Paul Larkin, By Any Means Necessary – book review

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A Journey With Celtic Bampots.

By Paul Larkin.

 

There are now four truths in life, birth, death, taxes and Paul Larkin’s books keep getting better.

Book opens with contributions from Graham Wilson of Beyond The Waves and hammer of the succulent lamb brigade Phil Mac Giolla Bhain .No too shabby I’m sure you’ll agree.

The first chapter is an explosive behind the scenes look at how the entire refereeing fraternity at all levels work. All I can say is you were not paranoid.

Then we come to ‘The Ride’, A tale that s punctuated by the next chapter on the rise of the pod cast where Paul interviews Chris McGuigan of The Lost Bhoys then moves on to describe returning to Scotland and being introduced to The Green Brigade and unfortunately The Famine Song. Paul coins a phrase that I think many of us have formed over the years ‘only thing worse than a Rangers fan is a Rangers fan’.

One of the best things about the book is that the continuation of the ride story runs through the book punctuated by chapters on the rise of Social media brining the Celtic support closer together. There are sections on Graham Wilson and Beyond the waves and a generous piece on The Celtic Network and our part of trying to bring the best of Celtic media together in the one place. He has also been kind enough to give North Milton’s finest Steph “chibchenco” and the rise of #TeamSamaras. Basically the birth of the ‘Internet Bampots’.

As the book continues ‘the ride’ intertwines with stories with of Celtic games, social media, and Paul’s sometimes desperation just to come home to Scotland. I personally found the full story of ‘the ride’ quite shocking and an eye opener on a country that says it’s a free and open society. I could write more on that but it would spoil the book for people yet to read it. Consequently due to that and some other stuff Paul tells us about living on the other side of the pond It is no surprise to me that he is now home.

This is Paul’s best book to date due to the wealth and diversity of material provided throughout the book. Once again he has shown more maturity and slickness in his writing. He is a natural story teller up there with many more famous Authors. I’ve said it before he is absolutely brilliant at drawing you into the world of Paul Larkin and that is down to his honesty and willingness to reflect on his own misdeeds. He also draws you into the world of the ordinary Celtic supporter and the trials, joys and tribulations that come with it.

Once you start reading By Any Means Necessary you’ll find it hard to put it down. It’s a compelling read from start to finish and if You have Guy’s Like Phil and Graham opening up the book for you then you are doing something right and in my humble opinion Paul is doing plenty right.

Again I congratulate Paul on a great book and I urge you all to buy it in one format or another. You won’t regret it.

James Cameron.

Comments

  1. I know all about the Ref story, or some of it anyway. I know a few refs, ex refs, and the Charlie Richmond story is something else. Hope the sales go well.

    1. Blogger

      If it is possible, I would love to hear some it. You see, I am in dire need of medication as I am now an incorrigible paranoid, having been originally stung more than half a century ago :>))

      H H

      1. haha.,..ok..I will throw something together soon. But it has been blogged about many times…Cheers. #HH

        1. It would be interesting to hear about refereeing at the lower levels too. I think you have a good bit of experience of them at in those leagues, have you not?

          H H

  2. I know all about the Ref story, or some of it anyway. I know a few refs, ex refs, and the Charlie Richmond story is something else. Hope the sales go well.

    1. Blogger

      If it is possible, I would love to hear some it. You see, I am in dire need of medication as I am now an incorrigible paranoid, having been originally stung more than half a century ago :>))

      H H

      1. haha.,..ok..I will throw something together soon. But it has been blogged about many times…Cheers. #HH

        1. It would be interesting to hear about refereeing at the lower levels too. I think you have a good bit of experience of them at in those leagues, have you not?

          H H

  3. Nice saying that about the only thing worse than etc.
    One of my favourites is “I Hate Rangers for making me hate them”

    1. And I can see where you’re going to with statements like this , brian. Straight to the “bad fire” :>)) See you there!!!

      H H

  4. Nice saying that about the only thing worse than etc.
    One of my favourites is “I Hate Rangers for making me hate them”

    1. And I can see where you’re going to with statements like this , brian. Straight to the “bad fire” :>)) See you there!!!

      H H

  5. JasCam

    I guess Christmas will simply have to be brought forward this year. There is no way I can wait nearly five weeks to read this book. You have sold it to me for sure. I have not read any of Paul’s books which is sinful given the tremendous write ups he receives from all quarters. Maybe I should make it my life’s ambition to remedy this. I would probably just about make it.

    I am sure you have some sort of publication available too. If so, can you let me know about it and how to get it. Hope I am not embarrassing you by getting this wrong.

    H H

    1. Working on a book for the end of the season should be out in paperback and other formats. Some of your comments will be included.#HH

      1. Look forward to it, JasCam. Please, please don’t embarrass me. Just put in sensible stuff.

        H H

    2. Done. Ordered on line as the only kindle I know about is burned on the fire :>)
      The reviews look great so looking forward to getting it.

      H H

  6. JasCam

    I guess Christmas will simply have to be brought forward this year. There is no way I can wait nearly five weeks to read this book. You have sold it to me for sure. I have not read any of Paul’s books which is sinful given the tremendous write ups he receives from all quarters. Maybe I should make it my life’s ambition to remedy this. I would probably just about make it.

    I am sure you have some sort of publication available too. If so, can you let me know about it and how to get it. Hope I am not embarrassing you by getting this wrong.

    H H

    1. Working on a book for the end of the season should be out in paperback and other formats. Some of your comments will be included.#HH

      1. Look forward to it, JasCam. Please, please don’t embarrass me. Just put in sensible stuff.

        H H

    2. Done. Ordered on line as the only kindle I know about is burned on the fire :>)
      The reviews look great so looking forward to getting it.

      H H

  7. My apologies to JasCam as this is his blog but I did promise to reply to McAllister’s post about the Celtic board a couple of days ago. I have been too busy to do anything before today but feel I must not renege on a promise. It may also be fortuitous that since McAllister’s blog, the Celtic board have made a public statement.

    When I read the blog originally, I was wary of a speedy comment in view of the delicacy of the topic and how emotions can uncontrollably confuse the situation. I say this in view of the fact that we indeed did not really have the facts. All that had been written and said was based on individual claims, counter-claims and excuses a lot of which came from sources with specific or personal agendas. To me, and I believe this is a point being made by McAllister, the rights and wrongs of the Green Brigade and the justification or not for their treatment, was and still is not the issue. The question is, as I see it, should the Celtic board remain silent when there is a possibility, distinct or implied, that any part of the Celtic family is at risk or is threatened?

    There are undoubtedly occasions in any organisation when it is inappropriate and perhaps even wrong to make public declarations especially when they could have an adverse or even damaging effect on it. There are times when such a silence is judicious but there are times that demand that what is right and just be protected and injustice challenged. I uphold the position of Celtic if, as they now claim, they have no facts to hand on which to act. I even go as far as to support their stance that their hands are tied until the claims made are substantiated especially since they maintain they will vigorously investigate them once they receive them. I am afraid if no one comes forward and the complaints remain as personal moans, the club can not really be criticised. I must, therefore, recommend that those who are making accusations either speak up or shut up.

    Having said all of that, I now do challenge the Celtic board. It has been fast and furious in its statement now that it feels under fire. Till now the subject of unfair and, perhaps illegal treatment, of fans and one group in particular has not been on their agenda and it appears to me that their angry reactions are more to do with their own dented image than any real concern for others. The statement comes across more as a “leave us alone” appeal rather than a “you got us wrong. We want help” offer. I do not question whether they are telling the truth or simply participating in a mass cover up with police and stewards. All I expect is some consideration for the supporters who are on the receiving end. Only a fool would make stronger packaging for the container than the precious goods inside. Fans are the lifeblood of a football club. That is an indisputable fact writ deep in the very concept of a football club. They should be protected by their clubs with the jealousy of a lover. When there is smoke, clubs should seek to check for fire without being asked. If people in love wait on each other to say “I love you”, it is a relationship which is truly doomed. So must it be in football. Celtic must come to terms with the fact that its supporters expect, not just hope, that the club will provide a protection for fans that is worthy of the love affair that exists between the two. It is the re-active rather than pro-active stance of the Celtic Board that is unsettling and creates suspicion even.

    I agree with many on the internet who are asking that supporters and board put differences aside and work together for the greater good. But I maintain that, for once, the board have to take the lead if they are to rebuild confidence among a goodly number of fans. If a hand is to be stretched out in invitation then that of the Celtic board should be first. Backing and responding the wishes and the needs of the supporters in the public arena would be a start on the road to reconciliation, cooperation and unification.

    H H

  8. My apologies to JasCam as this is his blog but I did promise to reply to McAllister’s post about the Celtic board a couple of days ago. I have been too busy to do anything before today but feel I must not renege on a promise. It may also be fortuitous that since McAllister’s blog, the Celtic board have made a public statement.

    When I read the blog originally, I was wary of a speedy comment in view of the delicacy of the topic and how emotions can uncontrollably confuse the situation. I say this in view of the fact that we indeed did not really have the facts. All that had been written and said was based on individual claims, counter-claims and excuses a lot of which came from sources with specific or personal agendas. To me, and I believe this is a point being made by McAllister, the rights and wrongs of the Green Brigade and the justification or not for their treatment, was and still is not the issue. The question is, as I see it, should the Celtic board remain silent when there is a possibility, distinct or implied, that any part of the Celtic family is at risk or is threatened?

    There are undoubtedly occasions in any organisation when it is inappropriate and perhaps even wrong to make public declarations especially when they could have an adverse or even damaging effect on it. There are times when such a silence is judicious but there are times that demand that what is right and just be protected and injustice challenged. I uphold the position of Celtic if, as they now claim, they have no facts to hand on which to act. I even go as far as to support their stance that their hands are tied until the claims made are substantiated especially since they maintain they will vigorously investigate them once they receive them. I am afraid if no one comes forward and the complaints remain as personal moans, the club can not really be criticised. I must, therefore, recommend that those who are making accusations either speak up or shut up.

    Having said all of that, I now do challenge the Celtic board. It has been fast and furious in its statement now that it feels under fire. Till now the subject of unfair and, perhaps illegal treatment, of fans and one group in particular has not been on their agenda and it appears to me that their angry reactions are more to do with their own dented image than any real concern for others. The statement comes across more as a “leave us alone” appeal rather than a “you got us wrong. We want help” offer. I do not question whether they are telling the truth or simply participating in a mass cover up with police and stewards. All I expect is some consideration for the supporters who are on the receiving end. Only a fool would make stronger packaging for the container than the precious goods inside. Fans are the lifeblood of a football club. That is an indisputable fact writ deep in the very concept of a football club. They should be protected by their clubs with the jealousy of a lover. When there is smoke, clubs should seek to check for fire without being asked. If people in love wait on each other to say “I love you”, it is a relationship which is truly doomed. So must it be in football. Celtic must come to terms with the fact that its supporters expect, not just hope, that the club will provide a protection for fans that is worthy of the love affair that exists between the two. It is the re-active rather than pro-active stance of the Celtic Board that is unsettling and creates suspicion even.

    I agree with many on the internet who are asking that supporters and board put differences aside and work together for the greater good. But I maintain that, for once, the board have to take the lead if they are to rebuild confidence among a goodly number of fans. If a hand is to be stretched out in invitation then that of the Celtic board should be first. Backing and responding the wishes and the needs of the supporters in the public arena would be a start on the road to reconciliation, cooperation and unification.

    H H

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