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Opening Up: My Autobiography Hardcover – 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; 1st edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340822325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340822326
  • ASIN: B001KSVSBQ
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 450,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Possibly the most thoughtful England captain since Mike Brearley, his uncompromising assessment of himself and vivid pen portraits of fellow players from Gooch and Gower to Stewart, Thorpe and Nasser Hussain are most revealing. A born writer, with the gift of a light touch, this is Atherton in his own words.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading his perceptive and humerous Captain's Diaries on cricinfo.com as well as his columns in the Sunday Telegraph I waited expectantly for this book to come out. Apart from the rather naf and overused "my autobiography" on the front cover this book is superb in every respect. Atherton decides which part of his compartmentalised existence to let you into, but then does so in its entirety. You will not find a more complete and evocative description of the trials of a modern cricketer as he doesn't bore you with rote recitations of cricket matches won and lost but gives the detail of the personalities on either side and behind the scenes. At no point do you feel you are reading a "tell all" book but he does not hold back on his opinions, both on what he thought and did as well as his opinions of the people around him. One curious omission is any thoughts on the match fixing scandal apart from one or two tangential references. I would be curious to know why he left out this highly relevant topic, especially as he captained and played against the deceased Hansie Cronje. However any element of matchfixing would have picked up headlines and this does not appear to be Atherton's style. The book is engrossing and you feel he writes as he plays - with a straight bat. He has no false modesty and makes no weak excuses. A book well worth buying, well worth keeping.
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Format: Paperback
From the early days as a Manchester schoolboy, to his sudden rise to England's cricket captain, Mike Atherton's book captures the mixture of frustration and elation at the heart of English cricket.
Atherton was captain during the dodgy nineties, when England suffered a long spell in the doldrums of international cricket. His autobiography highlights Atherton's relationship with the selectors - notably Ray Illingworth; his teammates - there is one glorious photograph of Nasser Hussain as a fifteen year old with fantastic hair!; and gives a detailed insight into how it felt to be thrust at the helm without a great deal of experience. Atherton describes his input into team selection (or lack of it), the infamous ball-tampering affair, and his tremendous innings against Allan Donald, where he knew he was out, but did not walk. This incident is described so precisely, that the atmosphere is almost palpable.
If you are expecting an expletive filled, ghost written tome, you will be disappointed. These are Atherton's thoughts, eloquently penned entirely by the man himself. If you want juicy personal stories about sexual conquests, don't buy it. He is very reticent about his private life, and doesn't even mention his new baby.
This is a book for die hard cricket fans, and for lovers of sport in general, who want to see behind the scenes; to feel what it was like to be at the centre of English cricket. I would also recommend it to those with a fledgling interest in the game, as the passionate accounts of matches give such a true feeling of what is must have felt like to stand at the crease, under the scrutiny of thousands of spectators.
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By Graham Mummery TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
Sporting autobiographies are often unsatisfying pieces of writing. Perhaps this is because they are usually ghosted. A journalist takes down the subjects words of their subject and then tries to organize them into a book. This book is completely written by Mike Atherton and all the better for it. What's more it is beautifully written.

He explores many aspects of his time as England captain, his sometimes stormy relationship with selectors (especially Ray Illingworth), players as well as various memorable matches. Yet even when critical, there us no sense of "settling scores". He is quite prepared to point out his own failings or differing viewpoints.

Atherton emerges as intelligent, thoughtful and articulate with a sense of humour. He draws a fascinating picture of the English Test scene in the 1990's. There are also fascinating insights into the psychology of the modern game, problems of coping with celebrity and the various personalities in the game. As well as a fascinating picture of his own personal development over the time which is illuminating in its own right.

Fascinating for cricket lovers and for anyone interested in what makes sportsman. This may have longer shelf life than most sport books.
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Format: Paperback
Having read a number of modern cricketing autobiographies, I rate this one as the best. It is the right mixture of cricket, anecdotes, humour and positive criticism and suggestions. Mike is quite right in saying that his private life is his own, although he does mention his beautiful girlfriend and new baby Joshua. I look forward to seeing and reading more of Mike Atherton the journalist/sports commentator, and wish him as much success in this career as he found as a first-rate international cricketer. Well done, Mike!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a rule, autobiographies by players still active or just retired are worth avoiding as they seem to be written to justify every decision made while allocating blame for mistakes at anyone and everyone. This really bucks the trend. Self written (a rarity in an era of ghosts) and well written as well, Atherton is honest, not afraid to admit his own weaknesses (which may not be as many as he thinks) and to give due praise where needed, even to those he might not have got on with. Recommended
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