I spent most of my flight to Washington reading a new book by Brian Belton (author of several Hammers related tomes) called BROWN OUT! It was a slightly weird book in some ways – neither one thing nor the other. It was part biography, part hagiography, part history of the last decade or so at Upton Park. It certainly puts Terry Brown’s side of the story – and no bad thing too, but I did wonder how the book had actually come about. As a commercial enterprise I can’t see how it can have worked, so the reader is left asking if Mr Brown dipped into his substantial pockets to contribute to the costs of writing and publishing it. If that was the case, the reader should have been told somewhere in the book. But maybe I am nitpicking.
Belton writes in an engaging manner and isn’t backward in inserting himself into the narrative. On occasion this can irritate, but there’s no doubt about it that the man is a Hammer through and through, so he usually gets away with it as the reader can easily relate to his own experience.
Although I quite enjoyed the book I felt there were some incidents which were glossed over a little – Harry Redknapp’s departure being one. If you’re going to write a book like this you need to give the reader some kind of insight or detail that he hadn’t had before. In this, I think Belton fails in a number of areas. Anyone who reads this book is going to have quite a bit of knowledge about what happened, so a rehash of the facts isn’t going to suffice. It has to be said that on other occasions Belton does indeed give good insight into what went on – the Bond saga being a prime example. In his description of the players’ reaction and the financial aspects, he tolf me quite a bit that I didn’t know.
So all in all, this book is like the curate’s egg – good in parts. But well worth a read.
Buy BROWN OUT HERE.