scottish football and its relationship to Scottish society.”
Peter Fitzpatrick returns home to Kirkintilloch with his Czech wife after five years in Prague. Resuming his previous career in banking and financial service, he feels unfulfilled. His application to host a television programme discussing the hot topics relating to Scottish football eventually finds favour. ‘The Scottish Football Debate’, or ‘Scotball’ is born.
The show is an instant hit; it tackles the problems relating to the game in a forthright and intelligent manner. It wins praise for being uncluttered by the customary agendas and petty grievances which usually distort and disfigure these types of shows. The programme runs successfully for two full seasons, debating and discussing such previously taboo subjects as sectarianism, declining standards in Scottish football and the pejorative influence of finances and a too powerful media on the game, when the biggest story in the history of Scottish sport begins to unfold, namely the financial liquidation of Rangers.
Gradually the free reign that the show was permitted for open discussion begins to be checked, and due to hidden conflicts of interest, the editorial license of the programme makers is slowly eroded. The story concludes with Peter’s dramatic reaction to this establishment response to his programme.
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