In Ronnie O'Sullivan's autobiography, Ronnie
, the language is uncompromising, the subject matter challenging and the approach unflinching. Even in an age when inner demons are considered to be an essential part of a star's entourage, Ronnie O'Sullivan's autobiography is a class apart. Undisputedly the most charismatic talent in the game of snooker, the public's successor to Alex Higgins and Jimmy White in the lineage of gunslinger, wide-boy heroes, O'Sullivan began rewriting the record books as a child prodigy, and reached the summit of his game as world champion in 2001--but all along, his life was falling apart.
Ronnie (written with Guardian journalist Simon Hattenstone) is a stark affirmation for those of us who would believe that there must be more to being a top professional sportsman than simply working hard to develop talent--that there are often dark, elemental forces driving achievers to go beyond the point where most of us would cease to care. Ronnie's relationship with his parents is at the heart of the story, underpinning his struggle for contentment, his descent into depression and addiction. We learn that the tabloid facts--his father ran a string of sex shops, was convicted of killing a man in a fight and sentenced to life imprisonment; later his mother was also imprisoned, for tax evasion--are just the half of it.
The style is confessional without being mawkish, and thankfully, O'Sullivan's brand of openness, particularly when chronicling his periods in therapy (including with former England cricket captain turned psychiatrist Mike Brearley) and at the Priory, is free of the awful self-aggrandisement and "me-isms" that blight the official public accounts of many celebrities.
Ultimately this is a tale of redemption, of a young man dismantled by experience, now putting himself back together. O'Sullivan closes the book looking back to the beginning of his public life, his mid-teens, when he first tied his fortunes to professional snooker. He sees it as a golden era, off and on the baize, a period of personal happiness and sporting success the like of which he at last believes has not been lost forever. --Alex Hankin
RONNIE was serialised in THE SUN for 3 days from 24 - 26 March. Although Ronnie was knocked out of the World Championship in Round One, his maximum 147 break ensured that there was lots of publicity about him around publication.. Ronnie has been interviewed on RADIO 4 MIDWEEK, RADIO 5 FI GLOVER SHOW, RADIO2 STEVE WRIGHT SHOW, TALKSPORT and ONEWORD RADIO on 7th May. HELLO & OK magazines have both put bids in for an 'At Home' with Ronnie and his family, which he is considering at the moment. Ronnie has done the following bookshopsignings:24 April: 12.30pm WHS Sheffield 217 COPIES SOLD7 May: 1pm Waterstone's Leadenhall 180 COPIES SOLD & 6.30pm Borders Oxford St8 May: 1pm BooksEtc Canary Wharf 174 COPIES SOLD & 6.30pm Ottakar's Bromley 100 COPIES SOLD12 May: 12.30pm Waterstone's Gateshead Centre 120 COPIES SOLD & 5pm Borders York 110 COPIES SOLD13 May: 1pm Waterstone's Leeds 130 COPIES SOLD & 5.30pm Waterstone's Manchester 125 COPIES SOLD14 May: 1pm WHS Nottingham 150 COPIES SOLD & 5.30pm Borders Leicester approximately 40 copies sold, which was a lower turnout than expected, but about 150 stock copies signed15 May: 12.30 Hammicks Luton 100 COPIES SOLD & 6.30pm WHS Lakeside 100 COPIES SOLD16 May: 21.30pm Waterstone's Bluewater 70 COPIES SOLD & 4.30pm CostcoWatford 148 COPIES SOLD CONFIRMED PRESS INTERVIEWS: THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY - sports interview 13 AprilTHE INDEPENDENT Brian Viner Sports interview 19 AprilTHE GUARDIAN atricle about Ronnie and the book by Simon Hattenstone in the Sports section on 19 April.THE HERALD - feature interview and cover 19 AprilPA FEATURES - syndicated interview 7th MaySUNDAY POST (DUNDEE) - interview 13 April RONNIE was book of the week on RADIO 5 SIMON MAYO SHOW on 28 April, and Simon Hattenstone was also interviewed about the book on the show on 1st May. Ronnie has been interviewed for the feature 'My Favourite Teacher' in the TES which will run in June. Regional coverage has included:THE WHARF - interviewBELFAST TELEGRAPH - interviewSWINDON EVENING ADVERTISER - interviewDUBLIN DAILY - interviewDERRY JOURNAL - review IRELAND Ronnie is playing a series of exhibition matches in Ireland from 19-23 May and will be interview on RTE's Marion Finucan show on 21st May and will also be signing books at Easens in