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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (10 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007281439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007281435
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 111 people found the following review helpful By A. Velautham on 11 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover
We have all read the press and watched the news; the drug allegations, the "I hate tennis". Tennis fans aren't quite sure whether they should feel cheated for all the love and support they have given Andre, to me the book set things straight.

Most of us look back at chapters of our lives and can identify with particularly unhappy periods. Andre kicks off the book with what was going through his head with the match against Baghdatis in the 2006 US Open. It is a blow by blow account of key parts of the match and a thought provoking glimpse into the mind and heart of a tennis player. He then goes straight into his childhood, the discomfort and unhappiness of being the child prodigy son of an obsessive father. There are weirdly honest stories - his grandmother tried to breastfeed him, very disturbing but a revelation of a dysfunctional upbringing. What seems to carry Andre through his childhood are friendships with his brother Phil and Perry who later becomes his manager. The importance of the childhood friendships are critical and from the way they are explained it is easy to understand why these friends are crucial figures for Andre.

The critical friendship is that of his mentor/guide/life coach/surrogate father Gill Reyes. Andre is taken under his wing and treated with the love and respect a father should treat his son, you sense through the stories in the book that now they have met each other neither could really exist happily without the other. His marriage with Brooke Shields is dealt with candidly, many will buy this book to find out what celebrities do behind closed doors. Whereas I did think Brooke appeared superficial from some of the things mentioned here, I think it merely shows how fame affects people differently.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover
Andre Agassi has written a 'tell-all' book about his life in tennis. And, it turns out, he hated tennis. That was a bigger shocker to me than the salacious fact that he was on 'crystal meth' for a year or so. J.R. Moehringer, the author of 'A Tender Bar' and a Pulitzer Prize winner for his writing was a co-author of this autobiography. Andre loved Moehringer's writing in 'The Tender Bar', and he is correct, the man's writing and the book are excellent. This book, too, is very well written and is an exceptional read.

Andre tells us that he started playing tennis at the age of 3 and by the age of 5 he was showing an aptitude for the game. He was pushed by his father-an obsessive man who pushed his son too far and too much. In fact his father felt that education was not necessary and a hindrance to his tennis practice. Andre could never tell his father how much he hated the game because it was Andre's responsibility to help his family, and that is what he did. He left school in the ninth grade, something that has bothered him his entire career. His goal was to achieve in tennis. He was enrolled in the Bollettien tennis camp, but it felt more like a prison than a camp. The academy, in Agassi's words, was "Lord of the Flies with forehands." In retaliation Andre started wearing earrings, grew his hair long and wore loud clothes. Thus his reputation was born. As his career started to flourish, Andre ,tried to keep it all together. He was known as the flamboyant player, the real player. He played the best tennis players in the world, and he was the best. He had an eye for the ball, and the 'tell' of players when they were about to hit the big one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris Miller on 12 Jan 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this book! I read the newspaper serialisations and thought it was awful!!!! it seemed so simplistic and almost childlike - then I read the book itself - it's brilliant. totally gripped me from the start - the fact that this little child hated tennis and was basically forced to play on and on. I've never understood the agassi myth - barbara streisand at wimbledon always seemed so bizare - but this finally makes it make sense. what a roller coaster of a life. what a price sport can take from you. great read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lumpster VINE VOICE on 4 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of sports biogs and this one stands right up there with the best ever - Lance Armstrong's "It's Not About The Bike" - in my opinion. The book got a lot of publicity on the back of Agassi's confessions of drug taking but it really is so much more than that. It is a story of a boy forced to live the ambitions of his father, a childhood dominated by tennis, Agassi's attempts at rebellion, his emergence as a world class tennis player and then subsequent injuries, falls and comebacks. Amid all of this there is huge honesty about friends, family, relationships and himself as a man with frequent twists and turns along the way. I've always likes Andre Agassi but this book shows what a great, generous, fighter he is, with a huge personality in a sport so starved of real characters. I didn't want the book to end but as I put it down, it was fantastic to reflect that by the end of his career, he had finally learnt to love the game he had spent so long hating plus had met his soul mate, Steffi Graf, with whom he genuinely seems so happy and so content. This book comes highly recommended, even if you don't have much of an interest in tennis. Enjoy!
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