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Open: An Autobiography Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 9, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 3,577 ratings

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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

“Insightful [and] exceedingly well-written . . . [Open] has the cadence and plotting of a good novel . . . The raw energy and emotion throughout are pure Agassi.”
            -Newsday Top 10 Books of 2009
 
“Surprisingly candid . . . The baseline bad boy serves up his harrowing anecdotes with the same force he put behind every on-court ace.”
            -Entertainment Weekly 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2009
 
“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 100 Notable Books of 2009
 
“Andre Agassi’s memoir is just as entrancing as his tennis game . . . By sharing an unvarnished, at times inspiring story in an arresting, muscular style, 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.”
            -Sean Gregory, Time
 
“Not just a first-rate sports memoir but a genuine bildungsroman, darkly funny yet also anguished and soulful. It confirms what Agassi’s admirers sensed from the outset, that this showboat . . . was not clamoring for attention but rather conducting a struggle to wrest some semblance of selfhood from the sport that threatened to devour him.”
            -Sam Tanenhaus, The New York Times Book Review
 
“A remarkable and quite unexpected volume, one that sails well past its homiletic genre into the realm of literature, a memoir whose success clearly owes not a little to a reader’s surprise in discovering that a celebrity one may have presumed to know on the basis of that haircut and a few television commercials hawking cameras via the slogan ‘image is everything’ emerges as a man of parts—self-aware, black-humored, eloquent.”
            -Michael Kimmelman, The New York Review of Books
 
“[A] heartfelt memoir . . . Agassi’s style is open, all right, and his book, like so many of his tennis games, is a clear winner.”
            -O, The Oprah Magazine
 
Open describes [Agassi’s] personal odyssey with brio and unvarnished candor . . . His 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 Mr. 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.”
            -Jay Winik, The Wall Street Journal
 
“It’s both astonishing and a pleasure to report that Andre Agassi . . . has produced an honest, substantive, insightful autobiography . . . The bulk of this extraordinary book vividly recounts a lost childhood, a Dickensian adolescence, and a chaotic struggle in adulthood to establish an identity . . . While not without excitement, Agassi’s comeback to No. 1 is less uplifting than his sheer survival, his emotional resilience, and his good humor in the face of the luckless cards he was often dealt.”
            -Michael Mewshaw, Washington Post
 
“Honest in a way that such books seldom are . . . An uncommonly well-written sports memoir.”
            -Charles McGrath, The New York Times
 
“Probably the most candid sports autobiography ever written . . . A remarkably real, tell-it-like-it-is, record-breaking read.”
            -Nancy Isenberg, The [Baton Rouge] Advocate
 
“Agassi weaves a fascinating tale of professional tennis and personal adversity . . . His tale shows that success is measured both on and off the court.”
            -Doree Shafrir, New York Post
 
 “Refreshingly candid . . . This lively, revealing, and entertaining book is certain to roil the tennis world and make a big splash beyond.”
            -Publishers Weekly
 
“Enigmatic tennis great Agassi lays it all on the line . . . Agassi’s photographic recall of pivotal matches evokes the raw intensity of watching them from the stands. Lovers of the sport will also appreciate this window into the mind of a champion . . . An ace of a tale about how one man found his game.”
            -Kirkus


Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.52 pounds
  • Hardcover : 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0307268195
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0307268198
  • Product Dimensions : 6.57 x 1.4 x 9.51 inches
  • Publisher : Knopf; Illustrated Edition (November 9, 2009)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 3,577 ratings
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