This is an interesting little book. I bought it because I love football and I am more than a little interested in the history of the Soviet Union. Not I might point out through any deep seated desire to see the resurrection of the ‘Evil Empire’ but just because it is so fascinating. But that’s enough about my obsession with the murky past of the USSR.
Riordan claims to have played two games for the great Spartak Moscow during the early sixties. Some have poured scorn on his claim, but I’m going to stay on the hedge on the issue. One of my favourite books, Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra is one of those for which claims have been made and questioned about its links to reality. There is the odd bit of historical inaccuracy, such as towards the end when the author mixes the Taylor Report with the Popplewell Report in the aftermath of the Bradford City Stadium fire. Ultimately though, Comrade Jim is an enjoyable way to pass a few nights ticked up in bed.
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