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MR Nastase the Autobioiography [Paperback]

Ilie Nastase
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Aug 2009
The amazing life story of the enfant terrible of tennis in the 1970s and 80s - winner of two Grand Slam titles, three Grand Slam doubles titles and twice a Wimbledon finalist. It is not an overstatement to say that Ilie Nastase was in part responsible for the explosion of interest in tennis in the seventies. Thanks to his success, his lifestyle, his sex appeal and the controversy that continually surrounded him, Nastase's name was recognisable far beyond the confines of tennis. Yet, he also had a dark side and he regularly got himself into trouble with umpires and spectators alike. His court-side tantrums and manic questioning of line calls could spiral out of control and, all too often, he found himself fined and disqualified - and making the next day's front pages. Bjorn Borg had great difficulty adjusting to life after retirement and lost vast amounts of money, while the late Vitas Gerulaitis had a major cocaine problem. Ilie reveals how he helped both of them at a time when their problems were taking a huge toll on their personal lives. He also provides opinions and anecdotes on a host of other characters, including John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe, Henri Leconte, Yannick Noah, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. As a result of his celebrity status, Nastase moved amongst the beautiful people. His book recalls some of his more memorable encounters and experiences, including dancing the night away in New York's Studio 54 and Castel in Paris with the likes of Bianca Jagger and Claudia Cardinale, and bedding some of the world's most desirable women (an Italian countess and a former Miss UK are among his conquests). For the many sports fans who followed tennis and followed his career, his stories behind the varied headline-grabbing outbursts will prove fascinating and irresistible.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (1 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007336977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007336975
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 633,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Full of rollicking anecdotes…a splendid book’ Mail on Sunday

From the Publisher

It is not an overstatement to say that Ilie Nastase was in part responsible for the explosion of interest in tennis in the seventies. Thanks to his success, his lifestyle, his sex appeal and the controversy that continually surrounded him, Nastase's name was recognisable far beyond the confines of tennis.

Yet, he also had a dark side and he regularly got himself into trouble with umpires and spectators alike. His court-side tantrums and manic questioning of line calls could spiral out of control and, all too often, he found himself fined and disqualified – and making the next day's front pages.

Bjorn Borg had great difficulty adjusting to life after retirement and lost vast amounts of money, while the late Vitas Gerulaitis had a major cocaine problem. Ilie reveals how he helped both of them at a time when their problems were taking a huge toll of their personal lives. He also provides opinions and anecdotes on a host of other characters, including John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe, Henri Leconte, Yannick Noah, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

As a result of his celebrity status, Nastase moved amongst the beautiful people. His book recalls some of his more memorable encounters and experiences, including dancing the night away in New York's Studio 54 and Castel in Paris with the likes of Bianca Jagger and Claudia Cardinale, and bedding some of the world's most desirable women (an Italian countess and a former Miss UK are among his conquests).

For the many sports fans who followed tennis and followed his career, his stories behind the varied headline-grabbing outbursts will prove fascinating and irresistible. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hugely entertaining autobiography 27 May 2009
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I remember watching TV in the seventies, seeing Ilie Nastase's matches at Wimbledon. Ilie was definitely one of the most interesting players to watch, as we never knew what he was going to do next. Reading his autobiography, it is clear that even Ilie never knew either. He played tennis for the pure enjoyment of it and wasn't that bothered about the money, so sometimes he got angry on court while at other times he laughed and joked.

In this book, Ilie tells us about some of the disputes he had with officials, admitting that he was sometimes at fault but not always, especially pointing to two episodes where umpires were blamed. In a match where Ilie's opponent was John McEnroe, the umpire was changed during the match because the first umpire had clearly lost control. Ilie also discusses some of his matches against Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors (with whom he won some top doubles titles), Bjorn Borg, Vitas Gerulaitis, Arthur Ashe and others. Perhaps the funniest on-court incident concerns a black cat. Ilie knew that one of his opponents in a forthcoming doubles match was very superstitious about black cats and smuggled a black cat onto court concealed in his tennis bag, releasing the cat early in the match, which he and his partner won very easily.

The book is by no means limited to Ilie's career as a tennis player as it also covers his childhood, his womanizing, his three marriages, his four children (two of them adopted), his attempt to become mayor of Bucharest (which he looked certain to win at one stage but ultimately lost narrowly) and so much more. Ilie was particularly shocked by the deaths of Vitas Gerulaitis (from gas poisoning caused by a faulty heating system) and Arthur Ashe (from AIDS caused by infected blood).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nasty is back! 19 Jan 2005
Format:Hardcover
If I'm not missing any, this is the fourth book published about the charismatic and controversial Ilie Nastase (two of which were published in France). This speaks volumes for the popularity enjoyed by this genius of tennis.
Nastase is one of the reasons tennis became so hugely popular back in the 1970s. His talent and personality brought millions of new fans to the game. His combined singles titles (57) and doubles (51) of Grand Prix, WCT and ATP sanctioned tournaments of Open Tennis (since 1968) is only surpassed by John McEnroe - no coincidence here since they are the two greatest natural talents seen in tennis. His Davis Cup record is also phenomenal, playing and winning more matches than anybody else, except Nikki Pietrangeli. Contrary to some erroneous assumptions made by another reviewer, Nastase never left Romania. He did not need to do so, since he was allowed to keep all his earnings. This was part of the deal made with the Romanian Communist authorities, in return for his free and unconditional availability of playing Davis Cup matches.
Reading the book I discovered with great surprise and regret that he is not yet a member of the Wimbledon All England Club. After all, this is the guy that won three Wimbledon doubles titles and played in other two singles finals (the one from 1972 is still regarded as one of the most beautiful and memorable ever played at Wimbledon!). Last but not least, he is the one that saved Wimbledon in 1973 when almost all of the big names boycotted the tournament. I sincerely believe is still not too late for Wimbledon to rectify this injustice.
Finally, I would like to recommend in addition to this wonderful book another excellent one on Nastase. This one, by Richard Evans, was published in the 1977 in USA under "Nasty: Ilie Nastase vs. Tennis" and in England under "Nastase". Any of these and "Mr. Nastase" would certainly make any Nastase fan very, very happy!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nasty - but Nice 28 Aug 2005
By Mr. D. Clark VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Before John McEnroe, there was Ilie Nastase. A divinely gifted tennis player, whose temper, it seemed at the time, was always simmering, and ready to burst past boiling point at any given occasion. Like the man himself, his story is quite complex, but warm, emotional, and never less than interesting.
If you've grown up in the Sampras era, then its worth you reading this just to find out what the world of tennis was like in a time when touch and skill were always more effective than sheer power. Nastase tells it like it was, growing up through the communist system in Romania, his early days as the junior partner to Ion Tiriac, and then the glory days of his wins in the French and US Opens in 1972-3, and the heartache of his loss to Stan Smith in the 1972 Wimbledon finals, probably one of the greatest finals ever.
This is something of a warts and all portrait. Nasty doesn't ram his sexual antics down your throat in the way that the two recent George Best autos have, but he doesn't spare his own feelings at all, and gives an honest account of the rocky paths of his first two marriages. All in all he comes across as having far more to him than the petulant flamboyance of his Grand Slam days, or the engaging clowning of the Seniors Tour.
Above all else, there is the tennis. If you even so much as like tennis, you'll find much to enjoy here. Some of the greatest players emerge as interesting characters in Nasty's story - the great Arthur Ashe, the super cool Swede Bjorn Borg, whom Nastase dubs 'the Martian' , the sublimely gifted McEnroe, and the gutsy street fighter Connors.
Its not necessarily the best sporting autobiography you'll ever read, but its certainly not the worst either. It maybe not a great great read in the way that McEnroe's autobiography is, but its good, and if you have any interest in tennis, then its well worth reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor
Was big fan of Nastase but disappointed with the book. Maybe it has got 'lost in translation'? Content poor and didn't learn much about the man himself. Read more
Published 10 months ago by T E Bowen
5.0 out of 5 stars All our yesterdays - great memories
Nastase was the original entertainer and bad boy of tennis. He lifted the profile of tennis in the early 70s with his great tennis combined to his explosive and colourful... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ian Gibson
3.0 out of 5 stars Mr Nastase -Just A Pussy Cat?
This book was ok spent a lot of timne talking about his matches and giving all the scores in the matches he won which I found very boring and time consuming. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Suzydoll
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
If you love tennis then this is the book for you. Even though Ilie was playing his best tennis quite a few years ago he still has the power to hold your attention . Read more
Published 19 months ago by Gilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story from a great guy
As someone who personally knows 'Mr. Nastase', this autobiography brings out the man that he really is - witty, good fun and sometimes nasty.
Published 23 months ago by Thumper
4.0 out of 5 stars A life worth reading about
This book is an honest account of very interesting tennis player. And not just a tennisplayer: clown, womanizer, politician etc. Good read.
Published on 25 Jan 2012 by WC_Wingfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful autobiography by this very great tennis player
Nastase was one of the stars of tennis in the 60's and 70's and still plays today in doubles as a veteran, quite often with his long-time partner Jimmy Connors - together they had... Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2011 by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars mr nasty
'Mr Nastase' is an enthralling account of Ilie Nastase's life during the Iron Curtain, and his journey from a poverty-riden Romania to his ultimate freedom in pursuing his dream:... Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2004
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