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You Cannot Be Serious

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | You Cannot Be Serious.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    James Kaplan(Author)

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A no-holds-barred, intimate memoir by the bad boy of tennis describes his rise to success in the world of professional tennis, his controversial on-court behavior, his marriages to actress Tatum O'Neal and pop star Patty Smyth, and his current roles as father, tennis player, and TV commentator. 200,000 first printing.

In his new role as TV commentator (and in his short-lived run as Davis Cup captain) McEnroe has tried to make the unlikely switch from tennis enfant terrible to tennis elder statesman. Judging by the welcome he has received from both the cognoscenti and the American public, it has been a largely successful transition. This memoir of growing up (or not growing up) on the men's tour tracks the same course. Unfortunately, when shifted to the page, the reinvention produces a much more muddled result. All of the career highlights and lowlights are here his idolization of Borg, his seminal matches with Connors and at Davis Cup, his clashes with the British press at Wimbledon, his romantic perambulations. But while appealingly self-aware ("For me, the relief of not losing has always been just as strong as, if not stronger than, the joy of winning") and consistently honorable, the effort feels a little dull. McEnroe's sincere pronouncements lack the cojones that might have made the book entertaining, and yet for all his openness, he engages in too much self-justification to seem truly vulnerable or poignant. The book grew out of a profile Kaplan wrote for the New Yorker two summers ago. That piece managed to present McEnroe as affable without diluting what is essentially brash and true about the star, and one wishes a little more of that boldness would have crept in here. For McEnroe, the persona hinted at in public remains more interesting and complicated than the person he gives us in this book. While the champion would no doubt argue, it appears that he has hit this one a little wide.Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. McEnroe, the feisty New Yorker whose brilliant serve-and-volley style of play was at times overshadowed by his on-court antics, captured 17 Grand Slam championships during a 15-year "wild ride" on the professional tennis tour. Now, he and journalist Kaplan take a candid look back at this colorful career. Smashing racquets and screaming tirades against linesmen and umpires only cemented McEnroe's role as the explosive bad boy of tennis. Yet the Hall of Famer shows surprising insight here. He explores why matches were constant battles against "the other guy and myself," admitting that the relief of not failing was at least as strong as the joy of winning. McEnroe fully details his most significant triumphs and losses (e.g., the 1984 French Open final, in which he held a two-sets-to-one lead over nemesis Ivan Lendl, and the classic Wimbledon five-set defeat by Bjorn Borg). His three Wimbledon and four U.S. Open singles titles were special, but perhaps his proudest achievement was the five Davis Cups he helped to secure at a time when other top players were more interested in the money to be made in tournaments and exhibitions. McEnroe also writes openly about his turbulent former marriage to actress Tatum O'Neal, and current status as father to six and husband to pop star Patty Smyth. Readers will be happy to learn that his anger-management counseling seems to help him defuse "certain situations" effectively. Recommended for sports and general collections.- Howard Katz, New York Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book details

  • PDF | 342 pages
  • James Kaplan(Author)
  • G. P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (June 10, 2002)
  • English
  • 9
  • Sports & Outdoors

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Review Text

  • By Francie Nolan on August 12, 2017

    Very honest. Pretty interesting although I got tired of all the tournament data towards the end. His marriage to Tatum O'Neal was pretty interesting, too. When he starts talking about Patti Smith and marrying her, I thought, No way! I was thinking of the Patti Smith who wrote Just Kids. It's not that Patti Smith. McEnroe's mother is referred to only a few times, but when she is referenced--she really sounds like a ....an unkind, insensitive person. Maybe John got a bit of his nutso behavior on the court from her. He sounds like a very good dad, though. And honest about why his first marriage didn't work out. He was an admittedly selfish guy, but he does change over time.Recommended

  • By Dana Schulz on July 14, 2017

    I was always a fan when John played on the pro circuit. I thought his serve and volley style to be refreshing. This book relates all the aspects of his life that most people don't know. It really demonstrates the struggles John faced both on the circuit and off. I found the book enlightening and humorous. I like Johnny Mac even more now.....

  • By Bing C. Dionida on September 8, 2015

    I am a Serious John McEnroe Fan.If you watch tennis today. You'll hear his voice. Apparently its really him that appeals to the game. He's a hot headed and Incredible player. Watching old videos on Youtube is exactly what i love.This book. he really opens up about his life. You can really hear what he has to say about things that happened in his past.Maybe too honest.

  • By Nam on November 14, 2017

    I've been a big fan of Mac and he is why I picked up racket when I was 12. I was always puzzled why he would go all that stuff even when he is playing (appears) terrific. His candid confession of his uncertainty inside his brain makes all sense now. Mac is a human being after all. I think current top players are behaving (maybe too well) themselves. Probably because potential public repercussion is too huge to ignore. It's a little squeezing world.

  • By Boraxo on July 16, 2008

    Johnny Mac is a very interesting guy. Having grown up watching his epic matches with Borg and Connors I was eager to read this book. It did not disappoint. You will be happy to find all the details on his tennis career and all of the behind-the-scenes action that the media never covers.But even more impressive was to read about John's growth from a self-centered kid into a mature father. As one who has made the same journey, this part really touched me.The only thing missing was more dirt on his ex-wife's abuse of narcotics and their custody battle, as well as details on the abuse dished out by his ex-father law. But I guess you have to respect a guy who doesn't trash people just to sell a few more books.Well worth the (used book) price!

  • By Patrick on April 23, 2015

    Great read. The story started out with the 9/11 terrorist attacks as Mr. McEnroe is a resident of Manhattan. Plus, he seemed to recall hundreds of match scores from matches played many, many years ago. I found this book fascinating.

  • By Abacus on May 28, 2003

    This book is so much fun to read. McEnroe is a unique individual. He is incredibly arrogant, neurotic, rude, self centered, and narcissic. He is also insightful, brilliant, artistic. He understands the game like few others. He also plays the game like few others. It all comes through perfectly well in this biography. Nothing in this book was surprising. It was all expectable Mac in your face stuff. And, it was so much fun.On a more serious tone, Mac has a lot of smart wisdom to impart about the game, and the game's direction. He makes a lot of recommendation that make a lot of sense, but unfortunately are utopic. The most noteworthy of them, is that tennis should go back to wood racquets. I fully agree. Mac feels that the character of the game, and the associated skill requirement completely changed after that.I don't know if anyone remembers the artistic, versatile styles of Adriano Panata, Ilie Nastase, Tom Okker, Manuel Santana. They all played with wood racquets. Their style of finesse and unpredictability is gone from the game. John McEnroe also emulated that style. Today, our only hope is Roger Federer who shows the versatility and talent of the past. Unfortunately, he rarely passes the first round in any Gran Slam tournaments, and gets worn down by some anonymous grunter.


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