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o1 : open.

Bit of a slow start for me this year. This is what happens when busybusybusy hits a wall of LAZY. That said, I started out the year with what I think is a surprisingly good book.

( o1 : open : an autobiography; andre agassi. )
I don't follow tennis, and though the name has almost always been familiar, I don't think I've really felt one way or the other about Andre Agassi. When it was brought up as a potential book for the next month's book club, I thought it was a joke (I may be a little bitter after my suggestion of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood was quickly put down). But no, no joke, and I continued to think nothing of it when my friend said she'd started it and was hooked. Right. Agassi didn't look particularly pleased on the cover of his book. That had to say something.

I was never properly hooked, in the sense that I had little trouble putting it down, but I also loved picking it back up again. Sure, he probably had fantastic editors, but I thought it was very well written. It says something, to me, when someone can write a consistently understandable account. More so when he's talking about tennis, a sport I continue to not understand all that well. There are moments of drama and just as many funny moments. I like that dialog takes place without quotation marks. Normally I would find this confusing/distracting, but he did it well, and I think it suits the book and probably the author. It has a gripping opening that makes you want to figure out just how he got there.

And I found the book thought-provoking. It makes me think about what professional athletes put their bodies through day in and day out, and what they'll look like twenty or thirty years down the road.

Genre : Nonfiction, autobiography.
Length : 386 pages.
Rating : 4/5 = Pretty darn good.

Currently reading : Encouraging Authenticity and Spirituality in Higher Education by A.W. Chickering, J.C. Dalton, and L. Stamm; Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

P.S.: The front cover is still disconcerting. But the back cover is adorable.

Comments

( 4 pithy comments — Say something pithy! )
alles_toll
Jan. 18th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the review. I've rarely watched tennis too but for some reason this book looks really good to me, so it's nice to know that it can easily be enjoyed by someone unfamiliar with the sport.
rugbybaby
Jan. 18th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
Quite welcome! There is understandably a bunch of tennis talk, but it's not choppy at all, and you're not lost if you don't get the numbers. My favorite parts were "and then there was this up-and-coming kid named Andy Roddick" and I had to smile.
alles_toll
Jan. 19th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
Well...after reading David Foster Wallace's essay on the physics and angles of tennis, the numbers of the game might not be too difficult to understand in comparison. Hopefully!

But I am extremely curious about Agassi's life, since I hear that this book is VERY open and painfully honest. He doesn't seem like a warm or confessional type of man in the first place. I'd like to know what's going on in there.
rugbybaby
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
Haha I'm sure you're golden :)

I would say the book lives up to that reputation. He gives such amazing descriptions of his family life and his feelings on tennis. Near the end, in particular, I can't help but feel really good for him.
( 4 pithy comments — Say something pithy! )

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