My good friend and critique partner Kelly suggested I read this book after I e-mailed her several weeks ago to ask her a few things about
. (My next
manuscript, the as-yet un-nicknamed one, takes place in Florida . And it involves tennis. Guess my
cat’s out of the bag.) Mr. Agassi’s autobiography hooked me from the first
As you might imagine, Mr. Agassi has been playing tennis for pretty much ever. But what you might not imagine is that he’s hated it for about that long as well. Distorted by the constant pressure to be the best, to conform to his father’s standards--and those of the entire tennis world--he was often moody, rebellious, and unconventional. But that unconventionality, he says, was not really who he was.
To be honest, I didn’t always believe Mr. Agassi’s declarations of innocence. How can you pretend to be something for so long and not let at least a little bit of it become a part of you? Still, I found his defense riveting, and here’s what I do believe: Mr. Agassi is one of the most generous, least self-serving famous people I have ever read or heard about. He is a devoted husband and father. And for a ninth-grade dropout, he cares more about education than many educators I’ve spoken to--and puts his money where his mouth is. (His school, Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, sounds like one of the best things growing in
at the moment.) Las Vegas
If you're even marginally interested in tennis or like to read about larger-than-life personalities, definitely check out OPEN (which, by the way, is perhaps the most perfect title ever). And if you know anything about playing professional tennis as a teenager--say, if your name is Christina McHale or Andre Agassi--feel free to shoot me an e-mail:)
P.S. You should know that Mr. Agassi--well, one of his coaches, mostly--uses the F-word now and then. I didn’t think the F-words in OPEN were gratuitous, but they were there. Just something to be aware of.