Available in paperback, Brilliant Orange is a book about Dutch soccer that's not really about Dutch soccer. If any one thing, Brilliant Orange is about Dutch space, and a people whose unique conception of it has led to some of the most enduring art, the weirdest architecture, and a bizarrely cerebral form of soccer-Total Football-that led in 1974 to a World Cup finals match with arch-rival Germany, and continues with its intricacy and oddity to mystify and delight observers around the world. The cast stretches from anarchists and church painters to rabbis and skinheads, and of course, to Holland's beloved soccer players, whose eccentricities are wryly detailed by David Winner through hilarious anecdotes that call to mind Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. As idiosyncratic as its subject, quirky and provocative, Brilliant Orange reaches out to the reader from an unsuspected place and never lets go. With an introduction by Franklin Foer, author of How Soccer Explains the World.
So far, so good in World Cup 2010: Netherlands 1, Denmark 0.