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The Last Sure Thing: The Life & Times of Bobby Riggs Hardcover – April 13, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a joyful workout, full of tennis lore and character insight, told with an able storyteller's flair." -- New Haven Advocate

"...the whole book is masterfully planned ... a tour de force." -- Tennis Week magazine

"A fascinating account of a life well-lived with vigor and rascality..." -- Frank Deford, sports writer/commentator

"A superbly written, oh-so spicey tale... a must-read for aficianados of tennis, sports and the human spirit." -- Bill Simons, editor and publisher, Inside Tennis

"Right from the opening lines, you can tell you're in the hands of a writer who knows what he’s doing." -- Writer'sDigest

"Tom LeCompte brings Riggs to life in all his glory and squalor. An intelligent, hilarious, compellingly readable story." -- Bruce Schulman, author of The Seventies

"insightful and finely crafted" -- San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Tom LeCompte is an editor and journalist living in western Massachusetts. He has written for magazines that include Tennis, Air & Space, the Hartford Advocate and Proof. In addition, he is a longtime tennis player and coach. This is his first book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 471 pages
  • Publisher: Black Squirrel Publishing; First Edition edition (April 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972121307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972121309
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,813,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Easy to read and full of great details as well as humor.
Ruth I Mercer
Regardless of your interest level in tennis, this book is worth a read.
J. Mackler
LeCompte does a great job of covering all of his big wins in tennis.
A. Rochester

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cynthia guild on October 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Tom LeCompte has writtten a thoroughly entertaining account of a tennis great who defies categorization. The Last Sure Thing is the story of a world champion who never quite acted like one; a man who was intent on winning in any arena, as long as there were clearly defined stakes involved. Not so good when the returns were unclear or long range, Bobby's family life was filled with gaping holes and serious blunders. LeCompte paints a fascinating portrait of a man who appears to have been sailing above concern for intimacy, loyalty, maturity and fidelity in his relentless and quite possibly compulsive search for the endless game, the bet around the next corner.
Is this type of blind drive necessary to the making of a champion competitor or was Bobby Riggs simply a talented but hapless loser who missed his chance for lasting glory and respect due to immaturity and shortsightedness? LeCompte covers all bases and leaves the reader to wonder - what if... A thoroughly engaging account of a man, a game, and an era - highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Mis on September 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I play alot of tennis and I read alot of biographies, and this book is one of the best I've read in either genre. Bobby Riggs--what a character! Can you believe that this man, betting and hustling constantly--his tennis partners, his wife, the largest television audience for a tennis match in history--was actually such a great tennis player? The book somehow conveys easily the story of Bobby's hustling, the history of amateur tennis, the disfunctionality of his marriages, the chaos of his match against Billie Jean King, even the agony of his dying--I mean, WOW!!--what a book! No sooner had I started reading it than friends told me they had heard about it on the radio and asked me for my copy. I have books on RFK, Winston Churchill, and other well-known men lying unfinished on my nightstand. This book I read cover-to-cover in a few nights. Sorry but my friends have taken my copy, or I'd let you read it. But I had to tell someone that this is a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There were few professional tennis players as flamboyant and colorful as Bobby Riggs who will probably be forever remembered in the now legendary "battle of the sexes" match against Billie Jean King. What is not so widely known is that Bobby's life off court was as outrageous and theatrical as his on-court behavior. Freelance journalist Tom LeCompte has written a biographical masterpiece with The Last Sure Thing: The Life & Times Of Bobby Riggs which is a "must read" for the legions of this memorable figure of the tennis world, a man who carries a large slice of the credit for popularizing the sport through all levels of American society. This superbly written and enthusiastically recommended biography reads with all the smoothness and drama of a finely crafted novel, and will hook the reader's complete and total attention from first page to last.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Last Sure thing was written in 1978 and the books are expensive.
However, it is available on Kindle for $8. and well worth the price.
This is a good book. It will hold your attention from page one.
Bobby Riggs was a fascinating person. He was a superb athletic.
Were he not extremely small he might have chosen any sport and
been a success. He was the baby of 7 children. His father was a well
respected minister of the Church of Christ. Riggs lived life to the hilt,
life was game to him. He was driven to win. I was amazed at the extent of his
gambling---he gambled on everything from ping pong to throwing paper in a
hat. As an adult he was a party boy, women, all nighters, cards, good food.
He was able to raise his efforts on the tennis court to meet the need. He was
a poor husband and a poor father. Riggs was totally self-centered, but lovable
and kind. LeCompte does a great job of covering all of his big wins in tennis.
He introduces the reader to most of the tennis greats of the 30s and 40s.
He is able to let us know these men, and understand what makes them tick.
Bobby was bitter and did not understand old age. When his body gave out
he was finally forced to quit "the game". He was puzzled that he didn't go
on for ever----even with the way he abused his body. This is an excellent
effort to portray a multifaceted, complicated and great athlete.
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