I’d a copy of Dan Shanahan’s book for company over the weekend, and while it mightn’t win any Pulitzer prizes for prose, ‘If You Don’t Know Me, Don’t Judge Me’ doesn’t pretend to be anything but The Man’s own words and is all the better for it.
As you’d expect, they’re honest — about his own shortcomings as much as others’ — revealing, humorous, heart-warming, and the last page left me with a genuine lump in my throat. What more could you want? Without spoiling it on you, what really comes across is the camaraderie among the Waterford lads. (And they can relax as Dan has nothing but warm words for the lot of them.)
When reading autobiographies it’s typically the less headline-grabbing bits that have you turning down the corner of a page. The serialised stuff you expect — the “some amount of shit” he got over Justingate (“the biggest mistake of my life”) and his “love-hate relationship” with Davy Fitzgerald — but it’s the enlightening little incidentals that tend to eave a lasting impression.
Take this passage about friendship, the sort unique among team-mates, especially those who’ve so often been to the well together and come away parched.
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