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A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke [Hardcover]

Ronald Reng
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.99
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Book Description

29 Sep 2011

Why does an international footballer with the World at his feet decide to take his own life?

On 10 November 2009 the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was thirty two years old.

Viewed from the outside, Enke had it all. Here was a professional goalkeeper who had played for a string of Europe's top clubs including Jose Mourinho's Benfica and Louis Van Gaal's Barcelona. Enke was destined to be his country's first choice for years to come. But beneath the bright veneer of success lay a darker story.

In A Life Too Short, award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his lost friend's life. Reng brings into sharp relief the specific demands and fears faced by those who play top-level sport. Heartfelt, but never sentimental he tells the universal tragedy of a talented man's struggles against his own demons.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey; English Translation 2011 edition (29 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224091654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224091657
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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)

"Deeply affecting" (Matt Dickinson The Times)

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and evocative tale of tragedy 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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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOVING 22 May 2012
By SKINNER
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing 9 Nov 2011
By PB
Format:Hardcover
This is a great story, moving without becoming too emotional. It really gets inside the life and untimely death of a decent family man who succumbed to depression. Could not stop reading it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Too Short: The Tradegy of Robert Enke 6 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Firstly, I have never written a review, largely because I'm apathetic by nature and have never been compelled to do so. Then I read this book.

Incredibly well written, doesn't matter if you follow german footballers, football in general or even sport. I read this book and read about traits in Robert that I can see in myself as well as others, as I'm sure you will too, you then realise the fine line that many tread daily. This is what makes this book so gripping.

The cover of the book has a review that says "deeply affecting" - nothing could be more accurate. It is affecting - both negatively (it's a sad story!)and positively (exploring mental health and illness) making people aware and talking more freely about mental health - which has to be a good thing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Too Short: The tragedy of Robert Enke 6 Dec 2011
By wicko1
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I remember vividly being unable to sleep during the early morning of November 10th 2009, going downstairs and hearing about Robert Enke's death on Sky Sports News. Having suffered fom some of the symptoms that he felt (but without the public spotlight) I decided to buy the book in the wake of Gary Speed's death last week. This is a fantastic read. Highly emotive, well presented and several notches above most sports books. Thoroughly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad topic brillantly written book
Disturbing true story of a goalkeeper of a top German club and other who was wracked with the fear of failure and the loss of his child. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Jambro
5.0 out of 5 stars More Help needed for others
A sad story of a star goalie, perhaps other players may take heed.
Published 19 days ago by Grenville Millington
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping real-life story, you don't need to know or like football to...
The English translation of this book reads as if it was done by a non-native English speaker, but the story is so strong and powerful that its translation doesn't diminish it in... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Jo
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Hard reading
Published 1 month ago by keith kilgallen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank You
Published 1 month ago by Julie R.
5.0 out of 5 stars The brain is trouble
This story is very sad of people's lives of today and every day it is a great insight as what thisvgoalkeeper life GREAT read Billy shanks belfast ex football scout
Published 1 month ago by William Shanks
5.0 out of 5 stars A life too sad.
This book gives an excellent account of the short,sad life of Robert Enke.Enke was a German national keeper in the 1990's and suffered from depression and a total lack of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by TREVOR
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favour and read this book before the new season starts
An emotionally tough but worthwhile read. Top footballer's lives aren't as easy as we imagine. Highly recommend for anyone interested in sport and mental health.
Published 2 months ago by Kwallity
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a sad story but it has to be read
Again this book had won the William Hill Sports Book prize which I always consider to be a great starting point for me to read. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dibbsy
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart stopping, yet brilliant
What a great guy Robert Enke was, this book just sums him up.

It also brilliantly illustrates the negative characteristics of the current Holland manager, the Barcelona... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Robert Johnson
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