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Open

The Autobiography
Narrated by: Erik Davies
Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (291 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

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great read

What an amazing book, I have been an Andre fan for a long time and was hoping this book was going to be about him and his career. This didn't disappoint me at all, I enjoyed every minute of it and found it very interesting and still remain a big fan.

1 person found this helpful

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Good. Not Great

A good listen for a sporting enthusiast. Thought it was missing some key elements of his life I thought would be shared.

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Awful reading!

Terrible audio, nothing wrong with the book but maybe try reading the whole thing 🙄

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Brilliant Book!

One of my favourite sporting biographies ever! Just read it! Open, frank and truly honest.

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Interesting

Interesting read and the reason I picked this book was that I wanted to know more about Agassi.

This book delivers an insight not only in the life of Agassi but also a peep into the world of elite athletes and the mind games and sheer effort it takes to get there.

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Trip down golden era of tennis memory lane

A great book about the way Andre was, how he evolved, all being explained against a backdrop of famous tennis moments

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Brilliant!

Brutally honest and brilliantly written autobiography. Narrator suited the context of the book and it was read well (contrary to some other reviews that I read). Regards, Bez

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Just amazing

I grew up watching these legends play and I never imagined they couldn't be happy. I thought they were making a life out of the thing they loved the most. learning the truth made me feel emotional while reading, celebrating the points and suffering his pain. Now he's a legend more than ever to me

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Interesting story and worth a listen

I like listening to biographies as they are easy to listen to while on the road. I would have liked to hear this in Andre's own voice but for some reason he didn't read it. I don't feel we got to know Andre very deeply in this story - it wasn't as honest or raw as other biographies I have read but I guess he didn't have a very difficult story or trauma to tell. However it was still an interesting read/listen and great to see his climb to being tennis champion. He touches on his drug addiction, relationships and struggles with his physical health. Overall an enjoyable read and the life inside the tennis world.

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My man the agassi gas goer

I don't normally go for the tennis ya know? but this agassi dude had me hooked from the first page

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda Kable
  • 16-01-2011

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • 16-12-2009

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 people found this helpful

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  • Kathryn
  • 06-07-2015

Highly recommended

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 28-01-2010

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-02-2010

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 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • sarah
  • 31-01-2016

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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  • Sandeep
  • 28-05-2015

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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  • Anthony
  • 26-02-2015

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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  • Raghu
  • 11-08-2014

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
  • 30-06-2014

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!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • davidstone28
  • 01-05-2010

Get the full version

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

9 people found this helpful

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  • MR C K GRAHAM
  • 25-09-2018

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 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 14-12-2016

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 person found this helpful

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  • Mike Sanders
  • 23-08-2016

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 13-10-2010

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 person found this helpful

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  • Lance Johnson
  • 01-04-2020

The Anna Kournikova of men’s tennis

Let me get something straight
I hate this book. That is why I spent at least 6 hrs of my life to listen to this. Sounds contradictory?
How about if I said I listen to this Everyday for 21 yrs?
This is the same stupid logic Agassi uses to say he hates tennis even though he played it for many years. This is a lie and used as an excuse to explain his lacklustre performance in his career.

If he really hated the game there are plenty of way to outsmart a driving parent to show he does not want to play and which is why many parents fail.

Let me first explain who Anne Kournikova is. She was a small attractive Russian tennis player who never won a grand slam but garnered much commercial sponsorship for doing very little on the court. She did a disservice to women tennis as they women tried to become more made up and attractive to support their tennis career in order to get sponsorship.


Andre tried to stand out by wearing a wig(yes that long blond hair u used to see is a wig) and wear denim shorts while playing to stand out and got sponsorship from many organisations such as Cannon cameras where in the commercial Andre says “Image is everything.” Well André is right to get famous, u don’t need to be talented but have a wig of blonde hair, play mediocre tennis, and marry a celebrity - Steffi Graf or a Brook Shields.

Now when I was growing up and started to learn tennis a few of my friends spoke highly of him. However when I read the magazines they continued to say “Agassi fizzled” and “Graf mourned missed opportunities”. My opinion of these two are that these two don’t deserve the fame they have gotten.

Steffi Graf his wife who is from Germany only got ahead after a fan of hers stabbed Monica Seles the reigning world champion. If Monica was not stabbed we would barely remember Steffi.

Andre was given too much early props and as a result became arrogant. He laughed at a young Sampras when he was struggling with his game but Sampras went on to be one of the greatest men player of all time and beat his brains out most times.

Andre did win 8 grand slams but when u read this the book has so much dishonesty and avoids so many of his faults I start to get bored

He never overcame these faults nor talked about how he transformed.

He is a mediocre tennis player who wrote this book with his ghost writer and said how do we sell books. they came up with hating tennis as a slogan.

I hate Andre because he is everything that dedicators of their craft dislike. A prodigy who has no respect for their sport. Tries to get as much cash and run. Or he could be the guy at work who gets promoted above u because he has the gift of the gab but does little in substance.

Personally I would not listen to this book and would recommend others that u have a limited time to listen to audiobooks. Don’t listen to this book. Instead listen to Alex Honnold “Alone on the wall” about climbing El Capitan and listen to his discipline. Although Alex has mentioned Andre book in his book I think he must have been astonished that someone could hate their sport and be a national champion. He cannot read between the lines and see what a selfish person Andre is.

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  • Ria Kasselman
  • 01-03-2020

Absolutely with listening to

Loved the listen late into the night. Andre gave a true report of his live. A true inspiration. Thank you Andre.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mo
  • 05-02-2020

Great story despite robotic narration

Great insight into Agassi's life including loads of stuff I wasnt aware of. The narration however was incredibly robotic. Played it at x 1.3.

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  • D. K
  • 31-01-2020

issues with audio in some places

some bits from the book were missing. otherwise great story and I just could not stop listening

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Phillip
  • 23-01-2020

Brilliant loved every moment

Loved this book, it was so well written I could not put it down, So well narrated by Erik Davies. Thank you Andre Agassi for sharing your story with us :)