Some choice extracts from a Steve Bruce novel

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Bruce – not just a pretty face


Those who like to peruse The Sunday Times with their warm morning croissant might have noticed an intriguing interview with Steve Bruce, in which the Sunderland boss jogged the memory about his brief period as one of the nation’s finest football murder mystery authors.

The Spoiler had either blanked this nugget from living memory, or just never knew. By the sounds of things, not knowing would be a crime in itself.

In the late 1990s and early stages of the fresh millennium, Bruce took the literary world on a wild tecnicolour ride with a hat-trick of releases: “Sweeper!”, “Defender!”, and “Striker!”. All written using the Dan Brown “just say what you see” technique, and all with consistently simple one-word titles followed by an aggressive use of punctuation.

You can read an extract from “Sweeper!” after the jump, in which Bruce meanders from the plot to say a little something about food…

I prepared and ate breakfast. My mother always impressed on me as a lad the importance of a good breakfast. I don’t go the full Monty: I can manage without a pork chop and black pudding. But I like cereals, followed by bacon and eggs. And toast with marmalade. All washed down with tea. That’s the kind of breakfast a man such as me needs.

And, for those who like high tension and drama:

The gun was level with my belly. So this was what it was like to die. There was no doubt I was going to die. And not even in Newcastle. Not even Premier League. In Halifax, of all places, with a club in the third division.

All cracking stuff. Summed up by an Amazon reviewer with these words:

This is a vexing book. On the one hand it is one of the most poorly writen books I have ever read, yet it is hugely satisfying.

Or, as Bruce himself puts it:

“They were the biggest load of crap ever written.”

Have you had the pleasure of a wild crappy ride courtesy of Bruce’s quill? Let us know with a comment.