- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1201 KB
- Print Length: 400 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (7 November 2009)
- Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002VYJYR8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 2,654 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,152 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Open: An Autobiography Kindle Edition
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About the Author
A New York Times Notable Book and a Forbes, San Francisco Chronicle, and Washington Post Best Book of the Year
“Agassi may have just penned one of the best sports autobiographies of all time. Check—it’s one of the better memoirs out there, period. . . . An unvarnished, at times inspiring story [told] in an arresting, muscular style. . . . Agassi’s memoir is just as entrancing as his tennis game.”
“Fascinating. . . . Inspiring. . . . Open describes Agassi’s personal odyssey with brio and unvarnished candor. . . . [Agassi’s] career-comeback tale is inspiring but even more so is another Open storyline. It could be called: The punk grows up. . . . Countless athletes start charitable foundations, but frequently the organizations are just tax shelters or PR stunts. For Agassi helping others has instead become his life’s calling. . . . Open is a superb memoir, but it hardly closes the books on an extraordinary life.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Honest in a way that such books seldom are. . . . An uncommonly well-written sports memoir. . . . Bracingly devoid of triumphalist homily, Agassi’s is one of the most passionately anti-sports books ever written by a superstar athlete.”
—The New York Times
“Not your typical jock-autobio fare. This literate and absorbing book is, as the title baldly states, Agassi’s confessional, a wrenching chronicle of his lifelong search for identity and serenity, on and off the court.”
—Los Angeles Times
“The writing here is exceptional. It is can’t-put-down good.”
“An honest, substantive, insightful autobiography. . . . The bulk of this extraordinary book vividly recounts a lost childhood, a Dickensian adolescence, and a chaotic struggle in adulthood to establish an identity. . . . While not without excitement, Agassi’s comeback to No. 1 is less uplifting than his sheer survival, his emotional resilience, and his good humor in the face of the luckless cards he was often dealt.”
—The Washington Post
“The most revealing, literate, and toes-stompingly honest sports autobiography in history”
—Rick Reilly, ESPN
“Much more than a drug confession—Agassi weaves a fascinating tale of professional tennis and personal adversity. . . . His tale shows that success is measured both on and off the court.”
—New York Post
“Not only has Agassi bared his soul like few professional athletes ever have, he’s done it with a flair and force that most professional writers can’t even pull off.”
“[A] heartfelt memoir . . . Agassi’s style is open, all right, and his book, like so many of his tennis games, is a clear winner.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“Hard-won self-knowledge irradiates almost every page of Open. . . . Not just a first-rate sports memoir but a genuine bildungsroman, darkly funny yet also anguished and soulful. It confirms what Agassi’s admirers sensed from the outset, that this showboat . . . was not clamoring for attention but rather conducting a struggle to wrest some semblance of selfhood from the sport that threatened to devour him.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“A riveting and reflective memoir by a man who rose to the top of his sport—despite hating it.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Celebrity tell-alls have rarely been this honest and this interesting.”
“A vivid portrait of the internal battle faced in some measure by every athlete.”
“Articulate. . . . Expertly rendered.”
—The Morning News (Boston)
“Refreshingly candid. . . . This lively, revealing, and entertaining book is certain to roil the tennis world and make a big splash beyond.”
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Was always intrigued by how Agassi had carried himself on court and reading his biography, it was an eye opener. The struggle he had go through. Was inspiring to read the way he dealt with spinal condition as well as how he had dealt with his emotional conflicts.
At the same time, he has projected both his Dad and Nike as being taskmasters and not really giving consideration for a young one's life. This is getting common in tennis nowadays. Where the parent is pushing the ward beyond the child's interest.
To me there was a huge parental learning as well as making that blindside of the parent visible.
the narration and overall flow the timeline was great. once you start to read this, you will not be in a position to put it down.
Good read. I can promise you will not be disappointed.
The book provides insight to life of Agassi and his road to becoming one of the greatest tennis players of all time. We are struck by his candour while discussing the events of his early life and could empathise with the pain of little Andre who saw virtually no childhood, thanks to his ambitious father. The fact that he grew to hate tennis in spite of being a top tennis player of the world should open our eyes – do we not often subject our children to similar ordeals? The pressure to excel in education or in some other field (the trend has increased with TV backed sponsoring of realty shows and talent hunts) is today so great on children that they are today growing up without experiencing the fun and adventure that we normally associate with childhood.
Like all true Champions, Andre Agassi’s greatest achievement has been the way he rose once more to pinnacle of glory after almost everyone had written obituary of his tennis career. Another heartwarming aspect of Andre Agassi the person is the fact that he has stayed loyal to his friends throughout ups and downs of life. Also, in the later part of his life, he found the meaning of his life through helping less privileged children and he deserves a standing ovation for the effort.
Another very well written part of the book is the part in which he woos Steffi Graf. Like entire generation of male tennis lovers of that era, Andre seemed to be a wide eyed fan of Steffi whose blistering forehand was matched by her smashing good looks. Till the end of the book and even post marriage and children, he remained her wide eyed admirer – that goes to show that Steffi Graf is either as good a homemaker as she was a tennis player or that her forehand remains a formidable weapon even without tennis racket.
However, there are some parts of the book which left me a little disturbed as well as disappointed. The way he has depicted his married life with famous actress Brooke Shields leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. It is clear that Andre and Brooke are two incompatible personalities and one can hardly blame Brooke Shields for having taste for literature or adventurous sports but Agassi has portrayed these as a flaw in Brooke Shields character. Similarly, the fact that Pete Sampras only paid 1 $ as tip should not had prompted Agassi to declare in glee that he is so much better than Sampras (not exactly in these words but close enough). Nor should he have lectured on pitfalls of marrying an actress after Sampras conveyed him his decision of marrying his long term girlfriend. Rather we would have him discussing regarding some of his matches in greater detail and analysing the game of the great tennis players of his generation. After all, we know Andre Agassi only because of his tennis and we would rather hear more about tennis from him.
Still, ‘Open’ remains an important contribution to sports literature for its nice, easy flowing narration, new insights it provided on life of a great sportsman and candour of the author in describing his life and views.
It is not just a recollection of various games, the focuses on the mental state of Andre Agassi.
The very thought that a person who behaved a certain way on a court and had such a different inner emotions was difficult to digest. Yet at some level all of us wear different masks with different people.
The book would resonate with most people who hated what they did and were still good at it, which is almost everyone.
Top international reviews
I had a vague interest in Andre Agassi. What I got was an open athlete who has told his life as it was. I found a man baring his soul and his life. I found one of the most open, honest biographies I have ever read.
What I also found is one of the best biographies I have ever read. It grabbed me and did not let me go again until the final page and then some internet researches in wikipedia. I am very happy that he is still married to Steffi Graf and seems to be a happy man while I am, unknown to him, writing these lines. I really wish him all the best. This because I really feel I know this man now although we have never met and we have never exhanged letters. And that is all the hallmarks of a brilliant biography.
This books is among the five best biographies I have ever read. And I have read a looooot of biographies. Too many.
It’s a rags to riches story but there is a lot of pain and suffering along the way. His relationship with his family and in particular with his father is well documented but there’s a good reason.
Normally when it comes to sports books I normally read football biographies and autobiographies; this is the first tennis or non football book I’ve read. Immediately after finishing it I ordered John McEnroe’s which I’ve yet to read. I usually read the first couple of pages and I got the feeling it’s gonna be a different kind of book. Another controversial figure but nonetheless a star
It's been several months since I've read this book and some parts of it have stayed with me. Mostly, control what you can control!
But anyone interested in professional sport at all - in particular, what it takes to be the best - should read this book. It's the most incredible piece of writing. From the first sentence, you are inside Agassi's head; feeling the torture and the pain of what it physically and mentally takes to be at the top. He strips away the pomposity of tennis and shows these players are almost gladiators who rip and tear at themselves to destruction, both physically and mentally pouring everything into a moment of winning. Yet as soon as that moment is achieved it's gone and you move on to doing it all over again.
From a personal level, I've always had a fascination with why us Brits 'fold' under pressure; why we never quite make it, why we're never quite good enough across many sports. The answers for what's required to be one of the best are here and - incredibly for a 'celebrity book' - you can feel the energy on every page and right from page 1; it's exhausting even to read. It's not a fluffy celebrity life-story. This is why people across all sports who want to be the best should read this book.
I'm not a huge fan of tennis but it's a sport with similar mental/physical requirements as a sport I play so the psychology-of-champions interests me. I once saw Agassi play Tim Henman at Wimbledon and Agassi fascinated me; although normally in love with Agassi the crowd were all over the 'home boy' even dropping into showing some 'uncontrolled enthusiasm' at Agassi unforced errors just in desperation of wanting Henman to 'do it'. As Henman did what all us-Brits seem to do - expand mentally outwards linking with the crowd and trying to run on their energy - Agassi went inwards; his eyes fascinated me. They never left Henman and his focus was unbelievable to levels you could physically feel the power of it - he didn't need anything from the crowd, he was a lone man against the world and was very comfortable there. The more the crowd bayed for Henman and the more he punched the air, the stronger and calmer Agassi became. You could see in his eyes there was no-one in the place except Henman, and he was going to take him down. I knew from looking at him Henman would never win - mentally they were worlds apart. Henman's energy was channelled wide into the crowd and he needed their energy to keep going; it's power was diluted. Agassi's energy was channelled inwards to a single point until it became laser-like and could cut through anything - and it's target was Henman. After Agassi won, he later described exactly what I'd seen when asked how he'd managed to overcome Henman's determination and the overwhelming energy of the crowd - he focussed his energy until there was no-one else there except Henman. I couldn't even tell you the score of the match but Agassi's focus and energy have stayed with me as a 'moment in time' memory ever since. The book opens up and explains what I saw - what was actually mentally and physically behind that moment; it explains it's that mental place champions are constantly chasing, trying to find, then trying to sustain and the physical effort required to fuel this mental state.
Agassi conveys onto paper the mental torture, demons and physical strength required to do this. He shows it's not something top players 'have', it's something they find then lose, find again and constantly struggle to hold on to. Probably far better than any other book his descriptions of the torment and pressures indirectly gave me food for thought as to mysteries which shroud other players - for example Borg's sudden retirement.
After reading this, I'll never look at two players calmly and politely leaving court after a match the same way again - I'll be wondering if as soon as they are out of the public gaze are they surrounded by teams of people physically and mentally rushing to put them back together. To me, this book has the keys to why us Brits are never quite good enough. An amazing piece of writing, Mr Agassi :o