Tackle!: Let the sabotage and scandals begin in the new instant Sunday Times bestseller

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Tackle!: Let the sabotage and scandals begin in the new instant Sunday Times bestseller

Tackle!: Let the sabotage and scandals begin in the new instant Sunday Times bestseller

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Jilly Cooper’s books are normally a great romp, with characters who are human, flawed, yet very engaging. There’s still something infectiously joyful and funny about her particular brand of very English writing: it comes with a kindliness and a silliness that is beginning to feel to me quite painfully nostalgic. Cooper – sorry, I mean Campbell-Black – has loads of ideas for improving Searston, for its fans as well as its players.

Finlay commented: “Jilly Cooper has been a shining star of Transworld’s list for over 40 years, and we are incredibly proud to publish her. isn’t, by a long shot, Cooper’s best book; the ball, you might say, doesn’t quite find the back of the net. Fun, frivolous, happy, sad - Cooper will never again reach the dizzy heights of Riders and Rivals, but I loved this, nonetheless. Poor Taggie is a wreck (endless references to her “grey curls” – she’s only about forty, hair dye is a thing) and Rupert doesn’t sizzle with anyone. With many of the old favourites now spanning a world between football and horses I was not disappointed.Her novels, including Riders, Rivals, and Polo, were the backdrop of my formative years: I wanted to fold myself into the pages and inhabit this fictional landscape where women were “ravishing”, everyone was accomplished, every orgasm ecstatic, bad people got their just deserts and love always won. So many identical sounding characters with nicknames it became at times hard to follow but also because so many characters were involved it was also hard to care about any of them as we barely knew them. Normally there are many characheter backgrounds and situtions happening and they become interwoven throughout the book and with other characters. Seven long years after her last book – its subject was flat racing – this one, if the gossip is to be believed, was further held up by sensitivity readers and a publisher who wanted “more sex”.

While for me nothing will top the thrill of “polo” or “riders” Jilly is still cracking them out, updated for the 2020’s and they’re just jolly entertaining. I’ll probably finish it, but what a shame something I’ve been looking forward to for so long, is so disappointing. Her work is an antidote to ‘poor me’ trauma fiction (which I am also a compete sucker for but it is having a very long moment). The other missing ingredient was that there is very little 'steaminess' in this one - an essential component in her previous books. It’s banal and cliched - while I know only a little about football I’m pretty certain the author knows less than me.I had known nothing about horses or riding, but was riveted to every page of those books as there was so much life going on around the riders. What on earth is Rupert Campbell-Black, ex-world showjumping champion, hugely successful owner, trainer and breeder, and a former Conservative minister for sport, doing in a novel about football? But, with every book, we are gifted complex and charismatic characters whose sharp and witty dialogue is evidence of the intelligence of their creator. Critics might say she’s silly, sexist, and hardly Chaucer, but I say making women feel seen, hopeful, and happy takes a rare sort of genius. No one could just be ‘ Patrick’ or ‘Lisa’ instead they all had to have stupid nicknames , really really stupid nicknames .

Bianca, his adopted daughter, is married to a star striker, Feral Jackson, who’s playing for an Australian side when the book begins. I was bored with the football match commentaries but the thing that really got me was the constant use of stupid nicknames. I’d been feeling sad that this might be the last of Cooper’s novels, but this is an absolute stinker. Far too many characters, most of them frustratingly underdeveloped, and a story line that just doesn't seem to go anywhere. But as their new and indelibly competitive Chairman, he won’t stand for anything less than an Everest climb to the top of the Premier League.

Not one I'd go back to, unlike the early books which always cheer me up, but a pleasant enough read for a grey, damp January. sees Cooper’s beloved hero Rupert Campbell-Black take to the football field as he becomes chairman of a local club and sets about masterminding their rise to the top of the Premier League,” the synopsis reads.

See also pompous suggestions that they’re just ‘guilty pleasures’ – nothing more than ironic peccadilloes. The reader is plunged straight into the feisty frolics, back stabbings and genital shenanigans of all the favourite star characters plus some delicious cameos from Jilly’s earlier books. This is a whole new ball game (pardon the pun) for Rupert and opens up so many cliche’s and opprtunities for Jilly Cooper to play with the and they make this book such a fun and fabulous read. I already feel that I've said more than I can really be bothered to say which actually sums up how I felt about this book.Typical shenanigans follow - the team and management and numerous hangers-on romping and bonking their way through several seasons worth of football, with a suitably outrageous and satisfying conclusion - all ends tied up. I was only fourteen at the time and now, thirty five years later I am still drawn to this charming character and all his antics, so as soon as Tackle! I adore Jilly Cooper’s writing, she is a masterful story teller with her plotting to keep the reader engrossed, the most wonderful characters and a brilliant mix of drama, darkness, light and a lot of wit. For all the ridiculous euphemisms about “otters diving into summer streams” and “leaning towers of pleasure”, Cooper is a master at serving relatability, long before it was an Instagram personality trait. Cooper sheds a light on the real human dramas that lurk behind the headlines in an often much criticised industry.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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