“ Author: Bruno Vincent / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 10 May 2012 / Genre: Humour / Subcategory: Parodies & Spoofs / Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group / Title: The Secret Diary of Mario Balotelli / ISBN 13: 9780751549560 / ISBN 10: 0751549560 „
If you're not into football, or haven't consumed any news for the last few years, then you might not have heard of Mario Balotelli, but I doubt it! More than just a footballer, he was and is a one man headline maker who used to play for Manchester City (for a woefully short amount of time) but now plays back in his native Italy.
The headlines he used to create were of the sort that not even the most imaginative gutter press journalist could have invented - the fireworks in the bathroom, paying for everyone's' petrol at a garage, going into a school to confront the bully of a young City fan, walking into a womans prison just to see what it was like, handing out high fives and five pound notes to people wearing City tops in Moss Side - the list goes on.
What this (entirely made up) diary attempts to do is offer a version of some of these events from Mario's viewpoint, with a heavy dose of comedy and the absurd antics for which he is known. It is entirely unofficial and unendorsed by Balotelli, but I feel that is to the book's benefit as it gives the author a free hand to ramp up the bizarre antics that Mario gets up to and squeeze as much comedy as possible from the situations.
I particularly enjoyed the relationship Mario has with his agent Gerry, and found it easy to imagine poor Gerry suffering as Mario goes from one prank to another. The appearance of Silvio Berlusconi was highly amusing, as was Mario's incident with Blackpool Tower.
If I was to be picky, I'd say that 212 pages is too short as it only took me 2 hours to read, but it was a very funny 2 hours. I won't reveal the ending, but it's got Super Mario written all over it , and quite honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if it actually did happen one day.
I would recommend this to anyone who finds Mario's real life antics amusing, and of course to City fans - it should be on your bookshelf alongside Highs, Lows & Chicken Balti Pies and Kinkladze: The Perfect 10. Also, if you like amusing diary style books, for example like the Adrian Mole series, you might find this worth a look.
Five stars, thanks for reading.