On Being John McEnroe

Front Cover
Random House, Jun 3, 2004 - Tennis - 144 pages
1 Review
A fan's-eye-view of one of tennis' most notorious stars.
The greatest sports stars characterize their times. They also help to tell us who we are. John McEnroe, at his best and worst, encapsulated the story of the eighties. His improvised quest for tennis perfection and his inability to find a way to grow up dramatized the volatile self-absorption of a generation. His matches were open therapy sessions and they allowed us all to be armchair shrinks.
Tim Adams sets out to explore what it might have meant to be John McEnroe during those times and to define exactly what it is we want from our sporting heroes: how we require them to play out our own dramas; how the best of them provide an intensity that we can measure our own lives by.
Talking to McEnroe, his friends and rivals, and drawing on a range of references, Tim Adams presents a book that is both a portrait of the most colourful player ever to pick up a racket and an original study of the idea of sporting obsession.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

Short light-hearted book on the impact John McEnroe had on the tennis establishment of the late 70s/early 80s and the interaction between his career and his psyche. I always had a sneaking liking for ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

How John McEnroe became a tempest of his own making. Adams, the literary editor of Britain's Observer and obviously a keen tennis appreciator, was initially drawn to McEnroe by the beauty of his game ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Tim Adams has been an editor at Granta and literary editor of the Observer, where he now writes full-time. An occasional tennis correspondent and scratchy parks player, he once lost in straight sets to Martin Amis and served a whole game of double faults to Annabel Croft. He lives in London.

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