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The Outsider: My Autobiography Paperback – 5 Jun 2014
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"An engrossing five-setter, with intense exchanges and no tiebreakers... Like the individualists Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Pete Rose and Chuck Berry, Connors was authentic. The book reflects that swagger." (New York Times)
"Eye-poppingly indiscreet: The Outsider makes most sports autobiographies feel like very tepid affairs in comparison." (Daily Mail)
"Exhilarating... served up at full pelt, as if Connors were charging at readers with his double-handed backhand, complete with sweaty grunts." (Mail on Sunday)
"As spiky and uncompromising as you would hope... candid and funny." (Marcus Berkmann Daily Mail, Sports Books of the Year)
"Kudos to Jimmy Connors for valiantly trying to argue in his autobiography, The Outsider, that the current spectacle of Roger Federer, Djokovic and Nadal - whose courtesy and dignity generally match the superlative quality of their play - has nothing on his own era of incontinent litigiousness, oncourt swearing, childish tantrums, umpire abuse, celebratory crotch-grabbing and mutual hatred between top players. Connors' book has the ring of honesty... a magnificent snapshot of his era." (Ed Smith New Statesman)
The sensational autobiography of the most successful and charismatic tennis player of all timeSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
It's an honest book (or at least Jimbo tells us that he's being honest) but I struggled to overcome my perception of him (before starting this book) as being money driven and a gambler. And that he based many of his decisions around either one or the other.
He certainly had a big gambling problem and I think it's the amount of gambling that happened around games that shocked me the most. Are players still allowed to place bets on their own results?
There are certain people that he never made any attempt to get along with but those of us who are not involved in the professional tennis circuit can never understand what it's like. Even now some journalists seem to think that Murray should hang out with Djok once they've finished a match. It's an odd perception.
Anyway. Apart from the jerky writing style - it was a fairly interesting read and I zipped through it. End of the day - I'd far rather watch a re-run of one of his matches with Mac or Nasty. Now THAT was entertainment. As much as I love watching Murray v Djok now - I do sometimes hanker for the days of the bad boys of tennis.
There is a lot of score-settling in this book, and Connors still seems to be brimming with anger. There are also some great descriptions of matches, but you don't get much feel for what it was like being on the tour in those days - perhaps becasue Connors didn't really socialise with his peers. The real hero of this book is his wife Pattie, who seems to be little short of a saint. To do Connors credit, he clearly adores her and is ashamed of how badly he has behaved at times (having told her he no longer wanted to be married, he cut up her credit cards when she dared to consult a lawyer.)
This book isn't in the same league as Agassi's autobiography (which I highly recommend) or McEnroe's. I found it an interesting read, but it left me with the feeling that I wouldn't much like to spend time with Jimmy Connors.
Update on 24/7/13: Connors has recently been taken on by Maria Sharapova as a coach. Now that should be interesting ....
Further update on 22/3/13: That didn't last long - Sharapova sacked Connors after one match. Perhaps there will be a chapter on this in the paperback version?
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