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Open

The Autobiography
Narrated by: Erik Davies
Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (364 ratings)

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Summary

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

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Get the full version

Good story, but the abridged version leaves out too much detail that you find in the book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Ace

Cracking first quarter of the book. Agassi as a young and angry man is a great read. Also later on his 'hair problems' and 'denim shorts' gave me much amusement. The book suffers just a teeny bit from cheese at times, but then again I am a cold Englishman and Agassi is an 80s all American dude from Vegas, so I can forgive him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but terrible narration

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book but I missed the deleted parts.

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 ....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • glasgowUnited Kingdom
  • 13-10-10

No Sugar Coating here !

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Andre Agassi the true story

Gripping story about a tennis player I loved and admired for years.. Sadness despair but in the end joy in finding his love of both tennis and Stephanie

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Candid!

Such an insightful view into the world of professional tennis as experienced by Andre. Authentic!

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great

I really loved it he was amazing he was a fantastic player and steffi was to they are the right people together true winners

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very good story

just a lovely book . with wonderful characters a pleasure to listen to . I hope Stefanie Graff comes out with a book as well

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Listened in one sitting

Loved this audiobook and was gripped from the start. It was however a start that was all about the final day of Andre’s career, and then he took us back to the very start and it was a rip roaring ride through the relentless slog to become the top tennis player in the world. I was exhausted!! But just had to keep listening, it was a lot like watching a tense five setter. Take a look if you’re able at some photos of Agassi and Graf together, it shows how fortunate they are to have found each other. What a lovely guy Andre Agassi’s is, he gives so much back, despite the harsh upbringing by his father, and a relentless and difficult, painful journey. A fabulous book which won well deserved awards. If you love tennis you’ll find this a fascinating listen, but if you don’t you’ll still love it. Go on, it’s so worth a listen.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda Kable
  • 16-01-11

They cut out too much

The fact that it's abridged is annoying because some of the best bits in the book are missing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • 16-12-09

A surprise

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathryn
  • 06-07-15

Highly recommended

Gripping and touching story. Beautifully written. I couldn't stop listening. Enlightening to uncover more of Agassi's fascinating life !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 28-01-10

Great read

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-02-10

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.

Bryceb

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • sarah
  • 31-01-16

Thoughtful and well narrated.

Where does Open rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

These is well worth a listen, one of the more engaging memoirs I've bought.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandeep
  • 28-05-15

Amazing

Enjoyed thoroughly.. great guy great story. Couldn't have imagined that Andre hatted Tennis and yet made every one watching love it.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony
  • 26-02-15

Not that Great

Didn't exactly like it. But glad I heard it. Only because I learned something about one of the tennis legend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Raghu
  • 11-08-14

Respect

What made the experience of listening to Open the most enjoyable?

The struggles behind the success of Agassi makes it worth every word.

What other book might you compare Open to and why?

Perhaps other sports autobiographies.

Which character – as performed by Erik Davies – was your favorite?

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.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

SLAM - ed

Any additional comments?

Thank you for a wonderful experience. Since I have played the game and I hate reading books, this experience was tailor made for me.

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  • Ronel
  • 30-06-14

Loved it!

What made the experience of listening to Open the most enjoyable?

To relive the rebel tennis star's story but this time according to him and not according to my own perspective.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love you André! Always have, always will!

What does Erik Davies bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nice soothing voice to listen too.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

And then there was Pete, always Pete!

Any additional comments?

I really loved listening to Andre's story! Thanks for sharing your life with us André!