Today Mandie completes her David F. Ross readathon with a review of There’s Only One Danny Garvey. Now, it’s fair to say that neither of us is a football fan (gross understatement) and yet I absolutely loved this book. So many emotions tied up in it and football really is just a backdrop to it all. If you want to know how much I enjoyed it, you can find my review here. Here’s what it’s all about.
About the Book
Danny Garvey was a sixteen-year old footballing prodigy. Professional clubs clamoured to sign him, and a glittering future beckoned.
And yet, his early promise remained unfulfilled, and Danny is back home in the tiny village of Barshaw to manage the struggling junior team he once played for. What’s more, he’s hiding a secret about a tragic night, thirteen years earlier, that changed the course of several lives. There’s only one Danny Garvey, they once chanted … and that’s the problem.
A story of irrational hopes and fevered dreams – of unstoppable passion and unflinching commitment in the face of defeat – There’s Only One Danny Garvey is, above all, an unforgettable tale about finding hope and redemption in the most unexpected of places.
Well, I can honestly say I was not expecting that. There’s Only One Danny Garvey is a book that has football as its central theme but whatever you do, don’t let that put you off from picking up this book if like me you are not a football fan.
Danny Garvey once had a very promising career in football until it all went wrong. Since that time, he has avoided going back home at all costs. That is until someone from both his hometown convinces him to go back and become the manager of the team that started his career. Although he agrees you know that he has a lot of reservations about going back but what you don’t know is why exactly that is.
Danny’s voice is the main one you hear throughout the story as he takes on his new role as manager of Barshaw Bridge and also tackles the demons that are clearly battling inside his head. The chapters are titled after the other main people in his life, and they give different insights into the interactions that take place and also give some of the biggest hints that everything may not be quite as it seems with Danny. Despite everything you still can’t help feeling that he is trying his best and his interactions with Damo (his brother Raymond’s son) show this especially as he tries to find ways to help him.
As much as both Higgy and Raymond are big influences in Danny’s life both then and now I did feel that some of the things they did in the past were actually part of the problem. The need to protect him from certain events may have been more damaging than helpful and shaped the person he became but not necessarily in a good way.
David Ross has a real talent for creating such believable characters in his books, ones that have so many layers that they are perfect in their complexity. His stories describe events, locations and communities that you feel that you could be part of. The book will take you from moments of sadness to ones that will have you smiling as it explores family and secrets. I still don’t understand football mind you but as the title says There’s Only One Danny Garvey and you really all need to meet him.
About the Author
David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.
Books by David F. Ross