Review of 'Out of the Blue'
The Carlton Football Club has a particularly proud history and it is no surprise that a remarkable number of books have been written about the club and its history. Each book is different and they each cover their own particular niche, there is the studious academic work of Lionel Frost’s Old Dark Navy Blues, the old fashioned rigour of Buggy and Bell’s Carlton Story and the rambling colossus of Hansen’s Blue Boys to name a few. In 2009 a new book by Tony De Bolfo adds to the rich tapestry of this club’s written history.
De Bolfo uses his finely tuned journalistic instincts to examine some of the most perplexing and fascinating mysteries of the Blues long history. Whilst there is ample research apparent throughout the book, in particular from the nineteenth century, its great strength in comparison to its contemporaries is that it uses interviews with those who have lived through some of Carlton’s great moments to good effect to flesh out new detail and allow new avenues to be explored. It is something we rarely see these days, good old fashioned investigative journalism.
The book is not a narrative as such; it is a jigsaw of myriad pieces. It is not trying to define the club, but it does do this by showing so many contrasting aspects of the old dark navy blues. There are dozens of mini chapters each conveying a nugget or two of information which will make the reader raise an eyebrow in a renewed and deeper understanding of the Blues.
Pleasantly, not only does the book cover aspects of the clubs earliest years in the 1860s but it also examines some of the important events in the very recent history of the club. The book presents a veritable candy store of new information to Blues Fans to feast upon. Some of the topics covered include, how Carlton lured Barassi from Melbourne, the secrets of the 1987 premiership, the story behind the iconic photo of Jezza’s mark in the 1970 Grand Final, the origins of the club song and some would say the most interesting of all; the story behind the recruitment of Chris Judd.
This is not a stodgy period piece carefully eyeballing the cobwebbed past of a footy club. The book is alive with the stories of what makes the club special. From my own biased view as a life long Blues supporter it was a book that satisfied but also left me wanting more. Perhaps the appetite that was not quite sated was the story of a club with 16 magnificent premierships which then brings an expectation of wanting to read the story about how number 17 is to be achieved. To be continued …..
Out of the Blue
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