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Summary

Why does an international footballer with the World at his feet decide to take his own life? On November 10, 2009, the German national goalkeeper Robert Enke stepped in front of a passing train. He was 32 years old. Viewed from the outside, Enke had it all. Here was a professional goalkeeper who had played for a string of Europe's top clubs, including Jose Mourinho's Benfica and Louis Van Gaal's Barcelona. Enke was destined to be his country's first choice for years to come. But beneath the bright veneer of success lay a darker story.

In A Life Too Short, award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his lost friend's life. Reng brings into sharp relief the specific demands and fears faced by those who play top-level sport. Heartfelt but never sentimental, he tells the universal tragedy of a talented man's struggles against his own demons.

©2011 Piper Verlag GmbH, Munich. English Translation © Shaun Whiteside 2011 (P)2011 Random House AudioGo

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin
  • Feltham, United Kingdom
  • 03-02-13

Depression explained

I went into listening to this audiobook wanting to learn about robert enke and came out of it having learnt more about depression and how it can effect an international goalkeeper and how it can change the personality of a person. A must listen. Educating and informative.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • heather
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 15-11-12

Tragic but beautiful

What a beautifully written book that portrays the struggle robert, his family and friends all endured. An easy read that engages the mind and asks questions throughout about your own perception of mental health. I would highly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Graeme
  • northampton, United Kingdom
  • 10-07-13

OMG - the worst and best book I have ever heard?

What made the experience of listening to A Life Too Short the most enjoyable?

Here was a person who seemed to the outside world as having all the trappings of professional footballer but yet he spent times unable to function and, more surprising he hid it so well.
The book itself is beautifully touching, in terms of writing and the narrator does a brilliant job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wanted to listen to it continuiously, but I had to switch it and re compose myself, I was moved to tears on several occasions, having been involved in football and having lived through depression with a close friend, the way the subjects are approached is refreshingly honest and forthright. If you have any knowledge of Robert Enke you will be aware of the shock his death caused at the time, this book brought those feeling back, I felt the loss of his family and friends.

Any additional comments?

Just one word of warning, if you suffer from or if you are thinking of giving this to a someone who is travelling the road of depression, please don't. I felt emotionally drained after listening and I have never felt like that before from a book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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gut wrenchingly sad but important story

extremely sad, but told with beautiful empathy for everyone involved. a listening experience that will stay with me forever, a lesson about depression that everyone should hear

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a great insight

a great insight to a condition people dont recognise and to the struggles that come from playing the great game at the top level

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Incredible; sad

Hugely powerful, incredibly sad, brilliantly written. This book is a great account of the life and tragic death of Robert Encke

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A tragic story beautifully told

The story of Robert Enke's life, with some real highs and incredible lows, is a story that deserves to be heard. I was gripped from chapter one and just had to keep listening whenever I had the time. John Telfer does a great job narrating.

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A great injustice, an outstanding book.

Such a tragic story, so beautifully told. Enke was a great man and his story should be heard by all. Reng tells the story perfectly, his book deserves all the credit it has received.

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Why oh Why

What did you like most about A Life Too Short?

It was a very sad book indeed. I am not a football fan but this book caught my interest as I work with frail people in the same position as Robert. I learned from listening to this book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Life Too Short?

The most memorable moments of the book was hearing about Robert's illness and how it ruined his life. So sad that he did not get help in time.

What does John Telfer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Having a book read to you opens the possibility of diving into books you might not feel drawn to. I might not have finished this book if I did not have someone reading it to me, the reason being all the football references.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A life too short !