Hooper’s Revolution by Dennie Wendt : Reviewed by Jomo Hendrickson
Written By: isps|
May 10, 2017
Friend of the Winger, author Jomo Hendrickson reached out to us recently to write a piece for TOW. After having read and reviewed his book a few months ago, we were excited to hear the pitch and what he wanted to do was actually write a book review for another author.
I was intrigued and impressed.
Check out the review below and shout out to Jomo for writing this one, we definitely are adding Hooper’s Revolution to the book case!
I first came across this book on my Instagram feed and I was instantly intrigued by Dennie Wendt’s first published novel. I felt drawn to the story, knowing that it was taking the world of soccer and placing it within American culture. I just felt that the book would be one hell of a ride stirring together espionage, the 70’s, and the strange world of soccer in the USA at that time. I wasn’t wrong at all.
The story’s main character, Danny Hooper, is a British soccer player from the rough and tumble lower leagues of British football. Now, for those of you who are not aware of British football in the 1970’s, it was quite a different world from the well manicured fields and millionaires of today. It was muddy, damp, and dangerous. The crack of a player’s bone snapping in half was frequently heard above a fervent and drunken crowd of thousands. This is the world of Danny Hooper and in his arena of third division football, he is amongst the most feared for his brutality and size.
As a matter of fact, Danny’s struggle and frustration to express himself as a player is the spark that kicks this story into motion. It’s an interesting perspective to look through the eyes of an enforcer on the field who feels he has much more to express. There is a feeling of sensitivity that Wendt was able to establish early in this story that instantly makes you empathize with the character.
In the beginning we live with Danny Hooper in his natural environment of East Southwich Albion, a fictional English city, just long enough to gain a real feel for his community, family, and values. Then in a rapid change of events Hooper is forced to not only leave his beloved home city, but to flee the country and go to the United States. As if that wasn’t enough, he is then reluctantly swept into playing a part in the cold war.
Wendt allows the story to unfold from there in a very believable way. I particularly enjoyed some of the nuances between English and American cultures (e.g. – que vs. line) and the thought of professional soccer in the 1970’s being the best place for sneaky foreign influence. These were small pieces of the puzzle that added a lot of authenticity and helped the story come alive for me.
The author also has this nice humorous tone that keeps the story light. As soccer fans, we love to learn about the history of clubs, players and rivalries. I appreciated his ability to work off of that insight to provide back stories that pull soccer enthusiasts deeper into the narrative.
Honestly, I really enjoyed reading this book. I would recommend it to any soccer fan especially, but you don’t have to be a soccer fan to enjoy the story. There is plenty of entertainment in it outside of soccer. It’s in the 1970’s- enough said there. Pick it up and have a read this summer. You won’t be disappointed.
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