Can you enjoy Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game if you don’t listen to the Men in Blazers podcast? If you don’t have an opinion on the 1974 Netherlands (soccer, of course!) team? If you don’t instinctively root for Cameroon instead of Brazil because, well, we want an African team to get to the quarters?
Probably not, And that’s too bad because this exchange of letters between two soccer fans, one in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup and the other at home in Sweden is much more than just their opinions about Messi, Neymar, or the German soccer team (the last of which they respect, and hate). It mixes in their personal histories, the travails of a parent whose youngest cannot yet sleep through the night, and how teaching a teenager how to drive opens the door to good conversations (in the car). In other words, you are back in Knausgaard’s My Struggle series, mulling over life. If you are not a soccer fan, give this book to a soccer fan in your life.