“As the story proceeds, we learn such choice morsels of cultural history as the fact that the first American football game was between what is now Princeton University and Rutgers and, of course, much about the history of soccer. What we also learn about is fair play, both on the playing field and off (The book, by the way, is aptly titled, both because a detailed understanding of soccer’s off side rule plays a key role in the apprehension of the bad guy, and because many of the characters in the story were, indeed, “off sides”. Also, the ethical sophistication of the rule itself is shown to be a surprisingly meaningful object lesson.).
“The story has the weakness that the hero, like Harry Potter, is a bit too good to be true. Nevertheless, I gave the book 5 stars because the author is a first time mystery writer, and also because he took the trouble to understand the details of the complicated finance that underpinned the mortgage bubble.”
“Think about including … in your … soccer dad’s stocking this Holiday season …”
“Witty and frank, Offside is an intriguing mystery with a solid in-depth base of history, politics, pop culture, and, of course, soccer. Soccer seemed to be the central theme, and why wouldn’t it? It’s vital to Latino culture. But not being a sport buff, it was a little much and a tad confusing at times.
“Barrett paints a true landscape of the SoCal scene and he does so with such brutal finesse. The Mexican cultural references and historical facts were a great value and only enhanced the Latino awareness.
“Although slow at capturing my interest, the book illustrates the writer’s impressive skills. He cleverly explores poverty, racism, and other socio-economical issues that Latinos face today. It’s enlightening and thought-provoking. The book is almost suitable for a Chicano Studies class; portions of it can be printed in textbooks. The story, however, was not as great. I felt like I was waiting for the mystery. Also, the variety of characters made it hard to keep track of the story.
“It was evident that the author had vast experience and knowledge in police protocol, government, politics, pop culture, and sports, but I felt that it all depleted the energy from the story. Overall, this was an okay first novel.”
–Celia on Livin’ La Vida Latina (a Latina book club), Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble
Comments and Reviews
Comments and Reviews
“Very good read”
“A highly accomplished debut novel”
“Insightful book on many interesting topics as well as a good novel”
“Great start for the novel. As a soccer referee myself, I found a lot to like with regards to the characters and the situation in general. Learned a lot of historical and architectural factoids from the book as well. The main character is affable, and quite believable in the context of the story (southern California, around 2006, during the buildup of housing bubble). So many good references to soccer, the housing market and the locales.
“If I were to nitpick, my two comments to the author are that sometimes the story takes a long tangent in explaining one of these sidebars and when we come back to the main story it takes a little bit to reacquaint myself to what was going on. The second is that I would have loved to get more detail into how the ending takes place. I loved the conclusion, but it would have been even better to get slightly more detail as to how things resolved themselves as well as an epilogue of sorts. Still, I am giving it a solid 5 stars because it was a great read.”
–YetAnotherSoccerRef blog on Amazon.com
“Writer suffered from Offside Trap”
“Spent too much time on diversions from primary mystery.”
–Sunbeamdon on Amazon.com