Book Review: Open by Andre Agassi

After reading the Sampras book, this one was pretty crazy.  The differences between Sampras' life and attitude are a complete one-eighty of Agassi's.  It was neat to read about both of their careers back to back, and more fully realize how successful tennis players don't all train the same, think the same, eat the same.  I mean, they don't play the same, so why should they do all of that the same?  I guess I kind of thought, same game, same spiel.  Not so.

Agassi has some wild stories about how his Pops was a tyrant, his teen years were wickedly rebellious, and his adult years were up and down with disappointment and triumph.  One of my favorite quotes from the book was:  "[S]everal sportswriters muse about my transformation, and that word rankles.  I think it misses the mark.  Transformation is change from one thing to another, but I started as nothing.  I didn't transform, I formed.  When I broke into tennis, I was like most kids: I didn't know who I was, and I rebelled at being told by older people.  I think older people make this mistake all the time with younger people, treating them as finished products when in fact they're in the process.  It's like judging a match before it's over, and I've come from behind too often, and had too many opponents come roaring back against me, to think that's a good idea."  He had some great insights, and his since of humor was pretty good, especially his comments on thinning hair.  Classic.

Agassi's life could be made into a movie.  I am not kidding.  There is so much material to work with, you'd be glued to the screen.  I was glued to the book (and I caught Jess reading it in the morning before work, pretty much glued) up until the very end.  There is language, so just know that.  But this is one of the most well-written autobiographies I have ever read.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Agreed. Highly recommended. And, in case you forgot, image is everything.