The Six Degrees of Separation Meme: Fever Pitch

Hosted each month by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest, this meme picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six steps. This month’s starting point is:

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

Now although I adore Hornby, this is a football book, so I’m unlikely to read it although as soccer books go, this is the one I would read if I had to (I wrote about soccer books on my old blog here).

Fever Pitch is about Arsenal, so I thought of a ‘red shirt’ link to Star Trek – but couldn’t make it work.

Then I remembered that Colin Firth starred in the film, so my first link is through him, and another literary adaptation that Colin Firth appeared in was that of Christopher Isherwood’s

1.A Single Man which was directed by Tom Ford. I’ve not seen the film although I want to, nor read the book although it is in my TBR (this will become a refrain this month), and Tom Ford has also directed this literary adaptation…

2. Nocturnal Animals aka Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. – All together now: I’ve not seen the film although I want to, nor read the book, although it is in my TBR.

However Guy Savage reviewed it for Shiny here. This novel concerns a book within the book. The book is called Nocturnal Animals and is written by Tony. Confusingly, they changed the title of the film from the original Tony & Susan to the book inside for the film. So book within a book leads me to:

3. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick – All together now: I’ve not seen the TV series although I want to, nor read the book, although it is in my TBR.

Dick’s novel, which has recently been made into the highly successful TV series is an alt-history story in which Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany won WWII and rule over the USA. In the book lots of people are reading an alt-history book called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy – in it the Allies won WWII.

I am very much looking forward to reading my new Folio Society edition of this book though.


From here, I was tempted to go the alt-history route with SS-GB by Len Deighton which has a lead character called Archer which is the surname of Isabelle in Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady, ending with another Nicole Kidman film adaptation from a book by Michael Cunningham – The Hours in which she played Virginia Woolf.

*** HOWEVER – that would mean a chain full of books I haven’t read – NO!!! ***

Instead – I have taken Grasshopper as my link to:

4. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.

Finally a book I have read (see here) – and adored. This is a novel featuring mutant six feet tall praying mantises. It’s also a very funny and touching YA story.

And I can go from one lot of mutant creatures to another lot:

5. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer – reviewed here.

This is the first in a trilogy of genre-bending eco-thrillers cum SF conspiracy theory horror novels about the goings on in Area X, which abounds with strange creatures:

Then the dolphins breached, and it was almost as vivid a dislocation as that first descent into the Tower. … The something more wrenching occurred. As they slid by, the nearest one rolled slightly to the side, and it stared at me with an eye that did not, in that brief flash, resemble a dolphin eye to me. It was painfully human, almost familiar. In an instant that glimpse was gone and they had submerged again, and I had no way to verify what I had seen.

Annihilation is the first volume in a trilogy (followed by Authority and Acceptance) which leads me to my final linK:

6. The Commitments by Roddy Doyle – reviewed here.

Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy is a comic delight from the first page to the last, chronicling the fortunes of the Rabitte family in Dublin.

  • In the first, The Commitments, Jimmy jr is getting his band together.
  • In the second, The Snapper, twenty year old Sharon is pregnant,
  • In the third, The Van, Jimmy Sr and his best friend Bimbo plan to go into business together with a fish and chip van.

The Van is undoubtedly, IMHO, the jewel of the three, but they are still fresh and hilarious 25yrs after they were originally published. I love these stories.

So, from Nick Hornby to Roddy Doyle via Tom Ford, alt history and a host of mutant creatures!

Where would your six degrees of separation take you?


19 thoughts on “The Six Degrees of Separation Meme: Fever Pitch

  1. Margaret @ BooksPlease says:

    Funny isn’t it how one unread book can lead to others? I have read Tony and Susan, several years ago, which I found compelling reading and strangely enjoyable, if a little drawn out.I thought the inner story was terrifying. I hope you enjoy the book when you get round to it.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Funnily enough, I remember you reading it Margaret! I still have my original copy, so one day….

  2. Kate @ booksaremyfavouriteandbest says:

    Ha ha – I once did a whole chain of books I hadn’t read 🙂 Some bloggers seem to have the idea that you need to have read the books in your chain (no need) – I think you demonstrate perfectly why it isn’t necessary. LOve your last link – I’ve had the most recent Roddy Doyle (The Guts??) sitting on my TBR stack for far too long – you’ve reminded me of it and I’ll move it up the list.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I too have The Guts in my piles. I know you don’t have to have read the books, but I want to have read some of them – you know what I mean. 🙂

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      The TV series (Netflix I think) does have Rufus Sewell in – are you not tempted? I am – just need to make time!

  3. Col says:

    As a football lover I have a different approach to Fever Pitch – I had to read it though it galled to read about Arsenal rather than my beloved Man Utd! The only other one I’ve read is The Commitments – which I liked – but I’m with you on The Van – absolutely hilarious and brilliant and easily the best of the three for me.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      The Van is the biz – and Colm Meaney in the film is also just wondrful. Strangely enough after years of avoiding football books of any kind, I’ve just ordered Ross Raisin’s new one ‘The Natural’ which is about discrimination in the Beautiful Game.

  4. Katy says:

    I acquired a copy of Grasshopper Jungle this week as something of a random purchase, but seeing that you’ve linked it to Annihilation, which I completely adore, makes me excited about reading it.
    I always use books I’ve read for 6 Degrees, but mainly because I still have night terrors about a university seminar on Jude the Obscure when I hadn’t actually read it. (I have since, I feel the need to point out!)
    I enjoyed your links; here’s my 6 Degrees

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Grasshopper Jungle is one of the best YA novels I’ve ever read (and that’s a lot). It’s a coming of age story really – but those mutant creatures are terrifying!

  5. Susan Osborne says:

    This is the third one of these I’ve read this afternoon. I love the way each of you has arrived at an entirely different destination by such diverse routes. I’m not a huge fan of memes but this one is fascinating and not just for the books!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      This is the one meme I’ve clicked with – I love it – and it is fascinating to see everyone’s different paths.

  6. FictionFan says:

    It’s odd, but it never occurs to me to include books I haven’t read – that might make things easier! Or harder… 😉 Great chain – mutant creatures are always fun!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      If we’ve read a book, its title will be probably be more prominent in our minds, don’t you think? I’d say that mutant creaatures are generally scary rather than fun though 😀

  7. Brona says:

    I’m not familiar with many of your books this month, but I also went down a sci fic/fantasy/spec fiction route.

    I do remember the music from the Commitments movie very fondly though 🙂

  8. Beth W says:

    I love that you were able to include two book-within-a-book novels. Very clever! I’m definitely going to have to check out that last trilogy…

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