Originally Posted by Nimi
I never heard about Rafter's autobiography, is it good?
I have heard about The Courts of Babylon and A Handful of Summers - what are they about? Which period? What players?
Rafter's bio is EXCELLENT...it chronicles the time just after he won the 1997 and 1998 US Opens...and his struggles through 1999, weaving tales of his life throughout...one of my favorite parts of the book are his his "fights" (off the court as much as on) with Pete Sampras....
The book is written in the first person...and with the easy "good mate" style that one associates with Rafter!!! I enjoyed the book A LOT!!! I still read it now and again when I miss Rafter being on the tour...like Agassi, he won't ever challenge for the best ever player...but his warmth and personality are not easily replaced! Those with the unique styles are rare!!!
A Handful of Summers: I'll just copy for you what the inside jacket cover reads of this book: "In a Handful of Summers, Gordon Forbes looks back with laughter at his international tennis playing years, from the mid 1950's through a varied and successful and often outrageous career on the world's courts... Gordon Forbes had time to observe (and compete against) all the great players of his era, from Hoad and Rosewall, Drobny and Patty to Laver and Santana...Maria Bueno,Lea Pericoli, Sandra Reynolds, Virginia Wade...(this book is full of) superbe antedotes ...from his dressing room-view of the tennis world."
Chapter headings have such titles as: Pietrangeli, Sirola, Emerson, Laver; Seixas and Trabert --their crew-cuts; Abie, Neale Frazer and Ken Rosewall; Don Candy (who was Pam Shriver's coach); Lew Hoad; The younger Cliff Drysdale; The maturer Cliff Drysdale; Rod Laver at Wimbledon; Bjorn Borg...and about 30 other chpater headings....
I hope that gives you some idea...
The Courts of Babylon by Peter Bodo (the same Bodo who currently writes for Tennis Magazine and writes the Internet blog at www.tennis.com
is my FAVORITE tennis book.
It's subtitle is "tales of greed and glory in the harsh new world of professional tennis'
It cover LOTS of stories about players such as Lendl (the chapter on Lendl is GREAT), Evert, Connors, Navratilova, McEnore, Borg...generally the late 1970's and the 1980's....
There's a chapter on Goolagong (a fave with Bodo)...and insights into Navartilova and Evert that I haven't read anywhere else...There's also a very insightful chapters on Boris Becker and John McEnroe that you won't get from too many other sources...and one very interesting chapter about Steffi Graf...
also Stefan Edberg....
Bodo also writes chapter about the Rise and Fall of the Christian Ministry in tennis...and the fashion push of sponsors and endorsers...MONEY!!!
He writes a little bit about Agassi and Chang and Sampras and Courier...but just as much as they were beginning their careers and how they played into some of the other topics (like Christianity and endorsers, etc.)
It's a GREAT book by one of the best authors in tennis...and if you want someone who actually seems to understand Jimmy Connors, this book is a MUST!!!
I got my copy of ...Babylon at www.amazon.com
in their used tennis books section for just a few bucks...and it's a TREASURE!!!