Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorpey - a hero in more ways than one
I remember watching Ian Thorpe on tv when he competed in the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Even then, aged 15, it was clear that this guy was something special. Two years later, I again sat glued in front of my tv as Ian, dressed in what would become the iconic black full body suit, dazzled people around the world with his phenomenal swimming technique and grace as he went on...
Published 17 months ago by Fran

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating
A sense of sadness on finishing this book. Perhaps the tale of a career in decline is bound to be harder to sustain than that of a career in the ascendant. Thorpe is a man of prodigious sporting talent, and energy, founding a charity when he was just 18, but his has also been a life fraught with challenges (he's still only 30). Unfairly accused of drug use despite being...
Published 11 months ago by David Gladwell


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorpey - a hero in more ways than one, 6 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I remember watching Ian Thorpe on tv when he competed in the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Even then, aged 15, it was clear that this guy was something special. Two years later, I again sat glued in front of my tv as Ian, dressed in what would become the iconic black full body suit, dazzled people around the world with his phenomenal swimming technique and grace as he went on to win 3 Olympic gold medals. 4 years later in Athens, despite increased media scrutiny and a difficult time Olympic trials, he seemed to pick up from where he left off to win a further 2 Olympic golds, and become Austarlia's most successful ever Olympian.

If any of that info is a surprise to you, then you're really going to be taken aback by this book. Ian's accomplishments were and still are staggering, and he's definitely the best technical swimmer I have ever seen. He's like a merman; the way he moves through the water is poetry in motion. Fortunately, he tries to articulate this in the pages of 'This Is Me' to explain how he fell in love with the sport, and why he chose to come back.

However, it hasn't always been plain sailing for Ian. That was clear when he retired in 2006. It seemed too early, and yet sort of inevitable. He'd been worn down and I think he was physically and emotionally spent. In spite of his acheivements, many seemed to unfairly criticise him. I'm still not sure why this has been the case, as I personaly feel that he has always come across as a thoroughly genuine and sincere individual. I think some of it is tall-poppy syndrome, and I think a lot of people have sadly overlooked Ian's past triumphs and accolades by unfairly drawing comparisons between him and Michael Phelps. I don't feel that a comparison is right or fair, and I hope that this book will remind those that read it, or inform those who don't remember Ian's early career, of just how important he was for the sport.

What I didn't expect from 'This Is Me' was one of the later revelations in the book. I had no idea that Ian was battling personal demons, and had been from the very first moment I saw him swim on tv. As a young person who has battled similar issues, I could completely relate to the feelings that Ian describes in the latter stages of this book, and understand how difficult and , at times, embarrassing it feels to speak out. I have a new found respect for Ian - not simply as a swimmer, but as a human being.

If you didn't know anything about him prior to his BBC stint for the London 2012 games, you should prepare yourself for a lot of swimming talk in this book. (Seems obvious to say but I bet some of you will be surprised!) However, his descriptions are truly beautiful and emotive, enabling readers to connect with him, even if we can't relate directly to his experience of his sport. He's open and honest about his career and his views - from religion, to politics and other things beside. You get an idea of what makes him tick and it's very insightful. He's a truly remarkable man.

But more than that, you get a glimpse of just how much he's endured, and what he's still prepared to put himself through for one thing - his love of swimming. I for one am so glad that he's fallen in love with his sport again. I salute you, Thorpey!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, 27 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A sense of sadness on finishing this book. Perhaps the tale of a career in decline is bound to be harder to sustain than that of a career in the ascendant. Thorpe is a man of prodigious sporting talent, and energy, founding a charity when he was just 18, but his has also been a life fraught with challenges (he's still only 30). Unfairly accused of drug use despite being an ardent campaigner against drugs in sport, hounded over allegations about his sexuality and relentlessly scrutinized by predatory journalists throughout his career - pressure which eventually contributed to his taking a retirement from which he has now emerged. And it is this re-emergence which forms the substance of the book. But alongside athletic success Thorpe suffered from depression, something he kept secret from the public, even from his family, instead seeking comfort in alcohol.
The book is subtitled `This is Me', and it is what drives him, what sustains him, which would be really interesting. Instead the central section of the book is a rather bland catalogue of training and competitions. It is sadly only in the opening sections and in his final (courageous) admission of his depression that we get something of the person, of `me', which is more of a pity because he's a complex and attractive individual. Perhaps he felt he'd opened up enough. The resulting auto/biography is interesting, if ultimately frustrating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FYI, not a Tell-All but a wonderful book!, 19 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you are in any way a fan of Ian Thorpe or swimming I would recommend this book. If you are looking for a juicy salacious tell-all, this is not it. Also, you cannot really read this without knowing anything about swimming or his career, but then I doubt you would be interested. However, if you are, just read his wiki page and that should be sufficient.

The book is organized in a diary format in the year leading up to the Olympics. Each entry starts in the present-day struggle to earn a spot on the Aussie Olympic team, and then it reverts back to past memories or his personal ideas or beliefs on issues. The flashbacks are not in chronological order which I suppose is true to how a person looks back on past events, but it can be a little confusing at times. It's easier to read if you take each chapter at a time and don't try to organize it in your head like I did. The transitions from the present day to past events made me keenly aware that this was written by two writers. I imagine Ian kept a diary, and then very separately wrote about past events and the professional writer put it all together and published it in three months. So, like so many books now, it was rushed, and while clearly very edited, there are some grammatical errors and a lack of fluidity. This is why it lost a star for me. Either keep it real and rough, the way a diary is written, or make it perfectly professional. This was very much in between the two.

I will say the honesty throughout is really refreshing. You get a very good sense of what it must have been like to be a a champion at such a young age and the pressures he has lived with all these years and again with his comeback. He clearly is a very sensitive and private person and, as a long-time fan, this is his most revealing project. This might be the first time we get a real sense of who he his. The problem, of course, is he still is that private person. Unlike many other athletes's memoirs, some private issues are addressed but still glazed over or kept vague. I am not really holding the book against it, but it's important to know if you read a lot of autobiographies. I would not call it a tell-all. The exception I would say is the now famous excerpt on depression. This was very raw and honest and deserves the attention it is receiving.

~The following is truly personal opinion that did not factor into my review.

He's gets annoyed but not angry, happy but not overjoyed. The anxiety seems to be the strongest emotion he feels in his comeback, and overall I was left with a feeling of sadness, which I can't completely explain. It is extremely rare that a very shy, sensitive person would become a famous athlete. This I think it what made him and continues to make him so interesting. However, those personality traits are disastrous combined with massive media attention and scrutiny. You receive a huge sense of this in the book. We are told he found the joy in swimming again, but there is not a lot of joy in this book. There is clearly still a Part II to his life which he hasn't even begun, and I hope he finds more happiness there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read, 16 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: This is Me: The Autobiography (Paperback)
really enjoyed this book,didn't realise what went on behind the swimming and how intruding life can be from the out side.defo recommend
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars If your a fan . Still a must read !, 7 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: This is Me: The Autobiography (Paperback)
Quite interesting to read about his career , but wanted to hear more about his struggles with depression and alcohol abuse , to help inspire those that have experienced the same illness .
Maybe there's more to come like ' gazzas demons ' .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 9 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: This is Me: The Autobiography (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book, it was very interesting to read about someone on top of their game coming back to challenge only themselves. I actually felt like Thorpe got lot off his chest and revealed more about himself than I had anticipated. Very humble and nice guy, which is portrayed well in sometimes a sad way
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Made a great present, 30 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for my friend, she's a huge fan of Ian Thorpe. Would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys autobiographies.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 20 Jan 2013
I would recommend this book to everyone. Honest and forthright especially about his struggle with depression and the intense media pressure. True Olympic champion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Honest about not fitting in, 6 Dec 2012
I have always admired Ian Thorpe from a young age and so you can imagine the excitement when it was announced he would be writing a book.

Not only did I find the details about his training regime and dedication to his sport interesting but the complete honesty about other areas of his life made me idolise him even more.

I related to this book a lot more than any other because Thorpe went into fie detail about not fitting in and the thought patterns that took years for him to make sense of. His psychological reasoning of some of hie behaviours and thoughts were enlightening. His chapters on depression and media scrutiny as well as feeling isolated are i think the most endearing parts of the book.

If people now don't appreciate him a lot more and the media don't give him the space he needs in order to cope, then its a sad day.

Thanks for being so honest Ian, It helped me a lot!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very humble and honest, 22 Nov 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I picked this book up after watching a recent interview with Ian Thorpe. I didn't know much about swimming or the man himself, but I was stuck by how differently he spoke when compared to other sports people who have this tendency to give robotic answers to journalists.

He describes swimming with real passion. He even makes the technical aspects of the sport seem interesting - I didn't realise there was so much to it!! He speaks with honesty about his success. He acknowledges that he really was a sensational swimmer, but he doesn't make the reader feel that he is better than any other person for this. The only other autobiography I have read by an Australian athlete is Greg Norman's book The Way of the Shark and he was disgustingly arrogant to the point I had to book the book down after reading through the first few chapters.

Ian also talks about his interests outside swimming which are very different to what you might expect from the typical alpha male athletes. He is a fan of the arts and fashion, he likes things that are `aesthetically pleasing'. But what really made this a great book is the way he explores his emotions, and his political and social opinions. He talks about racial disadvantage in Australia with real passion. He is brutally honest about the low points in his life and the emotional strain that celebrities and elite athletes have to endure.

All in all a very interesting read, even for someone who like me knows or has little interest in swimming.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xabf12a20)

This product

This is Me: The Autobiography
This is Me: The Autobiography by Ian Thorpe (Paperback - 1 Aug 2013)
6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews