He is one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court - but from early childhood Andre Agassi hated the game.
Coaxed to swing a racket while still in the crib, forced to hit hundreds of balls a day while still in grade school, Agassi resented the constant pressure even as he drove himself to become a prodigy, an inner conflict that would define him. Now, in his beautiful, haunting autobiography, Agassi tells the story of a life framed by such conflicts.
Agassi makes us feel his panic as an undersized seven-year-old in Las Vegas, practicing all day under the obsessive gaze of his violent father. We see him at 13, banished to a Florida tennis camp. Lonely, scared, a ninth-grade dropout, he rebels in ways that will soon make him a 1980s icon. By the time he turns pro at 16, his new look promises to change tennis forever, as does his lightning fast return.
And yet, despite his raw talent, he struggles early on. We feel his confusion as he loses to the world's best, and his greater confusion as he starts to win. After stumbling in three Grand Slam finals, Agassi shocks the world, and himself, by capturing the 1992 Wimbledon.
Alongside vivid portraits of rivals, Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals the depression that shatters his confidence, and the mistake that nearly costs him everything.
In clear, taut prose, Agassi evokes his loyal brother, his wise coach, his gentle trainer, all the people who help him regain his balance and find love at last with Stefanie Graf.
With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be read and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi's game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed and power.
©2009 Harper Collins; (P)2009 Harper Collins
If you think this is typical sports book-forget it ! I had always been a fan of Andre Agassi and thought I knew most things about him-Yes he had won all 4 Tennis Majors - Yes he was flamboyant- Yes he is married to Steffi Graf. These however only cover a tiny part of his incredible life story. He is brutally honest on the people who have changed and molded him to the person he is now, but he is himself own harshest critic.He has been through so much but finally realizes that he has to find inner peace to be happy. Outstanding listen and well worth buying.
Very interesting story. I did cynically wonder how much had been over-emphasised. The narration is very monotone. Perhaps that is just to my English ears. 3/5.
Listened to it at 1.5x speed to mask how bad the narration was. This is a pity as the book really shone a light on the trials and tribulations of what was an epic but also insanely tough career.
Absolutely great experience, I couldn't stop, I am not a tennis fan I remember Agassi when I was young playing so gives me some good memories of the 90, but the honesty from his side makes it a well worth lesson on many aspects, there is a fault on chapter 2 and 4 I follow audible advice but still ( just heads up) but great book not to miss , I will listen again for sure
I have to assume that "abridged" means "spliced carelessly". Bizarre meaningless pseudo human speech moments abound.
I have read the hardback version and was disappointed to find so many key parts missing from this bridged version.
Still a great listen but ....
"Is he really a writer????"
Amazingly the first time I was going to buy this book I thought twice. Should I really go for it??? Is it really something I want to read? some Tennis Player talking about Tennis and boring me to death. I mean what the hell will Andre Agassi write about and can the guy actually write?
Surprisingly, I was shocked. I found Andre to really have a way with words and he also had me glued from Page 1.
“Open” looks into the life and struggles of Andre Agassi and the sport he actually hated more than anything in the world and how ironically he ended having it as a career. It looks into his relationship with his father, his marriage to the beautiful Brook Shields and his antics to win the heart of Stephie Graf.
The book is really worth it and has a number of subliminal messages in it. The biggest hidden message or a moral if you would like to call it is don't give up on life and that anything is possible. Agassi did everything he hated but managed to get everything he set his mind to. Some people may call it luck. I call it dedication.
My personal opinion of Andre Agassi before reading this book was that he was a total show off which actually made me hate the guy’s guts. After reading the book, I found out that people just did not understand the man and his beliefs.
I truly admire the man now after reading this book. Hats off to you Andre.
A captivating book from Cover to end. Do get it and enjoy.
A tennis fan, I have been for many years. However, this splendidly narrated book was an unexpected account of Agassi's career. It became the story of a young man seeking his own path in life. Tennis becomes something of an allegory for how we discover who we are, and who we need to help us with this process of discovery. Over decades, the cruelly dominant father and the brilliant son go through the largely painful process of discovering that this tempestuous tennis career has been an instrument for the father's own fulfillment and that Agassi is unwittingly sacrificing himself to achieve this.
This beautifully modulated autobiography evokes sympathy, admiration and mixed feelings when Agassi is hauled into episodes of profound confusion and mixed morality. The self discipline and focus of a champion is reflected in the structure and there is music and balance in the language.
Those who have followed his career will be glad he wrote it.
What is most intriguing is that Agassi continually reiterates his main (and much publicised) theme which is that he hates tennis. But what emerges is that tennis is just a word for what he doesn't like about himself. Happiness will draw him into a more comfortable and direct relationship with the game.
"They cut out too much"
The fact that it's abridged is annoying because some of the best bits in the book are missing.
I was expecting this just to be another sports biography with the usual tales. What I heard was a remarkable story of a childhood lost and a hatred for the world of tennis. It is a fascinating life, very well told with mostly a lack of bitterness. Well told Andre and good to hear your true nature shine through in the end.
"Thoughtful and well narrated."
These is well worth a listen, one of the more engaging memoirs I've bought.
Gripping and touching story. Beautifully written. I couldn't stop listening. Enlightening to uncover more of Agassi's fascinating life !
Enjoyed thoroughly.. great guy great story. Couldn't have imagined that Andre hatted Tennis and yet made every one watching love it.
"Not that Great"
Didn't exactly like it. But glad I heard it. Only because I learned something about one of the tennis legend.
The struggles behind the success of Agassi makes it worth every word.
Perhaps other sports autobiographies.
I loved the way Erik has interpreted the voice of the man whom Agassi recruited as his motivational coach who apparently had just written a book. The scene that unfolds in the hotel before recruiting him is cool. I also love all his pursuits of Steffi.
SLAM - ed
Thank you for a wonderful experience. Since I have played the game and I hate reading books, this experience was tailor made for me.
To relive the rebel tennis star's story but this time according to him and not according to my own perspective.
I love you André! Always have, always will!
Nice soothing voice to listen too.
And then there was Pete, always Pete!
I really loved listening to Andre's story! Thanks for sharing your life with us André!
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