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Rafa: My Story [Hardcover]

Rafael Nadal , John Carlin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Aug 2011

No tennis player since Andre Agassi has captivated the world like Rafael Nadal. He's a rarity in today's sporting arena - a true sportsman who chooses to let his raw talent, dedication and humility define him. Rapidly closing in on his friend and rival Roger Federer's record haul of 16 grand slam victories, Nadal is an extraordinary competitor whose ferocity on court is made even more remarkable by his grace off it.

This book takes us to the heart of Nadal's childhood, his growth as a player, and his incredible career. It includes memorable highs and lows, from victory in the 2008 Wimbledon final - a match that John McEnroe called the 'greatest game of tennis ever played' - to the injury problems that have frequently threatened his dominance of the sport, to becoming the youngest player of the open era to complete a career Grand Slam in 2010. It transports us from Nadal's lifelong home on the island of Majorca to the locker room of Centre Court as he describes in detail the pressures of competing in the greatest tournament in the world. It offers a glimpse behind the racquet to learn what really makes this intensely private person - who has never before talked about his home life - tick. And it provides us with a story that is personal, revealing and every bit as exciting as Nadal himself.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (18 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847445144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847445148
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.4 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Rafa: My Story is a terrific sporting memoir, full of memorable anecdotes and stamped with the authority of a ghostwriter who earned the complete trust of his subject. It is hard to imagine how Nadal could have done any more to get the best out of his own raw material. And it is to Carlin's enourmous credit that the book is a true reflection of the man, in every sense (Ed Smith New Statesman)

Between them they have served up a winner (Simon Redfern Independent)

Take a glimpse behind the curtain of both his private and professional life - it's as exciting as Rafa himself (Woman's Own) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

* Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.

* Fascinating insight into the making of a champion.

* First ever look into the life of a charismatic yet intensely private man.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rafael - Laid Bare 21 Aug 2011
This really is Rafael Nadal laid bare and with total honesty by himself, his family, friends and confidantes. As autobiographies go, this is my favourite and easiest read so far, and I have read some good ones so far. I guess it helps that I am a massive Rafa fan, but everything in the book smacks of total honesty, of absolute truth to the point of embarrassment, to just plain telling it like it is. It shows us how Rafa was brought up in the loving cocoon of his family, pushed to breaking point by Uncle Toni, how he shaped him, how Rafa flourished and grew as the most awesome tennis player we see today. Aside from all that, as if we need it, there are some great photos of him and his family and extended family. A truly great read if ever there was one, and the only book book I've bought since I got my kindle!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REAL INSIGHT INTO WHAT MAKES RAFA TICK. 24 Aug 2011
I was eagerly awaiting Rafa's autobiography and pre-ordered it months ago, it was well worth the wait. I really enjoyed it and I read it in one weekend as I couldn't put it down, it's a real page turner!

It gives a real insight into what makes Rafa tick, it's very honest, inspiring and really interesting; I've been a fan of Rafa's for 6 years and I admire him even more after reading this book.

The book is really well written and each chapter has 2 sections, the 1st written by Rafa and the 2nd by John Carlin with more info and insights. I especially like the way he describes Rafa as "Clark Kent and Superman" and reveals that Rafa has fears and insecurites (as most of us do & can relate to) but the way he conquers them and has achieved all he has is a real inspiration. I also love the inclusion of Rafa's family giving more inights about his personality.

There are 16 pages of colour photos in it ranging from when Rafa was a child to his US Open win last year.

A great book, Rafa fans will love it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for tennis and sports fans alike 1 Sep 2011
By Debbie
A revealing insight to one of the greatest players of the game, Rafa speaks candidly about injury, family, friends and what went through his mind during that epic Wimbledon 08 final, and all captured beautifully by John Carlin. When reading the book you feel that Rafa is sitting beside you telling you his story, you become engrossed in the highs and lows of his career and the impact Uncle Toni has had, particularly in the early years. For me as an avid Rafa fan the importance of family to him was well known, how they have shaped him to be the person he is and how he remains so grounded simply because of those around him is fascinating. John Carlin also brings an added dimension to the book speaking to those closest to Rafa, this being his parents, sister, girlfriend and extended family who each individually talk about one of most famous men on the planet but see him simply as a son, brother, boyfriend, nephew or grandchild. Rafa also speaks about his team who travels with him and importance they play not only in his tennis career but in keeping him sane when travelling the world. A must read for any tennis or sports fan, Rafa My Story is beautifully written and full of gems, I was genuinely sad to come to the end of this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for Rafa fans. 25 Aug 2011
By Patmac
A wonderful and long awaited insight into the life of this sporting genius. It reinforces the humility he shows both on and off the court as well as cataloging his aims, values and what makes him tick. The honesty from both Rafa and his family members and friends is refreshing. An excellent account of his career so far and his hopes, fears and aims for the future. Worth every penny and some lovely photograhs as well. Enjoy !!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK BY A GREAT SPORTSMAN. 6 Sep 2011
By Melody
I love Rafa's story, it's honest, interesting and enjoyable to the point of not being able to stop reading until I'd finished it. Yes, I read it in one sitting and am hoping for a sequil! I'm also reading this again now!

I'm a huge Rafa fan but I think any tennis fan would enjoy reading this as would any sports fan.

I do tend to buy anything Rafa related and read anything Rafa related (I did say I'm a huge fan!) but don't let that put you off if you're not such a big fan of his because I'm sure any tennis or sports fan or ametaur player would be interested and motivated to read Rafa's story, his highs and lows and his determination to overcome setbacks is very inspiring as is the fact that he's genuine and considerate person, it shows you don't have to smash rackets and be rude to people to be successful, he's a great example for young kids starting out in tennis or other sports, they couldn't have a better role model or hero to look up to and emulate.

Other fans of Rafa's would also enjoy The Poetry of Passion (for People with a Pulse) which contains lots of poems about him (in the very long chapter called "A Fan's Feelings") I also read that in one sitting and keep re-reading it!) also the DVD of the Wimbledon 2008 final which Rafa talks about in his book Wimbledon The 2008 Mens Final - Nadal vs Federer: Rafael Nadal's Triumph at Twilight [DVD] A must for Rafa fans.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! 25 Aug 2011
By Jinx
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
** spoiler alert ** As a huge Rafa fan this was interesting to read, mainly for the indepth match analysis he gives for the 2008 Wimbledon final. I am sure many people watch these big matches and wonder what is going through the players minds during a massive occasion like that and here we have one of the biggest players ever giving us a blow by blow account.
There are definitely no big revelations, I knew all the stories he referred to in here, from the eating too many chocolate croissants, having special shoes designed to uncle Toni telling him he could make it rain, so if you're a long time Rafa fan who follows him closely you're not going to learn anything new from this at all.
The only thing that did surprise me was the level at which he discussed Toni's strictness, again I have known about the water bottle thing for a while, as well as the restaurant/trouser incident but it was different reading it from Rafa's perspective and it comes across that Rafa is in no doubt that Toni's behaviour helped to mould him into the player he is today, along with his very supportive parents.
Overall a good read with some interesting point of view information but not the warts and all kind of book that Agassi gave us, which is actually not what a Rafa fan should expect anyway. :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it, love him.
Published 1 month ago by Patsyann Weedon
5.0 out of 5 stars Rafs
Enjoyable gift for a friend
Published 1 month ago by Sue Challis
5.0 out of 5 stars Rafa the greatest.
Good balance between personal life outside of tennis and innermost thoughts of the battle required to win through on court.Excellant read, a must for any tennis fan.
Published 2 months ago by robert walker
5.0 out of 5 stars A most enjoyable well written honest book
Being an ardent rafa fan I really enjoyed his autobigraphy. It was well written and even if you were not a tennis fan you would find it ejoyable. Read more
Published 3 months ago by morag knox
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Really interesting - switching between his past life and his Wimbledon match with Federer. A good balance between the personal and the technical.
Published 5 months ago by Mrs P
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read.
This book gives a great insight into what drives Rafa to be such a great tennis player.The importance of having such a close family is shown to be one of the reasons that... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gary Ash
5.0 out of 5 stars very personal and informative biography on a great tennis player
This book gives a real insight into the young Rafa and the commitment he needed to give (and give up) from a very early age to get to where he is right now. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lynda P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In my opinion, Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Witchflake
1.0 out of 5 stars Rafa
I love Rafa but I dont love this book. I bought it for my tennis player boyfriend with whom we split up some weeks after the purchase.
Published 6 months ago by AndrosHerb
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thought-provoking insight
Rafael Nadal has always seemed unusual, both as a tennis player and as a human being, and his book gives a fascinating insight into what makes him tick. Read more
Published 6 months ago by jannert
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