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A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke Hardcover – 29 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey; English Translation 2011 edition (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224091654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224091657
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Football matters – of course it does. But reading “A Life Too Short” might just change the way you watch the game" (Mark Douglas Journal)

"An intensely moving book that transcends football" (Raphael Honigstein, Guardian)

"Deeply affecting" (Ian Hawkey Sunday Times)

"A tragic book, but a brilliant one. Reng's is one of the best sports books to have been published in years" (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung)

"This is a powerful book which transcends football." (Sport Magazine)

Book Description

Winner of the 2011 William Hill Sports Book of the Year. The biography of Robert Enke, the German goalkeeper who took his own life.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By AshKetchup on 23 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Until he passed away, I'll admit I hadn't really heard of the German international goalkeeper Robert Enke. When I heard there was a book being released about his life I still wasn't that interested, simply because I never really knew the guy, as a player or a man.

I am so glad I ignored any previous misgivings or hesitation I had. This is a must-read book, and not just for football fans either.

Don't worry if you didn't know who Enke was, where he came from or who he played for. It's all covered and in detail too. Author Robert Reng was a friend and had in-depth access to Enke and his wife Teresa as well as Robert's personal diaries. So you know the author has his facts right and it shows in the style the book's written in. At times A Life Too Short reads like a work of fiction, it flows seamlessly from chapter to chapter and is never boring or repetitive. Despite dealing with the difficult subject that is depression, not once does Reng's writing become morbid or depressing itself. In fact the book really helped me to understand just how serious the illness is and how horrible it must be for sufferers. Enke certainly had an interesting life and a very interesting career. The chapter that deals with Enke's match during his time at Barcelona, when the Catalan side faced off against the small Spanish minnows Novelda is simply incredible. It is a harrowing piece of writing, you can literally feel Robert coming apart as the match turned in Novelda's favour.

It's not all negative though. As Robert experiences the highs that come with being a professional footballer, you feel like you're right there with him the entire time. Enke's years in Lisbon with Benfica come to mind, when he embraced the Portuguese culture around him until he felt right at home.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SKINNER on 22 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
FELT COMPELLED TO WRITE MY FIRST EVER REVIEW ON AMAZON . THIS IS WITHOUT DOUBT THE FINEST SPORTS BOOK I`VE EVER READ. MY IGNORANCE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER INITIALLY MADE ME VERY SCEPTICAL OF EVEN STARTING THE BOOK. PAGE BY PAGE IT SEEMED I BECAME A LITTLE BIT MORE AWARE OF AN ILLNESS THAT FOR FAR TOO LONG HAS CARRIED SUCH AN AWFUL STIGMA. IT`S A BOOK THAT MAKES YOU REALISE THAT DEPRESSION HAS NO RESPECT FOR STATUS. THIS YOUNG MAN SEEMINGLY HAD EVERYTHING BEFORE HIS DEPRESSION FIRST CAME ON (A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WIFE, A FANTASTIC CAREER AHEAD OF HIM IN FOOTBALL, RECOGNISED BY HIS PEERS AS ONE OF HIS COUNTRY`S FINEST). THE BRAVERY OF HIS WIFE THROUGHOUT SHINES LIKE A BEACON. MANY LESSER PEOPLE WOULD HAVE FOLDED UNDER THE CONSTANT STRAIN THE ILLNESS THRUST UPON HER. ROBERT ENKE HIMSELF SHOWED TREMENDOUS COURAGE IN TRYING TO COMBAT THE ILLNESS WHICH ULTIMATELY PROVED TOO MUCH. I`VE ALWAYS BELIEVED SUICIDE TO BE A COWARDS WAY OUT BUT THE DARKNESS THAT MUST HAVE ENGULFED HIS MIND LEFT LITTLE ROOM FOR REASON. ANY BOOK THAT CAN CHANGE MY OUTLOOK(STUBBORN AS IT IS) ON A SUBJECT HAS GOT TO BE WORTH A LOOK . I CAN ONLY THANK THE AUTHOR WHO WROTE SUCH A BEAUTIFUL , SENSITIVE AND THOUGHT PROVOKING MASTERPIECE . IMMENSE
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. Kehoe on 26 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A couple of things before i continue

I suffer from depression i have been in hospital because of it and feel that i can add a review of context for this book.
Football is a passion of mine although i have lost some interest due to the money involved.

Having read a lot of books on depression this one spoke out to me the most.The author who was a friend of Robert really does explain the thinking of someone who is depressed,he is helped by the fact that Robert kept a diary of his feelings that he could not express to the world.The book tells the highs and lows of being a proffesional footballer and Robert had plenty of lows but his career was on the up when he took his own life.He had demons of failure he was worried if he told people he was depressed his adopted daughter would be taken away.Robert and his wife had lost their first child due to a heart defect.Through all that he was now the German goalkeeper but that means nothing when you have depression.This book is not sentimenal it just shows that depression can happen to anyone.I would reccomend this book most highly
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Booms on 20 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I remember being aware of Robert Enke when he became Germany's goalkeeper, but knew little else about him until I heard about his death.

The fact that this book won sports book of the year made me notice, and I decided I would read it without knowing what to expect. I am glad I did, although it has effected me in ways I didn't expect.

I will be honest, I have been close to tears on many occassions while reading it, knowing the books end doesn't detract from the hope you feel all the way through that it will somehow be different. It makes you want to go back in time, find him, give him a big hug, and tell him it will all be ok.

If you have children, the chapters about his daughter and her passing I found particularly hard to read, and had to stop a couple of times to avoid crying. There is one photo of Robert holding Lara at the end of the football season that I stared at for some time.

As others have pointed out, the translation on very few occassions doesn't quite work, but this is such a minor detail that it is barely worth mentioning.

The book is a powerful insight, one of huge ups and downs, and I would recommend anyone to read it, it certainly doesn't make a difference if you like football or not. It is a personal story about a man with a talent, but an illness and how he and his family and friends tried to cope, and the eventual terribly sad end.

Read it, but keep tissues close.
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