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On the Line Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"On the court, Serena is the most challenging opponent I've come up against, and off the court, she is a loving sister and a true friend. Serena has been a role model for me and an inspiration. It is difficult to imagine how I would have achieved many of my greatest accomplishments without her in my life." (Venus Williams )
"Serena has dredged deeply into her emotions and those of the First Family of tennis-hopes and fears, aches and triumphs-to craft an exceptional memoir. Ascending from nowhere to the top of the world, she has run an exciting zig-zag course transforming darkest days into bright victories on her way to the International Tennis Hall of Fame." (Bud Collins )
Top Customer Reviews
I was hoping for more indepth knowledge about how Serena thinks, her loves, future hopes...even some juicy stuff. But none of that is in the book. Even when she talks about the events of 9/11 when she and her family were all flying that day, it reads like a dry gulch rather than the tear gusher that it should be. She refers to past loves as "so and so", there's just not enough details about the private Serena to make this a worthwhile biography. It's all the stuff about the public Serena and then a few tidbits of stuff thrown in where she calls Venus a nerd. But even that doesn't seem like sincere banter.
OK, very light reading, perhap read while sitting in an airport terminal somewhere and then leave for the next person to pickup and read.
That said, if you have watched many post-match interviews with Serena, you can see that she has a hard shell and a number of self-exculpatory defense mechanisms, which come into play whenever she does not meet the high standards of success she has set for herself.
In short, I have always sensed that she is not all that interested in spending a lot of time in self-reflection, and reading this book has confirmed that sense for me.
While interesting, and an amazing story really, what is missing from this book is a hard analytical look at who Serena is, and what drives her.
Perhaps an autobiography is the wrong place to expect such analysis, and we will have to wait for a biographer to do this right.
Still, if you are looking for a light and uplifting tale of tremendous athletic and personal achievement, you will enjoy this as a quick read. Just don't expect much more (at least, not now).
This book--her mini biography..does fill in some of the blanks ...and answers some of the whys and hows of her spectacular tennis life that not only she but also her sister Venus ..and other members of her family have experienced during this rise and fall and rise of her tennis life over the years.
This book is written on such a level --that I would highly recommend it for the younger set of teens ...pre teens. It is squeaky clean throughout....almost too clean for me...but for the masses of fans that are readers out there---I don't think she could of done a better job. All and anyone can read this version of her life.Nothing too deep. Nothing too painful.Nothing too sticky...absolutely nothing to damage a squeaky clean image. All sanitized to the nines.
Lots of talk here about her sister Venus and many other family interactions..and she trys to bring us into her rather small and very closed world as a child ---her whole world seemingly simply playing
tennis..enveloping herself with family and practicing her faith as a Jehovah Witness.She never writes even once of having a overnight with a girl friend or going to a movie with a friend or ever having any interaction or experiences at all with anyone outside of her immediate family--which I find a little disturbing..more so ..because she never mentions--- ever--- the lack of normal relations with other people while growing up.Her story ?? YES !!!!Read more ›
Since Serena still has, we hope, more years of competitive tennis ahead I wasn't quite sure about what her book On the Line would entail. The content doesn't disappoint. While the book is not particularly well written from a literary perspective - few sports memoirs are - the words seem to capture the player's personality and essence at this point in her life. The style is very conversational.
Historically, the narrative chronicles the Williams' family early days in Compton, CA. Family is a central theme to this book. It's also central to Serena as both a person and tennis player. She and her family did not come to the sport in any traditional way. Her telling of the brood piling into the family van and hitting the public courts in tough neighborhoods resonates with warmth. Simultaneously, it created derision among some in the traditional tennis community for the unorthodox way in which Serena and sister Venus were groomed.
Parental guidance and her faith in God provided her with a compass of sorts. However, like virtually all of the youngest children in families I've known, Serena, too, benefited from a certain indulgence by her older siblings as well as her parents. Unfortunately, this created a sort of prima donna character trait that to this day surfaces at times. Nevertheless, when one is among the best in the world at what one does, especially in athletic competition, confidence in one's ability can be misconstrued.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked it a lot. I'm an older woman just playing the past two years and I found her story inspirational.Published 8 months ago by Barbara
Very inspiring book from the princess of tennis herself, the great Serena Williams! This book contains all the struggle that Serena faced during the early stage of her career. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
A good read about Serena and her growing up and tennis career so far. It is a book that made my like her less.Published on August 15, 2014 by indooroopillykid
Serena is such a personality I hope this book has a good vibe. Good for my collection.Published on August 6, 2014 by lindell mills jolly
I had no idea Serena had written a memoir until stumbling across this book ...and I loved it. I came away with an even greater appreciation for Serena and her loving family. Read morePublished on June 20, 2014 by OneWorld
If you like the all-american road to success story, then On The Line will be a good choice. It reads like Serena is talking to you. Read morePublished on February 10, 2014 by Jewel Brandon
Luv it! Thoughtful and inspired. It is nice to see what goes on inside a champions head. It's a must read for anyone who loves tennis.Published on November 5, 2013 by Douglas Fisher