Monday, 15 November 2010

Book Review: "Open - An Autobiography" By Andre Agassi

Let me start by stating that I’m not a tennis fan. I can count on one hand the number of tennis games I’ve watched on TV. I did attend a tennis match. Once. I can’t remember who the players were, but I seem to think that one was a mover and shaker at the time and his name now escapes me. I have had about a dozen tennis lessons in my life but I wouldn’t even consider myself a “hit and giggle” player, more a “miss and stamp your feet” sort of player.
© original image by Adriana Glackin
I had heard this book was good, an enjoyable read, so when I came across it , and saw the front cover - the piercing eyes on the front cover are difficult to ignore - I picked up a copy.  I originally bought this book for MOTH* so he would have something to read on a recent long flight but the book wasn’t removed from the in-flight bag. Not wanting to waste a book, I picked it up, read it and enjoyed it.

The candid, frank and open manner the book is written makes for a very easy read. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re a tennis fan or even an Agassi fan. While the tennis facts aren’t exactly “glossed over” in this book, they’re not the dominant part of the book. The candid manner of the book can mean that a whole tennis tournament is over in a breathless and fast-paced paragraph; other tournaments can take a lot longer but as breathless and exhausted Agassi was at the end of those tournaments, so will you be at the end of the narrative.  The tennis is just the means; the emotions, the thoughts, the feelings are what dominate this story.

I couldn’t put the book down – Will Agassi’s antics get him kicked out of tennis school? Will he win the latest match? And what about the tournament? Will he retire at the end of the season? How long can he keep playing top grade tennis for? And the mullet was really a toupee? (thank you BS for convincing him to get rid of that thing).  Of course, if you’re an Agassi fan, you would know all the answers to the above questions without having to pick up the book.  What you will get from this book is an insight into the joy and the pain of the journey of one man’s extraordinary tennis-driven life.  A journey that Agassi has struggled with and is perhaps only now coming to a point of peace and acceptance as he is perhaps finally free to follow his passions – his family and school.

*Man Of The House

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