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Open [Kindle Edition]

Andre Agassi
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,018 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $9.48
You Save: $6.47 (41%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Far more than a superb memoir about the highest levels of professional tennis, Open is the engrossing story of a remarkable life.
 
Andre Agassi had his life mapped out for him before he left the crib. Groomed to be a tennis champion by his moody and demanding father, by the age of twenty-two Agassi had won the first of his eight grand slams and achieved wealth, celebrity, and the game’s highest honors. But as he reveals in this searching autobiography, off the court he was often unhappy and confused, unfulfilled by his great achievements in a sport he had come to resent. Agassi writes candidly about his early success and his uncomfortable relationship with fame, his marriage to Brooke Shields, his growing interest in philanthropy, and—described in haunting, point-by-point detail—the highs and lows of his celebrated career.




From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Agassi has always had a tortured look in his eyes on the tennis court. In 1992, when he burst onto the world sports stage by winning the Grand Slam at Wimbledon, he looked like a deer in headlights. Nobody seemed more surprised and upset by his big win that day than he did. For good reason, too. Agassi hated tennis. This is the biggest revelation in his very revealing autobiography. Agassi has hated tennis from early childhood, finding it extremely lonely out on the court. But he didn’t have a choice about playing the game because his father drove him to become a champion, like it or not. Mike Agassi, a former Golden Gloves fighter who never made it professionally, decided that his son would become a champion tennis player. In militaristic fashion, Mike pushed seven-year-old Andre to practice relentlessly until the young boy was exhausted and in pain. He also arranged for Andre, age 13, to attend a tennis camp where he was expected to pull weeds and clean toilets. The culmination of all of this parental pushing came when Andre began winning as an adult. But it didn’t make him happy. Within this framework, Agassi’s other disclosures make sense. He had a troubled marriage to Brooke Shields that didn’t last. He developed a drug problem that sabotaged his career. He was insecure about everything. Only when Andre met tennis star Steffi Graf (whom he eventually married) did things begin to change. Readers will definitely cheer when Andre finally makes peace with the game he once hated and learns to enjoy it. --Jerry Eberle

Review

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.”
Time
 
“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.”
Sports Illustrated
 
“An honest, substantive, insightful autobiography. . . . The bulk of this extraordinary book vividly recounts a lost childhood, a Dickens...


Product Details

  • File Size: 2796 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307268195
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (December 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003062GEE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,616 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
436 of 459 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will change you. In a good way. November 9, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So you're thinking this might be one of those recently retired famous people books aren't you? One where a celebrity, or a Politician, or a sports star cranks out hundreds of pages of self-serving, history-correcting drivel in order to cash the big advance check. A book you can't even bring yourself to finish; better than a tranquilizer at bedtime.

Well, this is certainly not that book. "Open" is a journey that I predict will stay with you for a very long time. It's a completely unexpected trip to places you've never been. I'm not one of those quasi-professional reviewers you see on Amazon. But this book practically made me write about it.

Interestingly, Open starts not at the beginning and not quite at the end. Second round, US Open, 2006.

Not the final match of Andre's career--but the one right before that.
Against a competitor you'd never heard of before or since.
The battle was against the guy across the net, and also Andre's hatred of tennis, his failing body, the demons that he harnessed to get through the unending heroic contest that seemed destined to continue until both just fell into a heap on the court. And it is so well told.

After 20 pages, I knew that this was unlike any other biography I had ever read. Couldn't put it down. Couldn't stop thinking about it. Agassi dug deeper inside than most of us ever will have to, to get to core of what made him so powerful as a player and so conflicted as a person. It is all conspicuously real: The small moments, the outlandish triumphs and the friendships that sustained him and/or corrupted him. The gauntlet he had to run through to arrive at the balance and joy he has today. It's transformative.
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95 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Image Is Everything November 9, 2009
Format:Hardcover
Andre Agassi has written a 'tell-all' book about his life in tennis. And, it turns out, he hated tennis. That was a bigger shocker to me than the salacious fact that he was on 'crystal meth'for a period of time. J.R. Moehringer, the author of 'A Tender Bar' and a Pulitzer Prize winner for his writing was a co-author of this autobiography. Andre loved Moehringer's writing in 'The Tender Bar', and he is correct, the man's writing and the book are excellent. This book, too, is very well written and is an exceptional read.

Andre tells us that he started playing tennis at the age of 3 and by the age of 5 he was showing an aptitude for the game. He was pushed by his father-an obsessive man who pushed his son too far and too much. In fact his father felt that education was not necessary and a hindrance to his tennis practice. Andre could never tell his father how much he hated the game because it was Andre's responsibility to help his family, and that is what he did. He left school in the ninth grade, something that has bothered him his entire career. His goal was to achieve in tennis. He was enrolled in the Bollettien tennis camp, but it felt more like a prison than a camp. The academy, in Agassi's words, was "Lord of the Flies with forehands." In retaliation Andre started wearing earrings, grew his hair long and wore loud clothes. Thus his reputation was born. As his career started to flourish, Andre, tried to keep it all together. He was known as the flamboyant player, the real player. He played the best tennis players in the world, and he was one of the best. He had an eye for the ball, and the 'tell' of players when they were about to hit the big one.
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87 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring - Must Read November 10, 2009
Format:Hardcover
We have all read the press and watched the news; the drug allegations, the "I hate tennis". Tennis fans aren't quite sure whether they should feel cheated for all the love and support they have given Andre, to me the book set things straight.

Most of us look back at chapters of our lives and can identify with particularly unhappy periods. Andre kicks off the book with what was going through his head with the match against Baghdatis in the 2006 US Open. It is a blow by blow account of key parts of the match and a thought provoking glimpse into the mind and heart of a tennis player. He then goes straight into his childhood, the discomfort and unhappiness of being the child prodigy son of an obsessive father. There are weirdly honest stories - his grandmother tried to breastfeed him, very disturbing but a revelation of a dysfunctional upbringing. What seems to carry Andre through his childhood are friendships with his brother Phil and Perry who later becomes his manager. The importance of the childhood friendships are critical and from the way they are explained it is easy to understand why these friends are crucial figures for Andre.

The critical friendship is that of his mentor/guide/life coach/surrogate father Gill Reyes. Andre is taken under his wing and treated with the love and respect a father should treat his son, you sense through the stories in the book that now they have met each other neither could really exist happily without the other. His marriage with Brooke Shields is dealt with candidly, many will buy this book to find out what celebrities do behind closed doors. Whereas I did think Brooke appeared superficial from some of the things mentioned here, I think it merely shows how fame affects people differently.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best contemporary biographies I've read.
I loved this book, which was refreshingly honest and true to its title.
From that core of truth Agassi reveals the development of his talent, his struggles with the demands of... Read more
Published 1 day ago by J. Purson
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like tennis even a little, or not, you will enjoy this book.
I really enjoyed reading about Andre and his life of tennis with its ups and downs. I thought it was an honest writing with personal stories but most important was his attitude... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Dwight
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and insightful read!
This was a great look into the real person behind the persona that was built up by the press. Such an honest and intriguing read - I only wish the book was longer because I wasn't... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Abby Fittes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!!
Very inspiring and a great insight into Andre's life. Great read for athletes and non-athletes alike. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Nancy M. Akahoshi
5.0 out of 5 stars Open, it is
I really became aware of Andre Agassi only later in his career, when his winning streak brought him to Australia. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Reader Downunder
4.0 out of 5 stars Winner in the match of life: Andre Agassi
Someone should make a movie about Andre Agassi’s lifelong experiences, starting with his attempts to fight the “dragon” on the tennis court. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Sal Nudo
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars
Excellent. Very honest autobiography. Gives the reader a real inside into Agassi's world and mild. I'd highly recommend for any sports fan.
Published 11 days ago by sean lally
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
The book was a nice trip down memory lane of the heyday of American men's tennis. It was interesting to hear Agassi's take on things and see how he developed.
Published 12 days ago by Craig Roush
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any athlete!
THis book on the life of Andre Agassi was well written and it opened my eyes to what it is like to be a supreme athlete and all the pressures that go along with it. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Hilda Parrott
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest & inspiring
This autobiography is outstanding as it does not simply tell the events - I mean: you could look that up on Wikipedia, right? Read more
Published 14 days ago by Kristin Reinbach
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More About the Author

Andre Agassi played tennis professionally from 1986 to 2006, winning over $30-million in prize money. Often ranked #1 in the world, he won eight Grand Slam singles tournaments and an Olympic gold medal. He is only one of five men to have won all four Grand Slam singles titles and the only man in history to have won GS titles on all three playing surfaces (hardcourt, grass, and clay). He also won the Tennis Masters Cup and was part of a winning Davis Cup team. He is the founder of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, which has raised over $60 million and opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a K-12 charter school for some of the underprivileged children of Las Vegas. He lives in that city with his wife, Steffi Graf, and his two children.

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