I’m looking for reasons to be in my car. I consider crossing state lines to mail a letter or buy milk. As always, the explanation is related to a book. I don’t want to drive. I want to listen. I usually have an audiobook in my car so there’s a back-up plan to NPR. But lately I’m not listening to the news. I don’t know the status of the oil spill clean-up, but I do know how Andre Agassi felt about Boris Becker. I’m listening to Open, Agassi’s memoir, and quite frankly, I’m a bit obsessed. I wasn’t that focused on Agassi’s career when he was playing. I knew if he won a major tournament, but only in a topical way. I began listening to the book because of its glowing reviews, most of which focused on Agassi’s frankness. I thought it might be interesting in a behind-the-scenes kind of way. But it’s much more than that. I now understand the enthusiasm for this book. It’s so compelling that when I am forced to come inside (after my family wonders why I’ ve been sitting in the driveway for 30 minutes), I go to YouTube and watch old Agassi tennis matches. As the book’s title suggests, he is so brutally honest about the emotional and physical costs of his career, that it is sometimes painful to watch videos of him playing the game he says that he hates.
I’ve gone a bit outside the pervue of my blog by writing about this book for adults. However, I am going to recommend Open to my fifteen-year-old son. I think teenagers would appreciate Agassi’s honesty and be able to understand some of the doubts that plagued the young Agassi. I’m not quite at the end of the book so it’s time to get in my car and drive to the grocery store – maybe I’ll check out one in Maine today!