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No Limits: The Will to Succeed Paperback – Bargain Price, December 8, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Phelps is an American swimmer.  He holds the record for winning the most gold medals (8) in a single Olympics (2008).  He has won 16 Olympic medals, 14 gold and two bronze.  He holds seven world records and has over 20 World Championship medals. After returning home from Beijing in 2008, Michael used the well-publicized $1 million dollar Speedo bonus to start the Michael Phelps Foundation through which he hopes to encourage children to lead healthy, active lives, and to continue to grow the sport of swimming.  He now resides in Baltimore, MD with his dog Herman.

Alan Abrahamson is an award-winning sportswriter and a recognized authority on the Olympics. In 2006, he left the Los Angeles Times, where he had been a staff writer for 17 years, to write for the NBC suite of online properties, which now includes, and Since 2003, Alan has also served as a sports and Olympic analyst on NBC's television networks. Among other honors, Alan won the 2002 National Headliner Award for sports writing and was named the Los Angeles Press Club's 2004 sports journalist of the year. Alan and his wife, Laura, and their three children live in Southern California.

From AudioFile

Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, talks about his swimming career, his preparation, and his dream of bringing the sport to greater prominence in the United States. Introduced by Phelps himself, the book is read by Holter Graham with a voice that matches the tone of Phelps's writing: a touch of cockiness offset by hard work and dedication to his sport. Listeners whose interest in Phelps has been piqued by recent news won't find much scandal here, although Phelps discusses his DUI arrest and tackles the issue of doping. The emphasis on training and preparation, however, will be of special interest to athletes. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439157669
  • ASIN: B003JTHT0I
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,266,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By I. Makarov on December 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, if you've read Michael's autobiography he published shortly after Athens Olympics, this isn't book's sequel. It doesn't claim to be, but you may think it is if you look through chapters' headings, as they're based on all events Michael swam in Beijing (autobiography as it is published now stops pretty much shortly after Athens). What that means is that some of the stories are repeated, but if you keep that in mind and ignore it, you'll enjoy all the new stories he shares.

As a former college swimmer and now a masters swimmer I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. It's well written, and gives you an idea of what it takes to get to the level that Michael is at. He's obviously gifted with a body well suited for swimming, but it was 99% hard work and effort that got him to the top where no other swimmer have been before. He tells you how he got there while also sharing other stories about his life outside of the pool.

This book also provides a chance for Michael to tell you more about Beijing experience. He was too busy during the Olympics to sit down and give a lengthy interview, and in a way, this is what this book is all about. For example, 12,000 calories a day diet that everyone talked about is actually a myth.

What always impressed me about Phelps was his focus and determination on staying on top of his goals. I have no idea how he was able to remain focused and execute to perfection every single stroke and turn in 17 races he participated in Beijing. In this book he shares how you can overcome distractions and remain motivated to reach your goals.

Finally, if you're into setting any kinds of goals in life, this book is a must read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Blum on January 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am listening to the audio version of this book narrated by Holter Graham. I am really enjoying it but it did take me a while to get used to the format. Phelps and Abrahamson skip around a lot, but you have to realize this isn't Phelps' autobiography. It isn't "Then when I was 14, I tried out for the Sidney Olympics." There's no "This one time, in band camp..." moment. The chapters are headed with words like "Perseverance" and "Redemption" and the authors use Michael's various races to illustrate their point.

That said, there are a LOT of stats and figures and it is hard to keep them all straight, especially in an audio book. But it's really fun to find a particular race on YouTube and then watch it while listening to Michael (via Graham) narrate what is going on.

To those who say Abrahamson wrote the whole book, I say, "Funny I didn't see him in the pool. How does he know that Phelps was smiling to himself underwater on the final turn of the 200 Free in Melbourne?" It may be Abrahamson's words, but it is Phelps' voice. I gave it four stars because really nothing besides "To Kill a Mockingbird" gets five from me. OK, maybe "Kite Runner."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Knight on January 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for an inside glance at what was going on behind the goggles in Beijing, this is the book for you.

If you're looking for more of an autobiography, you want Phelps' other book (written after the Athens olympics) Beneath the Surface.

If you're a Phelps fan, or a swimmer (or just a fan of good swimming) you want both. There are a few stories that appear in both, but the vast majority of material is different.

This book is a fast read, and I feel that Phelps' voice comes through clearly. Both this and Beneath the Surface were very down to earth and easy to understand. At times the stories are a bit disjointed, and maybe some work could have been done to connect things a bit more clearly, but I don't think this distracts from the book overall. In fact, my only real complaint is that it's too short!

If you watched in awe this summer, are a swimmer, are a fan of the olympics or of athletes at their greatest level, pick up this book. You won't be disappointed.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By RonAnnArbor on January 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fast, interesting read. It does not have a personal voice though. While written in first person, it truly reads like his coauthor did most of the writing, and Michael added an anecdote here and there -- young people just don't "talk" like the language used in the book, which reads more like a scripted inspirational speaker's writing. Good for the library if you have a sports collection. Otherwise, his previous book "Beneath the Surface" covers much of the same territory using a better co-author who gets the "voice" right....I can say from personal experience (I live in Ann Arbor and have met and spoken with Michael on occasion) that the words here are heartfelt and true, but that his co-author did most (if not all) of the writing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jenn A on January 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great read for young and old. If your looking for inspiration this is it. Michael will wake up your senses, give you a new sense of the importance of setting goals and you'll appreciate his maturity and integrity. Every High school, Middle school, Elem school and Recreational coach will benefit from reading this.

Michael Phelps defines the American dream.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa Tennant on February 15, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a huge Michael Phelps fan, and fan of swimming in general, but I still managed to get lost in the technical talk in this book. I found the overall message and story highly inspirational and very compelling. I loved reading about how Michael over came all those hard times to reach where he is, but every exact time, split time, and tons of names are mentioned that, yes are important, but get in the way of the message. I loved the book, some parts were work to get through, still love Michael Phelps, and if anything I left the book with a sense of "never give up on your dreams".
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