Opening Up: My Autobiography Hardcover – 2002
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Atherton had the misfortune in some respects to play for England during a fairly pedestrian and at times frustratingly awful times. Read morePublished 1 month ago by seanjm
Bought this for my mates birthday. Initially I bought this elsewhere, only to be firstly sent a cassette of the book, and then told (after a month of waiting) they didn't have it... Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2013 by Daniel O'Brien
Loved it. really insightful book on the trials and tribulations of captaining England. Found it honest and self-aware. Very enjoyablePublished on 1 July 2013 by Jamie T
Atherton brings out his interactions, learnings and experiences in international cricket with a frankness that is rare. Read morePublished on 9 Jun. 2013 by Amazon Customer
He has been one of my favourite sports writers for a long time, and this book has backed up my view. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2012 by Jacknith
I like Mike Atherton, I think he's a great writer and commentator but I found this book a little soulless and 'dry'. Read morePublished on 26 Aug. 2011 by M. Williams
Mike Atherton was a very good Captain who did not benefit from Strauss's position of having alot of great players to work with. Interesting read from a very likeable fella.Published on 11 Jan. 2011 by C Bourne
A terrific book by a man who took on so many great fast and spinner bowlers of an era where not many batsmen succeded. Read morePublished on 20 Nov. 2009 by A. Mceachern
Opening Up- My Autobiography by Mike Atherton is a life story of a professional cricketer. Mike Atherton during his days was a fine cricketer, as he achieved modest success with... Read morePublished on 21 May 2008 by Mr. P. Datta