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Ultra

Narrated by: Adam Bromley
Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Summary

Italy's ultras are the most organised and violent fans in European football. Many groups have evolved into criminal gangs, involved in ticket-touting, drug-dealing and murder. A cross between the Hells Angels and hooligans, they're often the foot-soldiers of the Mafia and have been instrumental in the rise of the far-right. But the purist ultras say that they are insurgents fighting against a police state and modern football. 

Only amongst the ultras, they say, can you find belonging, community and a sacred concept of sport. They champion not just their teams, they say, but their forgotten suburbs and the dispossessed. Through the prism of the ultras Jones crafts a compelling investigation into Italian society and its favourite sport. 

He writes about not just the ultras of some of Italy's biggest clubs - Juventus, Torino, Lazio, Roma and Genoa - but also about its lesser-known ones from Cosenza and Catania. He examines the sinister side of football fandom, with its violence and political extremism, but also admires the passion, wit, solidarity and style of a fascinating and contradictory subculture.

©2019 Tobias Jones (P)2019 Head of Zeus

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Dull

I loved - the dark heart of Italy- but this book just never managed to engage me in any way. Its just dull. I'm a football fan and as a teenager in the 70s so the the worst for a year, before I realised it wasn't for me. so I've got an idea of how the uk ultra like fans may have been. Perhaps if I'd had any interest in the minuti of Italian football it might of meant something. Such a shama as I was looking forward to it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

And I thought Ultras were just hardcore Italian fans..

As the author highlights this is not a book about football - but he provides a remarkable explanation of how deeply Ultras are embedded into Italian society. The Roman equivalent of Green Street this is not! Depressingly, menace and violence is never more than a few seconds away- and this is a very long book - but throw in political extremism of all types, racism, religion and (less frequently) morality and you get an idea of the depth of this book. Absolutely remarkable - so comprehensive and well researched. The length of the book is a challenge but Tobias continues to add so much “evidence” that reinforces his explanation as to how embedded Ultras are in Italian society. Hardcore fans they may be - but football is presented as being incidental rather than integral! Frankly - good luck Italy, your challenges run deep! Great achievement from Tobias, well narrated by Adam.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ME
  • 10-09-20

Ultra

Great read for fans of football, Italy and European politics. Great follow to dark heart of Italy (another Jones book)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting insight into the Ultra world

Well narrated insight into the Ultra world on and off the terraces and around the cities in Italy.