For us, Fear and Loathing in La Liga is the most comprehensive guideline to the Barcelona/Real Madrid rivalry printed in the English language. And if there’s another source that remotely covers such a twisted, layered epic between two football clubs so all-inclusively out there somewhere, we’ll be astonished that we haven’t come across it yet. Sid Low, through surely unfathomable hours spent on research and interviews, unravels one of the most complex strifes to ever be settled, and then resettled, season after season on a football pitch.
You’d be hard pressed to find another writer so educated in the complete history of El Clásico that isn’t conditioned by the birthright of one of Spain’s many geographically estranging sub-cultures. Because Lowe is English, his objectivity toward one of the world’s best-known rivalries is a refreshingly honest take on false stereotypes, myths, and downright tall tales. The feud between Barcelona and Real Madrid is one polluted by disinformation and heavily seasoned by politics, war, and ethnocentric pretensions. Nevertheless, Lowe has carefully sifted through the discrepancies to bring the audience as much as what’s left of the truth without pointing fingers or condemning any one party. This book is stocked full of stories you haven’t heard before about Spain's big two, complete with accounts of controversial events from both sides of the fence.
Along with Phil Ball’s Morbo, this title is our number one recommended read to friends and colleagues that are interested in the Spanish game. Complete with anecdotes, statistics, and the occasional waft of humor, Lowe’s account, catalogued in over 400 pages, evaporates quickly. Fear and Loathing in La Liga is not only a masters course on El Clásico itself, but a spectrum through sport in which the reader can learn more than their fair share about Spanish sociology and history.