open-andre agassi/j.r. moehringer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
how open has he been really...

Submitted: January 13, 2012

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Submitted: January 13, 2012

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Autobiographies by sportspersons sometimes fail to cut glass with the real lit.afficianados,since most are ghost-written.yet,they’re frequently peppered across pop-culture and so you can very well gauge why publishing houses scramble around to “work” with those athletes/sportspersons,since every once ina while,irrespective of the sport,a biography by a sportsperson manages to get aplumb the best-seller lists with the odd one probably even garnering some jury’s nod,alongwith some critical acclaim.while aggassi’s book mightn’t have charted that much of dream run territoty,and on that front mightn’t be ambitious about it either,knowing aggassi,it nevertheless has a few things going for it.

When what could be only described as a very crass publicity stunt started grinding the rumour mills In a bid to create ‘buzz” for the book(debatable  if he really needed it,given his popularity even towards the very end of his career),in the form of agassi making the magnitudinally sensationalist claim that his much followed hairstyle,part of his very followed style statements was actually a wig which he‘d strapped on,courtesy,the ingenuity of a cousin of his,broke through,legions of fans were in equal parts,disappointed or frustrated at having being taken for a ride,or mildly bemused,frowning at the shallowness of what probably was their own “juvenile” affectation.

The book starts off with agassi’s childhood which is really not documented anywhere  else,and you’re taken in by the very crisply written ,anecdotally peppered writing style as Agassi(or moehringer) tries to take you through the hazy world of an almost poor boy trying to make it big through tennis.readers would gasp at the description of  nick bollitieri’s academy,and it probably drives in the point home, of really choosing what you are confident your child would show promise at failing which,the consquences could be threateningly morbid for the child’s future since it doesn’t offer any alternatives.by the time that you’ve reached the point where Agassi has reached the national level and is close to being ranked,the ghostwriter has taken you through a major part of the book,the word of note for which would be that he does so without dipping too much into technicalities of the tennis game,describing just enough to grip the average tennis viewer,or the ranking system.

Then comes the big show.the post-fame Agassi,his fall from grace after three slams,a failed  marriage and eventually reclaiming glory.but the book,sadly falters on all these counts.while Agassi gives you the lowdown on some of his very public duels with Sampras and becker,he manages to relegate some very important events of the tennis world like the stabbing of monica seles to one single line.given his involvement with graf,it would’ve been very interesting albeit a bit controversial to get his own “take” on that issue,especially in light of the fact that much of the gory details of affair were censored by the international press.on some fronts,the book is bang on as you begin warm up to some very candid confessions by Agassi where he admits to not wanting to dedicate his life to the sport as much as Sampras did,allowing fans a rare glimpse of human side..but then,he messes it up again when the finer points of the whole cocaine abuse issue(another surreptitiously placed publicity gimmick) come to the forefront as even the very straightforward narrative fails to cover up the fact that  the atp literally took it like a joke.also,you begin to wonder at how much of the brooke shields issue is real after being zapped by the amount of literal slander against her,while u ponder over  the kind  terms she’d have put forth to have consented to be portrayed in the vein that she is.

The book ends with agassi’s last slam appearance,but largely leaves the reader with a feeling of wanting much much more,not because the overall feel of the bio incites him/her to,but because this purported tell-all,like all tell-alls comes across as everything but just that,though in this case,the disappointment would be much more than what is usual since Agassi’s colourful career and his life more so had all the ingredients of what constitutes fuel for a million dreams,coming across instead as a gross commercial experiment,which really puts Agassi in a dilemma since it re-inforces the glib branding he ran around to avoid all through his playing career.sad.but then,he’s probably,pardon the abused term,”laughing all the way to the bank”,with the joke once again is on you and me.


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