Tag Archives: literature

Mistborn

I am not what you would call a reader, or at least not what I would call a reader. So much so, that there is an entire section of my blog that was dedicated to encouraging myself to read. For a while I was writing reviews for the books I had assigned myself to read.

Alas, much like the rest of my efforts here recently, that lapsed. In fact for much of last year I hardly read anything (excluding the internet). Then whilst playing Iron Banner last fall (a monthly PvP event in the video game Destiny), someone on one of the other teams had a name related to some book I had never heard of, but apparently half my fire team had. They talked briefly about what great books they were & then we moved on.

Fast forward to my vacation to Europe last thanksgiving & I thought it would be good to have a book to read. I remembered the name of the book, I think I had made a note of it. So I bought Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Actually I bought the whole trilogy, because why half do something right?

Other than a little Elmore Leonard, I have not read a great deal of fiction in my adult life, most of my getting into reading efforts centered around spiritual things or at least self help deals. I really didn’t know what to expect or if I would stick with it, but I thought it was worth a try. The last time I got into a fiction series was when my wife, before we were even engaged mentioned the Anne Rice vampire series. I started to read them just to have something to talk to her about & relate with. I remember enjoying them, but I also remember them dragging on at times.

So as I started Mistborn, I had no expectations, I had never read a fantasy type book and wasn’t sure what to expect or if I would even finish it.

I am not going to go through the plot of the books, the twists & turns, how the author manages to hook you in, only to break your heart & then somehow make it all alright, or even better than it was moments before. Or how he develops characters that despite being in a fantasy universe are still very believable, likable & relatable, as flawed as they are heroic.

What I will tell you is that not only did I finish the first book, I read the entire trilogy & then I read the 2nd trilogy. I love these books, in a way that I never expected to, in a way I cannot really explain; it’s like when you find that one guitarist that just stirs your soul with every solo, or that singer that breaks your heart with every note, the one that just fits you perfectly. I absolutely love the universe Sanderson has created, the magic system, the personalities, the whole thing, I totally love it.

Now I am in a very new & quite frankly rather annoying position, a position that actual readers I am sure can relate to. I have finished the books, all 6 of them. I know he is working on some more & apparently there is an e-book prequel that I need to hunt down, but I am finished, there are no more. This annoys me, because I truly love these books. My wife suggested I find some other books in the same genre to read, which while a valid suggestion, is simply not what I want. I want this universe, I want Vin & Elend, Wax & Wayne, I want allomancy & feruchemy (although maybe not hemalurgy, because that’s just gross). I want more dang it and there isn’t any, at least not yet.

So instead I am writing on my blog, because for the first time in my life I get to complain that I have caught up with a book series.

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Ghost Fragment: Bentley

I stumbled across this piece of fan fiction I wrote, an origin story of sorts for my character in Destiny (the video game). I think I had ideas to try & turn it into some kind of audio performance at one point. However at this point it has sat untouched & unread for over a year now, so I figured I would go ahead and post it as it is. Hope you enjoy:

Ghost fragment Bentley:

Guardian

The guardian Bentley

I had no memories when my ghost first revived me, just outside the Cosmodrome in old Russia. It was strange, a frightening and very confusing time. How was it possible that I was alive? At first, I didn’t even know my name, my name! How can you be a guardian if you do not even know your name?
I suppose, on the surface a name is simply a word, a label, yet to me, a guardian’s identity is written in his name, his legend, his legacy, will always be tied to his name.

My ghost suggested I take a name of my choosing, any name, one that I liked. Initially this seemed like a good idea, after all, this new life was a new beginning, why not take a new name. That is what all the guardians were told to do. You were not expected, maybe not supposed to have memories of your first life.

It was not long however, shortly after our first encounter with a hive wizard, that the dreams started. I thought them at first to be nightmares, side effects of these blood stained encounters, broken, scattered images, flashes. Initially at least, it made no sense, as these were not things I had seen, maybe it was just an active imagination, a newly reborn imagination.

It became apparent to me though that there was more to them than that. The images, visions, they became clearer, more cohesive. It was no longer just when I slept, it was any time I chose to channel it. These were, memories, like a voice from the past calling out through the dark of death, shattered fragments of a forgotten corpse, they key to finding out my name.

Every day, every step of my new journey seemed to unveil more of the past. I will not go into details of my journey to and through the Black Garden here, which has been well chronicled in the tower along with the legends of you, my fellow guardians. What I intend to give you is some advice, maybe a warning, something that is paramount you keep in mind if you are to stay in the light.
I was a scholar, a student, a fledgling warlock. I was not ready for combat, but after the moon, Mare Imbrium, after what Crota did …. my father, he was a great warlock, of the Praxic order, he was there, he … he perished there … so I … I had no choice, I had to enter the fray. There were 3 of us, back then it was always 3, you were assigned to each other, you became family or you perished in futility. My brother and sister, a Titan and a Hunter, we all fell together. It was an ambush, maybe a set up, it was like they knew … knew that we were coming.

It was a simple, normal mission, fly in, recon, grab an item for research and get back out. It was routine, at least that’s what they told us, they were both on their first mission, me, oh I had done this before, at least, well… twice. My mentor had great faith in me, she said I was special, that if I were patient I could be someone in the tower one day, like my father, maybe even greater than he was, the vanguard would guide me. After the initial wave, after my father, she was sent to the moon too, she perished with the rest, and we were sent out. Sent too soon.

We were not even 400 meters from our jump ship when they attacked, we were surrounded, they had no interest in anything other than death. No questions, no words, simply death, we took a couple of them with us, but the Fallen had us surrounded, it was over as quickly as it started. We had no ghosts then, death was final, eternal, well almost.

This is not a happy story, a pretty tale for cool evenings. The memories they haunted me, tortured me as they continued to return and became more vivid. Once we were able to, I had my ghost return to the place of our falling, he located them too. Once I was assigned extra ghosts, I knew exactly who I would instruct them to find. It’s the memories you see, they are not just nightmares, they help you remember, help you to impact this new wave of guardians, this wave that will conquer the darkness, we will restore the Traveler. My brother, the Titan, he has been fine, I assume because he does not really think, maybe that’s an Awoken trait, although I suspect it is more a Titan thing, not to think. My sister, even though an exo, she is sensitive, it is much more difficult for her, she has to move slowly, it, well, that is her story ….

What was I talking about anyway, the point to this monologue? Oh yes, a name, your name, my name. I am so much more now than I was previously, you could get drunk on the power if you were to lose control. That’s it, control, you must have control, without control you are no guardian. Power can consume you, fool you into believing you are some kind of god, something bigger than yourself, it is then that you become the most vulnerable to the darkness, it is then, that you will be consumed. You must bathe in the light, cleanse yourself, especially if you are to visit the memories, to learn the secrets of true guardian mastery. Maybe that’s where Toland went wrong, or maybe he was a man out of his time, I don’t know & I’m digressing again.

You must discover your name guardian, whether it be from the past or your name today, if you are to become legend, you must have a name to tie to your legacy. It was after I saw the demise of the hive god Crota, that I remembered by name, finally, painfully. There were six of us, five of the greatest guardians you will ever see and me, somehow, me. No longer the murdered scholar, no longer the fledgling kinder-guardian, for I too have become legend. I have mastered death, it will not conquer me again, yet I am no god, here me, I know who I am, I am Bentley & the enemies of the light will beg me for mercy

Daydreams

A 150 word story, just trying to get the creative thought process going again & because why not 🙂

 

 

Margaret walks down the hill of the street she calls home. The cobblestones glisten with moisture from the morning drizzle, the sky overcast, it is cold, but not bitterly so. Three-story redbrick terraced houses line the street, with only a few window shrubs to break the monotony.

 

As she walks she wonders; is there something more? What if there is somewhere else on this planet for her? What if there is some grand adventure she should embark on? She ponders exotic places she has only read about in books, maybe there is a handsome prince waiting for her there. She walks along, slowly, drifting in her daydream.

 

Behind her, the unmistakable sound of horse and cart on the cobbles wake her up. It is the coalman making his weekly deliveries, young Jack, always smiling. Unfortunately, this means she is late and so her daydreams, & Jack must wait for later. 

Reading: The Shack by William P Young

After a good start to the year with reading I allowed myself to get out of the habit until recently when I read The Shack. The book was given to my wife to read by a neighbor, my wife who is an amazingly fast reader took a long time to read the book so I assumed that she didn’t enjoy it. However over dinner one day the subject came up & it turned out she did enjoy it, she had simply put it down for about a month when she got mad at it. I was intrigued enough to give it a try. As the list of books I have written about on here will tell you, I don’t’ read fiction very often, it’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it is just that, well, I don’t have a good reason.

As I started with the book, I was not sure what to expect, my wife & neighbor had been very careful not to ruin the plot for me. The first few chapters were ok at best, for me there were far too many characters to try and remember who was who (I know, I should read more). The darkness of the book was slowly building until I reached the point that I am quite sure is where my wife put the book down. You can see it coming in the book & I understand why it upset my wife so much (no I’m not going to tell you what happened).

From that point on, the book builds from darkness into beautiful, blinding light. It presents one of the best explanations of God’s love for us & how His creation works that I have read. The writing is masterfully immersive. I really felt like I was a part of the story, I could imagine everything I was reading. At times I had to remind myself that this was fiction as I became envious of the journey the lead character was on (the good parts of it, not the bad). Then the realization came to me that I had been / am on a very similar journey. So many of us are. They is what makes the book so great, it is the story of redemption, of healing, of processing anger, especially that deep hidden anger at God for what we think He allowed to happen to us & that disappointment that He didn’t love us enough to stop it happening. Which is of course nonsense, but that has never stopped anyone that I know from going there. We all need therapy in some form or another. We all certainly need God to speak into our true identity, to here from Him about how He really sees us. Maybe, just maybe, this book could be the beginning of that journey for you.

Yes this is a work of fiction, yet in some ways it is so much more real than any “fact’ based books you will ever read.  I highly recommend picking up a copy & reading it, just make sure you stick with it past the beginning!

 

The Getaway

It started out as just another normal day, paper work and moving money around. The things he could do in his sleep, untraceable transactions, his usual financial wizardry.  That was the reason he was so valued by his employers.  He thought it strange when the call came for him to make a drop that afternoon, usually such things had more warning, more planning.  Yet it was not the first time such a thing had happened. Arrangements were quickly made and before long he was being driven to the drop location.

 

On arrival the scene appeared like any other, a quiet ally, at the end sat a slightly rusted, brown Granada housing the recipient of his delivery.  The overflowing dumpsters stuck him as rather cliché, he imagined that if the warehouse doors either side were to open, empty boxes would overflow and a cop show car chase could be reenacted.

 

He instructed his friend and driver Dago to keep the car running, there was no reason for this to take any length of time.  He exited the car and strode purposely toward the old Ford. When he was about halfway there the driver’s side door opened and a burly man in a black duster stepped out, his eyes hidden by mirrored aviators. They met in the middle and each paused about eight feet apart.

 

“Did you complete your assignment?”  He asked

“What do you mean?”  The burly man responded

“Well if I am to pay you, you have to prove that the assignment is complete”.

“Well, it’s complicated,  I’m not sure you’d understand”

“My understanding is irrelevant,  either you have earned your money or you have not”

“Unfortunately my friend”, he said, at the same time removing a silenced 9mm from under his coat, “you are the assignment”.  He raised the gun directly at his head.

“Now hold on a minute, there had to be some mistake”.

“No mistake, I do appreciate you being prompt, I have other things to do today.  I don’t know or care what you did to get on the wrong side of them.  If you want turn around and I’ll do you in the back, a last favor of sorts.”

 

His heart was pounding now, he was desperately trying to ignore the confusion of the situation and come up with a plan, quickly. He tightened his grasp on the handle of the steel briefcase that he still held.  Using the untraceable hundreds in there as a bribe seemed pointless with this gun pointed at his face. There was only one option that he could think of.

He swung the briefcase in the direction of the gun and let go, yelling loudly “you want the money? here’s your freaking money”.

 

The case landed right on target, there was just enough weight in it to knock the gun loose. Pure Animal instinct kicked in, he ran towards him and launched a brutal flurry of punches.  Like a prize fighter sensing an knockout in the late rounds lefts and rights rained down.  Before long the assassins face was a stolen bloody mess, a final gut shot followed by a full blooded uppercut to the jaw sent him flying backwards towards his car.  He lay in a heap on the floor unconscious.

 

He grabbed the gun and the briefcase and headed back to the car and Dago.  “What the heck was that?” Dago exclaimed with genuine concern.

“I have no idea, apparently I was the target, get me to the hotel, quickly, I need to talk to Johnny and figure this out.  They sped off, he didn’t know what to think or who to trust, what had just happened and why?

 

When they arrived at the hotel he left Dago and went to meet Johnny, as usual two rooms down from the number they gave on the phone.  It was safer that way, they were the only two that knew about that arrangement.  When he reached the room Johnny was rattled “dude you’re in deep trouble” he exclaimed “the bosses son is making a move for the family business, he knows how loyal you are to the old man and how you control damn near all the money so he’s going to whack you one way or another”.

“What the heck? That’s insane” he retorted.

“That dumb kid can barely run a pizza parlor never mind the company.  The old man will feed him to the fishes before he’s done”.

 

Just as he said that he heard the voices of maybe three men, familiar voices, walking down the hall way. He got up & checked through the peephole and saw the three of them dressed in coats too heavy for the season walking past their room, he had been half expecting this. A few seconds later they heard a crash as the door two rooms down was kicked in. A few minutes later they walked back down the hall way.

 

“I figured they would have eyes on this place. I’ve got to get out of here” he said

“Take the back stairs, Dago should have some wheels for you by the time you get to the lobby. Be careful, they know you’re here, they’ll be waiting. Get out of town and then make contact with the old man, the old way. We have no way of knowing how many people the kid has sucked into this. Don’t trust anyone who hasn’t been here as long as we have”

“Thanks Johnny, I owe you owe you one” he said softly as he grabbed the keys.

“Don’t even think about it, I could never repay you for what you did…”

 

He left the room and headed the opposite direction on the walkway than the men had gone.

As he reached the bottom of the stairs he saw Dago waiting for him

“I suspected you would come this way” he said with his thick accent. “I have a ride for you but getting through the lobby to it will be sticky, they are all over the place, at least 9 of them”.

“Is there another way?”

“There is a back exit, but you can only get to it through the office. “

“Well, I guess I’ll have to be careful then, where’s the car?”

“Right out front, a police car, trust me, you’ll know it when you see it, it’s just my taste”

 

He smiled & received a coy wink from Dago prior to opening the door to the rear of the lobby. Cautiously he made his way down the narrow hall way to the main lobby, it was thankfully quite busy but he knew he had to be careful. He grabbed a newspaper off the stand at the end of the hallway & smoothly sat on a bench to the side of the lobby. He held the paper up to cover his face while contemplating his escape. Just at that moment the fire alarm went off, he smiled, confident that Dago or Johnny had been involved. This was his opportunity, he stood up & walked quickly towards the front door, head down, but not so fast as to draw attention to him. Just as he crossed the plane of the door, he heard a voice yell “there he is, get him.”

 

There was no time to delay, where was the car? It was now or never, then, as if announced by a chorus of angels he saw it, a silver Porsche 911 with blue lights on the roof and a green hood with the word Polizei written in white. He ran to it & got in the driver’s seat, fumbling the keys slightly he got them in the ignition just as five of them came out of the hotel. He fired up the turbo charged flat six & caught the attention of every one of them, initially they had a look of bemusement but they had their weapons drawn as he floored it in reverse. He made a J-turn and with screeching wheels & he accelerated through a cloud of tire smoke.

Gun shots rang out in the air, a couple grazed the car but caused no serious damage. He hit the lights & siren, he had no intention of stopping for anything, or being stopped. All he knew was that he had to get out of the country, fast & then make contact with the old man. The force of the acceleration pushed him back into his seat, the car twitched, as if the torque was almost too much for it, it felt like it could almost twist the chassis. He struggled to keep the back end from swinging out wildly, the adrenaline coursing through his veins making it unusually difficult to drive, even for an expert like him. The engine growled as the revs rose rapidly & before they knew it he was gone.

As the smoke cleared at hotel and it became clear that they had not lethally hit him, the tall man in the middle of the five let out a scream “Bentley, I’m gonna hunt you down like the dog that you are, you’re a dead man”……………….

 

 

The Council

The council gathers in the royal courts, the splendor of the surroundings beautiful beyond description, more magnificent than you would imagine any hand could make. The muffled whispers are ceased upon the pounding of a gavel, pure silence follows and the proceedings begin.

“So Yejshu, tell me of the progress in the 2nd Gamma Nebulous”

 

“Well my Lord, they continue to astound with their technical developments, they are clearly the most advanced species in the universe. They continue to follow your laws flawlessly; they are an example to all”

 

“And love? Do they have love yet?”

 

“No my Lord, I am afraid that the concept continues to elude them.”

 

“Such a shame, their legal perfection seems that it will be a permanent obstacle to them experiencing the purpose of life. Still, they are part of the plan, maybe one day we can help them to understand love.”

 

“Yes my Lord, as you wish”

 

“Gabriel, tell me of the new planet in your galaxy, how is it looking.”

 

“Wondrous my Lord, the formation is just about complete, it is utterly stunning, the possibilities for it are endless You have outdone yourself. I anticipate that it will be ready for the population of life within a hundred and fifty centuries or so.”

 

“Earth centuries?”

 

“Yes my Lord, I apologize, You had me there for so long, sometimes I struggle to adjust my measurements to the new galaxy.”

 

“Fear not my friend, your affection for earth has always pleased me.”

 

In the back, Xavier offered a quiet whisper; “why do we have to do this? I mean, doesn’t he already know? Isn’t he all seeing, all present & all knowing?”

 

“Hush you fool, this is not the time or the place”, Jacob retorted

 

“Xavier? Step forwards, it seems you have questions for Me.”

 

“Err, no sir, sorry sir, I just, I err, I’m sorry My Lord.”

 

“It is ok young child. Everyone has questions when they first join the council. You are very privileged to be here, Jacob will teach you all you need to know, he is an excellent teacher.

 

You are correct in saying that this could be unnecessary if I chose for it to be, but what then would I do? Sit in a corner knowing all, seeing all & slowly dying? The point of creation is love my child, it is relationships, that is why we meet like this, that is why we have the council, love is what sustains all of creation, it is what sustains Me. The entire universe is molded around this concept, everywhere you look they see us even when they do not realize it. We are the example that they were created to follow. Although sometimes even creation itself teaches us things and we follow their example. Step back now my child, watch, listen and learn.”

 

“Tell Me, where is my son?”

 

“He prays my Lord, without ceasing”

 

“Summon Him, He must give His report too”

 

Moments later:

 

“Father, sorry I am late, there is much good work to oversee on earth these days”

 

“My Son, tell me, what is happening on earth? Your enemy reports to me that the jewel in my creation should be regarded as my biggest mistake, that his servants outnumber yours. He claims that hate and greed rule the planet, genocide, rape and murder continue unabated. War proliferates, suffering and abuse untold, even My very existence is rejected in many quarters. Tell me Son, is it as bad as he claims? Is it time to end it? Shall we begin earth’s rapture?”

 

“Oh Father, Father. You know my enemy’s despicable ways all he can do is lie. You of all know that if he is telling you these things they are founded in deception. Just as I defeated his power through death when you allowed me to go to earth, so will the truth defeat his lies, Your light will shine and cast out his darkness as always.”

 

“Go ahead my Son, tell me the truth, speak to me of the light still shining on earth. For it is easy for Me to see how he believes what he says to be true.”

 

“It is true that the problems of hate and greed continue to exist, there are still wars, atrocities, abuse, neglect and suffering. Yet Father, these things are not as great as they have been in previous centuries, progress is slow but it is true. Most countries are now trying to help others rather than conquer them, there is more equality than ever, slavery moves daily closer to being eradicated and diseases are cured quicker and more effectively than ever before. The poor are being fed, healed and helped in more places than ever before. For all the publicized hate, there is an even bigger growth of love with pure motives.

 

Satan has his agents delivering the news as though it were the end days and at the same time has people believing they are all alone in the universe. However, these same lines of communication, the sharing of information through technology that they have finally grown into, are freeing thousands and thousands of souls.

 

Father, it is finally happening, we are slowly destroying religion and releasing true believers, more people are entering the Kingdom and are living in freedom than ever before. No longer can the rulers control the flow of information, the flow of truth to the people.  Father, the Spirit reports more signs and wonders and miracles being performed in Our name than there has been since the first generation graduated.

 

Those who have eyes to see can clearly see that this is the greatest time in the history of earth. Those who are blind to the truth either fear the rapture or are so empty that they believe nothing. Father, if we can keep making progress, we may be able to avoid the need for the apocalypse altogether.”

 

“My Son, you know how to warm my heart. Tell me, when do you think they will be ready to leave the earth and meet other species?”

 

“They are getting close, maybe only a few hundred more of their years. Unfortunately I think they will develop the technology before fully develop the social understanding. Yet for all their short comings, they will always carry love with them & their love will cover a multitude of misgivings. Yet it would be fascinating even today to see if they could teach the 2nd Gamma Nebulous how to love.”

“One day my Son, one day. You must be patient, we all must be patient. It is such a joy to see all of creation grow like this. Soon I shall tell you of the next stage of My plan, very soon, but for now the council is dismissed, we meet again tomorrow, those who are scheduled to update please ensure you are prepared.”

 

The gavel pounds once more and they exit the courts fervently discussing the day’s proceedings, eagerly anticipating what will be told tomorrow of the 11th dimension and the Fornax.

 

 

 

Reading: The Last Champions by Dave Simpson

Following the intensity of the last 2 books I read I almost took a break, but I decided that rather than take a break from reading I would move onto a completely different subject from Jesus & read The Last Champions by Dave Simpson. The book is a look at the 1991-92 Football League championship winning team, Leeds United. 1991-92 was the last season of the old first division before the formation of the Premier League, the invasion of countless fortunes and the slow transformations of the game I grew up loving into the almost unrecognizable entity that it is today.

I actually bought the book for my mother  when it first came out, she then brought it for me to read when she visited from England last year, and it has sat on my shelf until a couple of weeks ago.  The book would be of interest to sports fans in general in addition to those with an intrigue into management techniques and general human interest, but mostly to fans of the once great Leeds United.

This was the last team to win the top domestic football honor in England with an English Leeds United parade the championship trophy in 1992manager. It was a team assembled on a low budget filled with players who made “normal salaries”, the kind of money that today’s “superstars” make in a week, not a year.  Leeds United might not have had the greatest collection of talent that season, but what they did have was one of the all-time great work ethics and a genius manager whose depth of preparation and unique man management skills got a group of players to all peak at the same time, for a whole season, to achieve the impossible, something that only the richest of the rich can dream of today.

I say that they did not have the greatest collection of players, however don’t believe everything you read in the press about that team. Not the greatest, maybe, possibly the most underrated collection of heroes ever? In my opinion; absolutely.

LUFC ChampsNow, I am biased, I was a season ticket holder in 91-92, my third year of watching Leeds United. I used to stand on the west side the old “kop” on a plastic box (to make me tall enough), with my Mum and Uncle. Biased I may be, but I think that my experience of watching the team week in week out would also make me something of an expert on a set of players that the country / world did not see nearly as much as they would have done today. These were the days of one live televised game per week, although whenever we were on tv we certainly shined.

I could easily sit here and regale you with tails of Rod Wallace’s lightning pace, Chris Fairclough being better than Des Walker or Steve Hodge’s key contribution as almost a forgotten man in the legendary LUFC midfield of 91-92, but I won’t. Nor will I bore you of my teenage love of David Batty, the lad who grew up only a few short miles from me and went to the same high school. Maybe I will go into the beginnings of my Leeds United fandom on a future blog entry, but this is supposed to be about a book.

What a book it is too, it reminded me of the club I fell in love with, not the one I keep up withLUFC Champs 2 today hoping for a magical tweet of surprising good news, but one which, much like the sport they play, is virtually unrecognizable as the same entity today. It reminded me of a strange time in life, when football was an oasis for me, an escape from the horrors of high school. A time when I was trying to find my place in the world, Leeds United gave me that place. The team and the sport became my love, my passion, my community. Standing on the terraces I found my voice (literally), I could make as much noise as I wanted and instead of being scolded (when screaming at unfathomable decibel levels), I would receive only nods of approval. The atmosphere at Elland road in those days, especially on the kop was unparalleled, I don’t care the event or the size of the crowd, nothing can compare with that booming, ferocious cauldron that we created back then. I’ve been to old firm games, a cup final, different US playoff sports, only Celtic could get close, but even they, with all their numbers, could not match the atmosphere of eland Road in those days.

The book visits with many of my childhood heroes, sharing their stories and memories of not only that season, but the 2 prior, basically reviewing the first 3 years of my attending the games. Gary Speed (rip) made the statement that he was so young and he didn’t really appreciate what had been achieved; he just expected to always be that successful. I felt the same way, I am glad that I didn’t know then what I know now, although I would have savored it more, it would have tainted it somewhat.

It was certainly a different time, in many ways a different game. Back then the team was part of the community, I was too young to be in bars and see the players mingling freely with the citizens of the city, but the connection with the city and myself was just as real. These were not mercenaries, these were real people, who played the game in the manner that it is meant to be played and cared like fans, not just employees.

As a Leeds United fan I am lucky enough to have seen us be the best team in the country, I have my own tales to tell just like my Mum and my Uncle had from the Revie days. I am one of the fortunate few, I doubt there will be another generation that will be able to say the same thing. I am truly grateful to Dave Simpson for writing this book, taking me on a misty eyed journey through our shared history. The book keenly reminded me of what I once loved so dearly and also of what is rapidly going from not appreciating to utterly despising about the current era of the game.

Ok one memory – a quick contrast from then and now. Today players fall over at the slightest touch, begging the referee to give the opposition a yellow card or worse, gamesmanship, trying to seek an advantage at any cost. More than once back then I watched Gordon Strachan, captain of Leeds United, talk the referee out of giving the opposition a yellow card, getting up quickly from a hard foul, not a slight glance. Sportsmanship, fair play, respect and honor. Trying to win against their best with your best simply to see if you are good enough, because that is the point. That more than anything is what I miss about sport and more than anything what money has ruined about sport in general, not just association football. Read the book, hop on youtube and watch digitized VHSs and pine for the good old days, I certainly did.