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A Handful of Summers Paperback – May 1, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
This traces the realities of life on the tennis tour in the 50s and 60s and the ups and downs which went with it, especially given that Gordon Forbes was from a culture as complex as that of South Africa.
This books gets you really involved in the lives of some of the greatest tennis legends of all time, and others who strove to reach their heady heights, but never quite made it to the top! This book contains so much passion and honesty that it draws you in. You can almost believe that you are right beside these tennis greats, treading in their every footstep, hearing their every breath. You feel as if you grew up with them, laughed their every laugh, and suffered their every defeat.
This is a must for every lover of tennis, and should not be written off by those who have no interest in the game. This is no ordinary tennis chronicle.
A book that should be read by everybody, not only people interested in tennis or sport.
But the 1997 HarperCollins edition is dreadful: the paper quality is poor, and — most importantly — all the photographs are missing. I was so disgusted with it I returned it to Amazon and bought a second-hand copy instead.
The five-star rating is for the writing, not the edition.
Without a question this was a different era. While others focus on the simpler time, to me the largest difference is the lack of training and commitment it required now to be on the tour. It's just a much more physical game now. This book spends a substantial amount of time on the "club culture" of the tour rather than the brutality of training and single mindedness required today to be a top pro. For example drinking and carousing are discussed at length and while that goes on, today's top players are serious single minded athletes like Sampras and Nadal.
It is interesting to hear Forbes discuss the players on the tour that he was quite close to, particularly the legend of his era, Rod Laver. Included are stories of sharing accommodations in a club member's home vs. the luxury paid-for hotel accommodations the tour players today enjoy. Yes, some still stay with members or volunteers in tour towns but normally that's the struggling up and coming players.
Without a question this is a very interesting book if you are interested in the 50/60s and tennis in general. I strongly recommend this for a revisit to an old era in tennis.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am very happy with this product, it works very good and it was a great price!Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
As I could relate to the tennis of that era I wanted more. Sorry it had to end.Published 3 months ago by steinman
I loved this book. A little racy, but what a glimpse into the life of a pro tennis player in the 50's and 60's. A great read for a tennis fan.Published 10 months ago by matt segel
Beautifully written, with a rare and most pleasurable command of the English language. Hilarious, poignant and insightful diary of the nascent tennis pro world. Read morePublished 12 months ago by jennifer pierce
Book conjures up visions of comraderie and sportsmanship among competitors, friends and pranksters. Tennis I it's royal age . Can't beat itPublished 14 months ago by Michael Quinn
A wonderful, entertaining and insightful memoir of the pro tennis circuit in the 1950s and 1960s. I highly recommend it and will be giving family friends paperbacks as presents.Published 18 months ago by James Boardman