Riot by Appointment

by Appointment

TITLE: AMONG THE THUGS

AUTHOR: BILL BUFORD

PUBLISHER: NORTON; 317 PAGES; $22.95

THE BOTTOM LINE: A chronicle of violence among Britain's soccer hooligans.

The title of Bill Buford's first book is disturbingly apt. The ancient Hindu practitioners of thuggee strangled their victims amid much ritual and in so doing attained a state of religious ecstasy. Surprisingly little direct killing occurs at the hands of Buford's modern-day thugs -- the soccer hooligans of Britain who consecrate their Saturdays to violence. But their battles are ritualistic in their choreographed precision, and the effects on the participants are mind bending as the adrenaline pumps,...

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