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Publisher's Summary

Sonny Bill Williams (SBW) is a once-in-a-hundred-year athlete with immense sporting talent in rugby league, rugby union and boxing. Sonny Bill has built an incredible career and sporting reputation across the globe. His athleticism has taken him from inner-city Auckland, where he grew up, to the highest sporting moments in Twickenham, Eden Park and Sydney's Olympic Stadium. But there is so much more to Sonny Bill Williams' life and journey than his on-field and in-the-ring triumphs.

Sonny Bill's love of family, his faith, his skill and performance throughout his unparalleled sporting career, his ability to unite a team under pressure, his grace in owning his mistakes, the challenges of leaving home as a young man and dealing with a negative culture and the temptations that followed, and his courage in speaking out for the vulnerable and calling out injustice are all aspects of an inspiring life story.

Sonny Bill Williams was the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks. Driven by a fierce moral compass, Sonny Bill Williams thoughtfully and authentically uses his standing and platform as both a UNICEF ambassador and an elite sportsperson to speak out on political issues that confront the world today and to benefit those struggling in life. He is a dedicated family man, devoted to his faith, committed to his teammates, respectful of his fans and aware that the path he has taken can inspire and empower others. Working with Alan Duff, award-winning author of Once Were Warriors, this will be the must-have autobiography of the year.

©2021 Sonny Bill Williams (P)2021 Hachette Australia

What listeners say about Sonny Bill Williams

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Blind Fury NZ review

Firstly, as a person with a visual impairment. I would like to firstly thank Sonny Bill, Allan – and the publishes for allowing this book to be made into an audiobook. Making sure that new release books annual books and titles are turned into audiobooks. Allows me and others who have similar impairments engage with the world around us. So thank you.

I am a huge fan of Sonny Bill, so some of my comments may be seen through rose tinted glasses. I was unaware that this book was in the pipeline. And when I saw on Facebook I was releasing. I was super excited. So first of all, I was eager to see if it would appear in audible. And to my delight it was.

I could go on and on about this book and the things that I found super interesting. From his time at the Bulldogs, the transition to rugby and then into his time with the all Blacks.

I have worked in the mental health and addictions field for the past so many years. And the parts that I am super interested in. Is around Sunnyboys motivation, determination but most importantly his self-awareness and vulnerability.

There is something for everyone in this. For those who like to know about the big moments and sporting history. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. To those of us who want to know there are no workings of such a phenomena on. But lastly I think the thing that I am really hopeful for. As the messages that sunny with the help of Allan portrays to our young people.

Alongside Mark Hunt‘s biography. I think that this book and a book, should be the non-fiction reader especially for boys schools here in New Zealand.

Like a previous review, I do also think that it would have been nice for Sonny Bill to be the narrator and I would take it a step further. For the inserts of other people to be the voices of those particular people as well. I think that there would be room for this to be re-recorded in the future with some updates and sunny and his family and friends included in the voice recording.

Lastly I want to thank There at Narita for such a sterling job. I only have one little bit of feedback. And it is around some of the pronunciation of Maori words. I’m not sure where this was recorded. But maybe if the audio director was of Maori and all Pacific descent. Some of those things may have been picked up and re-recorded.

Thank you Sonny for being you and I look forward to hearing your voice carry the messages of our people to promote change and shine a light in those dark places.

Finally apologies for the spelling mistakes and typos. I use voice recognition software to write my reviews. And it doesn’t necessarily pick up my Maori accent and nuances. In addition this is a shared Amazon audible account with my wife Chloe. So my name is Kahurangi Fergusson-Tibble.

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Good for insomnia

I would of enjoyed the audio better if the reader didn’t sound like it was his first day of learning how to read and mate you have an indigenous last name but can’t pronounce indigenous names wth ? The lack of enthusiasm really killed the book for me . Felt like I was listening to a manual for how to fix a fridge or something bloody boring . No energy at all . Im definitely sure SBW didn’t listen to you readying this before he gave the nod . Sooo disappointing,Audible please refund me my credit .

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underwhelming and too repetitive

struggled to get through this one.

massive SBW fan from the dogs but this was a rough listen

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good story

it was a good story. the only downside was it would have been better if voiced by Sonny himself.

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good listen, positive message, interesting.

sonny has a really positive hardworking vibe. I didn't know to what extent until I listened to this. I've now forgiven him for leaving the dogs, and am considering less of a party lifestyle. it was also a great motivation for hard work.

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great story but

narrators pronunciation was well below par but are great listen regardless inspirational new Zealander

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A great story, but poorly portrayed by the narrator.

Loved the story, but the pronunciation was not the best. A normal person understands the annunciation of Alhamdulillah and so should a professional narrator. Name pronunciation is paramount amongst Polynesian culture and should be justified, especially when the book is primarily directed to polynesian personnel.

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Show me rather than tell me

Bug respect to Sonny but I don’t think this book did his story justice. While Sonny was definitely honest and real, it felt like the book only ever touched the surface. Duff tells you how he was shy … but I wish he showed us through a story telling approach. Eg with the Tunisian couple - who were they? How did he meet them? Tell us a story which demonstrates why they we influential.

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A flawed but still valuable addition the sports bio catalogue.

We live in a world that reveres premiere athletes … so insights into the experience of the revered are always interesting … and Alan Duff does a good job of ensuring it is Sonny Bill’s unembellished story, with his own voice.

Sonny Bill is clearly a man who prefers to look forward rather than backward, but it would have been great to have a little more depth to recollections … see the Obamas for how this is best done … and the fan letters from notables did pile on a bit after a while … risking an OTT CV effect …

That being said it’s always great when those with a public profile challenge unhealthy cultures within the organisations they represent and Sonny Bill’s account does this openly and honestly without hyperbole or blame. It would have significantly improved the standing of this account if the same balanced approach had been taken to discussions of faith … Sonny Bill clearly feels strongly about speaking out for oppressed peoples … yet he conveniently ignores the degree to which the teachings of Islam, reinforced though the Laws of Emirate states severely undermine the rights and safety of women. Let’s hope as he continues to grow, Sonny Bill learns to hold his own religion to the unerringly high standards he sets for himself.


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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-10-2021

Almost perfect

Amazing story! Whilst the narrator does a good enough job, its a shame that they arent able to properly pronounce the last names of pasifika players. It breaks the experience at important points about relationships and connections.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-10-2021

Expected so much but delivered very little

I was excited to read a book about probably the hardest working, gifted athlete to Play rugby across its two major codes. I have read over 100 autobiographies of sports stars and military leaders. This rated very low in my own opinion. The things I learnt and really liked was how close he is to his brother John, how amazing his mum is and the insight he gave about his injuries. I really liked how Islam saved him and changed him.
This is his book however there was very little insight into his championship winning mentality, his insights into strategy, funny anecdotes etc. It was heavy on Islam and it’s importance to him, less on what the other 6, 12 or 14 people on the field that helped make him great. Just my opinion.
This book doesn’t diminish him as the greatest sportsman NZ has ever produced in my eyes. Just means that he isn’t the greatest writer/collaborator or storyteller out there.

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