Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Big Bill Tilden: The Triumphs and the Tragedy (Hall of Fame Edition) Paperback – January 13, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$43.10 $0.59

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

No Bio

No Bio --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Hall of Fame Edition (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Sportclassic Books (January 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894963245
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894963244
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bob Drake VINE VOICE on June 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thirty plus years ago I read two articles in Sports Illustrated by Frank Dedford that stunned me. The subject was the man voted the greatest athlete of the first half of the twentieth century, tennis player Bill Tilden, and I had never heard of him. When I saw the play Big Bill at Lincoln Center years ago, written by A.R. "Pete" Gurney, I already knew many of the details. Yet it was only recently that I decided to buy this book.

This book is an expanded version of those two Sports Illustrated articles, and is written with Deford's care and wit. I can almost hear him reading it to me, like one of his commentaries on NPR. Mr. Deford brings Big Bill back to life, describing his ego as well as his intellect and style. None of Tilden's tennis books are in print, but used copies are available here at Amazon. Mr. Deford gives as a motivation for Tilden's pursuit of boys in later life as a search for the son he could never have.

There is no memorial to this athlete who out-polled Babe Ruth, and his small, flat, rectangular gravestone in the Ivy Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, states, simply, "William T. Tilden 2nd, 1893-1953." There is no mention of tennis. Actually there is a memorial to Bill Tilden, THIS BOOK. And we can thank Frank Deford for that.
3 Comments 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
DeFord has written a very sympathetic biography of a child-molester vermin who happened to be a great tennis player. I purchased the book because in the past 10 years a concerted effort has been made to rehabilitate Tilden’s reputation, and I trusted Frank DeFord’s journalistic credentials to produce the facts on Tilden’s dark side. He does. Tilden-advocates deceitfully assert that he has been slighted by tennis historians because of his sexual orientation (which, for the most part is false) or are too stupid to differentiate a homosexual from a pedophile. As DeFord points out, Tilden didn’t seek sexual relationships with men, he craved boys – which is a crime -- and it’s why he did two stints in jail. As with OJ Simpson, anything Bill Tilden accomplished in sports is rightfully overshadowed by his criminally repugnant behavior in his private life. Whatever triumphs he had in tennis mean nothing compared to the boys lives he destroyed.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased the book as I wished to discover just how good of a tennis player Big Bill Tilden was. This book was written by Frank Deford, a well respected sports writer. The information presented was incredibly well researched. All in all the book fulfilled my purpose in buying. However a picture of the chronology of Tilden's career and life was difficult due to the author's presentation. Finally Mr. Deford devoted entirely too many words/pages in defending Tilden's homosexuality. It was as if the book needed to be 'so many pages' in order to be published.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book from 1976 is still a great book. The person of Bill Tilden comes alive. Mr Deford did a very well job not to let take bias over and wrote an excellent, honest and well documented biography. One of the best I've ever read.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
In my own books on homoeroticism I’ve followed the lives of the men and boys who preferred other men and boys, from Ancient Greece to the end of the Renaissance. The life of Tilden falls squarely in the material I cover, if not the period. He spent the equivalent, in today’s dollars, of a million on his ball boys. Frank Deford’s BIG BILL TILDEN gives us not only the wondrous story of Tilden’s life and career, but fascinating anecdotes, such as Nabokov in LOLITA who talks about a famous tennis player named Ned Litam and ‘’his harem of ball boys.’’ Ned Litam, backwards, spells Ma Tilden. During a train ride to a match Tilden went up to one of his players and said, ‘’Fritzi did the cutest thing this morning. He took $400 from my wallet and bought himself a watch.’’ $400 in Depression Age money was a fortune. Tilden was said to have had a huge list of ball boys who lived throughout the U.S., nearly always boys of German origin, or from Germany itself, all of whom he called Fritzi. He was detested by the public and once an empire even left his chair and didn’t return. The moment Deford began to describe a match I cringed. Personally, I haven’t seen a tennis match since the retirement of the incomparable Borg. But Deford’s matches make for couldn’t-put-the-book-down splendor. Tilden played thousands upon thousands of matches, never once showing himself naked in the locker room, even if this meant returning to his hotel soaked with sweat. Alas, he became even more irascible in later years, and turned fruity, a sad ending for someone like me who likes his men and boys virile. Deford’s book is a must, and a second-hand copy can be found on Amazon dirt-cheap. Marshal Jon Fisher’s A TERRIBLE SPLENDOR is more expensive but just as necessary as Deford’s.Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great story. My father took me to see Big Bill when I was a child when he was in bad shape. My father saw him in the 1920's and 30's he was from Philadelphia and saw him many times. This is a tragic story of a man who did not deserve his fate.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish this were "about the man" but I don't feel like I now know Bill Tilden. The author seemed determined to defend the things he did, calling child molestation a "seduction by the young man" (who was a 14 year old boy). It finally started to grate on my nerves. The book wanders around in time and then suddenly, in the middle, it becomes Part 2, and we're back in Tilden's childhood. Naturally, the writer then offers this up as another reason poor Mr. Tilden wanted to "mess around" with little boys. Very strange book, very strange man, and though I believe the writer is entitled to his take on all of it, that felt very strange to me, too. I was disappointed.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews