This is one heckuva book. Open, An Autobiography by Andre Agassi, was on the best seller list just about as soon as its publication date was announced. And, as Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated has said, it has already set a new standard for sports biographies/memoirs/autobiographies.
This is really an Open book. And Andre has an almost photographic memory of events – as well as his feelings as those events were unfolding. This is evident in accounts of his matches – and also in his childhood, his schooling and training, and his relationships.
The big deal has been his discussion of using crystal meth. How else could we have thought someone with all that native skill could fall to 141? It was apparent in his play at the time that something was very, very wrong. I was more fascinated with stories of Stephanie, Brad, Barbra, his school, some matches, and so picked through the book to find them. Read about half the book that way. Then realized that I had missed an incredible amount of good writing that way. So I went back to the beginning and started over.
This is one of the best written books ever – he did have a great writer working with him, but the voice is so clearly Andre’s. J. R. Moehringer may have just taken all those hours of transcribed tapes and rearranged the sentences and paragraphs for emphasis, order, suspense. If you’ve never seen a tennis match, you’ll love this book. If you’ve seen a tennis match, if you know Andre (or Roger Federer, who gets high praise), you won’t be putting it down anytime soon.