Open: An Autobiography
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date:
- 10 August 2010
- Biography: Sport
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When Open came out it made a bit of a splash. Agassi hated tennis, no really, he truly did. Who knew? It's a refrain that Agassi repeats throughout the book, a kind of repeating joke. But he's serious. What sets Open apart from your average autobiography is Agassi's honesty, his willingness to reveal his warts and not paint a pretty picture for posterity. It's a compelling read, a real page turner. The reader experiences the ups and downs, whether it is Agassi winning a slam, losing (inevitably) to Sampras, getting divorced, or finally finding happiness in his marriage to Steffi Graff. At times Agassi comes off as insensitive or a bit crude. But this is balanced by his grit, earnestness, honesty, and generosity. While talented journalist and author of The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer. helped Agassi shape this memoir, the voice is uniquely Agassi's. It's a voice worth listening to. This is a sports memoir with universal appeal. Agassi's life is exceptional, of course, but his trajectory is Homeric and all too human.
When I started this book, I must say that I was determined not to like it. I had no real desire to read about the life of a tennis player, that I was very much aware of, but my face to face book group chose it for us.Well, surprise, surprise, it was very engaging and very interesting, far more than I ever expected and each time I put it down, I looked forward to picking it up and reading it. Who would have "thunk"?I was quite struck by the easy way the book is written, by the sincerity of the words on the page which exposed this young man in all his vulnerabilities. If I remembered correctly, he was one of tennis’ bad boys, the one who was influential in bringing color to the tennis court, but now he does not seem so bad after all, rather he seems a sympathetic figure, one almost consumed or driven by an almost Obsessive Compulsive Disorder like syndrome about tennis, one who professes a love/hate relationship with the career he has chosen.This book is quite amazing. As a young boy, Agassi has had to deal with a father who is abusive in his relentless effort to make him the number one tennis player and a mother who seems to absent herself from anything to do with his upbringing. She is the antithesis of his father and seems to be a gentle soul. His father, on the other hand, is a violent man who instills terror in his son and coerces him into keeping the secrets of many of his violent encounters from his mother, whom he would not tell anyway because she has no interest in anything other than her job, her jigsaw puzzles and her animals.Throughout the book, despite his dysfunctional childhood, Agassi maintains his love and respect for his family and a loyalty to his friends and those that help him. The book is told with such honesty and a touch of humor too which made it hard to put down. It was a book about a personage that I grew up with and yet, it was never boring, never tedious, even though I knew the eventual outcome. For someone new to Agassi it will read like a novel, not an autobiography, like a love story about a boy coming of age.
Ghost written by the author of The Tender Bar. An excellent, well written book that flows. Agassi allows all his warts to be visible. This book helps explains why celebrities act the way they do, sometimes childish, rude, and often seemingly self-serving.
I loved this book and couldn't put it down once beginning it. I especially admired his honesty. It would have been so easy to be politically correct and say what he would think tennis fans would want to hear, but he was OPEN and honest. I loved every part of the book, surprising that some of it was. Who knew he hated tennis? Who thought his 'romance' with Barbra Streisand was more than it was? Who would have ever thought he would fall in love with Stefie? this is a book about tennis, choices, love, romance, and many other things. His father was a man so similar to those I grew up with, and my reaction was one of not liking him, but when I see how Andre was able to rise above his control and become his own man, I quickly moved on to other parts of the book. His struggles are persistent throughout the book and your heart will ache as you read about a man we thought we all knew from his TV appearances.His photographic memory brings the matches he participated in to real life for readers and his insights into his marriage and divorce with Brooke Shields goes beyond the gossip pages. He speaks of his depression and loss of confidence, something a lot of us have endured. Going from number one down and then back up again was the most exciting part to read, as sports commentators put their own spin on it; Andre tells it like it was.A treat for ardent fans, this book will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis, such as myself. Like Agassi's game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed and power. OPEN IS A BOOK I WILL CHERISH FOREVER, and my grandchildren will each receive copies for Christmas. He is an example of what I would hope all of my relatives mirror..Candid, and humble!
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